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Thread: Chinese Theme Parks

  1. #76
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    I also find this kind of themes in Singapore and many other places of the world..

  2. #77
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    Citic and Village Roadshow

    March 23, 2015 7:23 am
    Citic and Village Roadshow ink $500m Asia theme park deal
    Jamie Smyth in Sydney and Charles Clover in Beijing


    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 12: Patrons swim in the wave pool at the opening of Sydney theme park, Wet'n'Wild on December 12, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. The new water park, featuring 42 slides and attractions, replaces Wonderland which closed in 2004. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)©Getty

    Village Roadshow, the company that operates Wet’n’Wild theme parks and Warner Bros Movie World in Australia, is teaming up with Chinese conglomerate Citic Group to create a US$500m fund management business to invest in Asian theme parks.

    Village Roadshow said on Monday that both companies would spend $25m each over the next two to three years investing in theme parks, entertainment facilities and related real estate developments.

    Potential developments have been identified in China, Malaysia and South Korea. The fund management company will be 51 per cent owned by Citic Trust — a subsidiary of Citic group — and 49 per cent owned by a subsidiary of Village Roadshow, it said.

    Robert Kirby, Village Roadshow co-chief executive and co-chairman, said the deal placed the group “in a position to progress our expansion plans . . . aided by access to impressive development sites and the experience that Citic brings to the partnership”.

    The deal appears to be driven partly by China’s love affair with the world film industry. While global film revenues inched up only 1 per cent between 2013 and 2014, China’s box office takings increased 34 per to $4.8bn over that period, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. In 2013 alone, the Chinese mainland added more movie screens than the total operated in France.

    Selling western films, or the trappings thereof such as theme parks, has driven a spate of recent deals.

    US film company Universal Studios in October outlined plans to build a $3.3bn theme park in Beijing. The park, covering 120 hectares in the district of Tongzhou, southeast of the capital, is expected to open in 2019.

    Village Roadshow was founded in 1954 as the operator of one of Australia’s first drive-in cinemas in Melbourne, and has grown to become one of the country’s biggest cinema chains.

    It is also a 47 per cent shareholder in the Los Angeles-based Village Roadshow Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of which backed the hugely popular Lego Movie .

    Shares in Village Roadshow initially jumped by almost 5 per cent to A$5.72 on Monday following the joint venture announcement, but later fell back to close roughly unchanged at A$5.48.

    Investments in theme and amusement parks across the Chinese mainland have grown over the past five years to meet greater consumer spending on leisure activities. Domestic industry revenues are expected to hit $2.9bn this year, up 9.6 per cent from last year, according to data from IbisWorld, the market research group.

    Most of the recent China-US entertainment deals involved outbound flow from China, with investors seeking to buy properties, rights, or stakes abroad.

    Last week, Huayi Brothers Media, China’s largest privately run film production company, said it had reached a deal to finance, co-produce, and release 18 feature films by 2017 with an unnamed US partner. News reports subsequently identified the US partner as Burbank-based STX Entertainment.
    I'll be curious to see what kind of theme parks come out of this deal.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #78
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    yikes

    I worry about this with any traveling carnival or Chinese theme park.

    SCARY: 19 injured as 'flying saucer' ride dismantles mid-flight at Henan fair



    We all have that one friend with a profound fear of amusement park rides, and we will never, ever scoff at them again after seeing what happened to this ride in Xinxiang city, Henan province yesterday. All 19 people on board were thrown off the "Flying Saucer" attraction at a street fair at Tongta Temple when the saucer actually flew off of the machine.

    Fortunately, no one was killed and everyone remained fastened in their seat belt, although one of the visitors broke a bone during the crash landing.



    The machine was running when the spinning rod broke, according to Sina News. While it all looks terrifying and is pretty much any theme park-goer's nightmare come alive, it could've been way worse—imagine the carnage that would've ensued had this been one of those flying chair rides.



    If it puts anyone at ease, the owner of the ride has been detained by cops, so it doesn't look like he'll be operating his Saucer of Doom ride at a fun-fair any time soon. We hope.



    Contact the author of this article or email tips@shanghaiist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
    By Katie Nelson in News on Apr 7, 2015 1:00 PM
    Gene Ching
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  4. #79
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    2 dead, 3 injured

    Looks like a bloody scene, even with the digital blurring

    2 dead, 3 injured after tourists thrown from Zhejiang amusement park ride



    Two people were killed and three injured after a horrific accident of Final Destination proportions occurred at an amusement park in Pingyang county, Zhejiang province, according to a Weibo Post released by the press office of the local government.

    Five tourists from Aojiang Town and Shanmen Town in Wenzhou fell victim to the incident when at least three of them were thrown off a machine called the "Crazy Scream", located at the Longshan Amusement Park in Wenzhou, at around 12:05 p.m. today.



    Two of the tourists, one surnamed Chen and the other Zhou, were pronounced dead at the ICU of the Pingyang No. 1 People’s hospital, while two of the wounded, identified as Li and Chen, required medical treatment. A villager identified as Xu sustained only minor injuries and has since left the hospital, according to reports on Weibo.

    According to local media, three people were seen falling from the ride as it was mid-air, while the other two were suspected to have been hit by falling objects.



    Witnesses claim that the machine had been switched on before all the tourists on board had buckled their seat belts, leading to "multiple" tourists falling off the ride from three meters above the ground.

    According to a statement from the emergency management office of the Pingyang county, some "problems" had been spotted at the park, which received security inspection by six government officials on April 22.

    "Authorities should be summoned to implement plans and security precautions before the park opens. The problems that have been presented by the coordination board should be corrected," officials had said in a statement.

    The park has been cordoned off and the owner is under police custody. Further investigation is underway.

    Just last month, 19 people were injured when a "Flying Saucer" ride dismantled at a fair in Henan province.

    by Lily Lin
    Gene Ching
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  5. #80
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    Samadhi -- 4D Experience of Death

    There's some pix but they are copy-resistant and I don't have the time to do a work-around right now. The pix aren't that interesting, but you can just follow the link if you want to see them.

    Death simulator' attraction to open in China
    By Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN
    Updated 1954 GMT (0254 HKT) August 13, 2014

    Story highlights
    "Samadhi -- 4D Experience of Death" uses special effects to recreate an imagined experience of death
    The death-themed game was created to provoke people into considering the meaning of life
    "Samadhi" creator: "China made me rich, but it didn't teach me how to live a rich life"

    We've all wondered what it's like to die.

    Now there's a game that claims it can fulfill our curiosity, without actually killing us.

    "Samadhi -- 4D Experience of Death," is a morbid "escape room" game that uses dramatic special effects to bring players close to what its creators imagine is an experience of death.

    When it opens in Shanghai in September 2014, it will invite participants to compete in a series of challenges to avoid "dying."

    Losers get cremated -- or are at least made to lie on a conveyor belt that transports them through a fake funeral home incinerator to simulate death rites.

    The faux cremator will use hot air and light projections to create what the organizers call "an authentic experience of burning."

    After "cremation," participants are transferred to a soft, round, womb-like capsule, signifying their "rebirth."

    And the winner?

    "He'll also have to die of course," says the game's fatalistic co-founder Ding Rui.

    As in life, he explains, "everyone will die eventually, no matter what they've survived."

    Life and death

    Ding and his partner Huang Wei-ping went to great lengths researching their game, investigating the cremation process that typically awaits 50% of Chinese people after death.

    The pair visited a real crematorium and asked to be sent through the furnace with the flames turned off.

    "Ding went in the crematory first and it was stressful for me to observe from the outside," says Huang.

    "The controller of the crematory was also very nervous; he usually just focuses on sending bodies in, but not on bringing them back out."

    When it came to Huang's turn, he found it unbearable.

    "It was getting really hot. I couldn't breathe and I thought my life was over," he said.

    The pair say realism is essential to provoke participants into thinking about life and death.

    They'll operate the game while also running Hand in Hand, an organization that specializes in providing hospice support to dying patients in an oncology hospital.

    Soul searching

    Huang says his interest in death emerged during a period of soul searching after a lucrative but spiritually unrewarding career as a trader.

    "China made me rich, but it didn't teach me how to live a rich life. I was lost," he says.

    He went on to study psychology and volunteered to help in the aftermath of a 2008 earthquake in China's western Sichuan province, launching Hand in Hand shortly after.

    "It opened a new door for me -- I went there to help but I was also saved."

    Ding, meanwhile, had undertaken his own search for a meaning to life by organizing seminars with experts on the subject.

    "I invited 'life masters' from different religions and other fields to come and talk about what life is," he says.

    "I did that for two years before realizing that, instead of sitting here and listening passively, I could also do something."

    That was when the two hooked up to create the "4D Experience of Death."

    Morbid curiosity

    The pair were initially unsure of the appetite for their morbid concept, even though similar ventures have already opened in South Korea and Taiwan.

    Voluntary work in a hospice showed them that few people wanted to confront the idea of death, even when it was at hand.

    "The saddest part of the job wasn't seeing the patients passing away but how the families refused to face death -- the final days with their loved ones consisted of kind but shallow lies," says Ding.

    "We lack understanding of death and the fear can become so overwhelming."

    To sound out the idea, Huang and Ding first started a fundraising campaign on jue.so, the Chinese version of Kickstarter.

    "We received more than RMB 410,000 ($67,000) in three months, surpassing our target," says Huang. "It turns out many people in China are curious about death."

    Ding says they hope the experience will promote "life education" -- prompting people to ask questions about what they are doing with their lives and guiding them to face death in a personal way.

    "There aren't any model answers in life and death education, unlike those courses that teach you to be rich and successful," says Huang. "It is more important for people to experience it personally."

    "I was in a car crash once and the only thought in my mind then was 'why didn't I buy insurance?'" says Huang. "It wasn't what I had imagined for the final moments of my life. That romantic idea of having a flashback of one's entire life in the last moments before death -- that did not happen."

    Samadhi -- 4D Experience of Death will be completed at the end of August and is scheduled to open in September. Sessions will be conducted in Chinese. Tickets RMB249 ($40). 101-104, Building 2, Gongyi Xintiandi, 105 West PuYu Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai
    Gene Ching
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  6. #81
    So weird! I don't get it.

  7. #82
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    New Yuanmingyuan

    I'm really only posting this because I wanted to post something here today to bring attention to my Yangren Street Theme Park toilet post.

    But this is pretty amusing too.

    There are more pix if you follow the link.

    Replica of razed Chinese palace opens, but some prefer ruins
    By LOUISE WATT, Associated Press
    Updated 7:49 am, Tuesday, May 12, 2015


    This photo taken Saturday May 9, 2015, shows an aerial view of the New Yuanmingyuan, a newly-built replica of Beijing's Old Summer Palace which was looted and destroyed by French and British forces in 1860, in Hengdian township of Dongyang city in east China's Zhejiang province. Hengdian Studios built the 30 billion yuan ($5 billion) film set of what it says the 3.5 square kilometer (1.35 sq. mile) palace grounds in Beijing looked like before they were razed and left in ruins by foreign forces more than 150 years ago.(Chinatopix Via AP) CHINA OUT Photo: AP

    BEIJING (AP) — China already has its own copies of London's Tower Bridge and the Eiffel Tower. Now a life-sized model by a film studio of one of the country's own historical attractions — the Old Summer Palace — has ruffled the bosses of the original garden of emperors.

    Hengdian Studios in Zhejiang province is building a 30 billion yuan ($5 billion) film set of the 3.5-square-kilometer (1.35-square-mile) palace grounds in Beijing before they were razed and left in ruins by foreign forces more than 150 years ago.

    While the overseers of the original site have belittled the new one as a sell-out to tourism, it has won praise from some historians for preserving China's heritage.

    Part theme park, part film set, the still-under-construction attraction opened to the public on Sunday with an entrance fee of 280 yuan ($46). It is slated to be finished next year by Hengdian, one of the world's largest film studios, which already has replicas of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Gate.

    Performers in dynastic costumes carrying a gong marched underneath a traditional Chinese gate that opened on to a walkway with red buildings as visitors looked on. One employee was dressed as an emperor. Elsewhere, people rested and chatted in pavilions by the water. From a higher vantage point, they took photos in front of a view of buildings standing in rows with gray roofs with flying eaves, white walls and red pillars.

    The attraction joins the ranks of other famous landmarks that have appeared in China. The eastern city of Suzhou has built bridges to look like the Tower Bridge and Sydney Harbour Bridge, among others. In nearby Hangzhou city, there are replicas of Paris's Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees. Last year, a copy of the Great Sphinx of Giza in Hebei province built by a film company raised the ire of the Egyptian government.

    The official Xinhua News Agency reported last month that the Old Summer Palace's administrative office said the cultural heritage site was unique and could not be replicated, and that the site was prepared to take legal action if its intellectual property rights were violated. It wasn't clear what rights it was referring to, and the office declined to comment.

    Xu Xinming, chief lawyer at the China Intellectual Property Lawyers association, which offers legal advice, said China's intellectual property law only covers 50 years from when a work has been completed, but in any case "the original Old Summer Palace has been destroyed and the replica has nothing to do with intellectual property rights."

    The palace replica has raised a debate within China about the merits of the project, with Xinhua saying that many have accused it of "*******izing a site associated with patriotism."

    French and British troops burned down the Old Summer Palace in 1860. China's Communist Party-led government considers its ruins a remembrance of historical humiliation at the hands of foreign forces, and a sign of how the country has moved on under the party's rule.

    The man running the replica project, Xu Wenrong, the retired chairman of Hengdian Group, dismissed the criticisms at a news conference Saturday.

    The Chinese government has never agreed to rebuild the site because its destruction is a "national shame," said Xu. "But generations of people have all heard about the garden, they haven't been there and they expect it to be rebuilt."

    He said it was natural to charge an entrance fee to an attraction but they had built the replica "for the benefit of the people and future generations" rather than to make money.

    He said the construction was based on the original design plans for the Old Summer Palace, which was built beginning in the 18th century and given as a gift by Emperor Kangxi to his son. Subsequent emperors also used and expanded the imperial gardens and the site became China's second political center after the Forbidden City.

    A press officer from Beijing's cultural relics bureau said the new site had been built for the purposes of filmmaking and tourism. "It's fully commercial and can hardly be regarded as a decent replica because it's not situated within the Old Summer Palace, either," said the press officer, who would only give his surname, Yin.

    Wang Daocheng, a former professor at Renmin University's Qing History Institute, said he had no problem with Hengdian building a replica, and that the two sites could be complementary.

    "The Old Summer Palace represents the essence of Chinese traditional culture. Why can't we rebuild it?" he said. "There is nothing left in the Old Summer Palace apart from ruins, and if people can't see anything about the glorious architecture and gardens, then how can you educate the public?"

    On a warm day last week, tourists thronged the paths in the original site in north Beijing, filled with lakes framed by thick rows of bright flowers and overhanging trees. In the eastern part of the park, they paid 15 yuan ($2.50) extra to visit the most visible ruins, consisting of big pieces of light gray rubble and a handful of Roman columns.

    Businessman Liu Yaming, 37, using a selfie stick to take a photo of himself among the ruins, said rebuilding the site showed "a kind of ignorance of our national humiliation."

    "Some things just can't be rebuilt once they are gone," he said. "As a historical site, we'd better give it the respect it deserves."
    Gene Ching
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  8. #83
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    Shanghai Disneytown

    Why, it's just like L.A. but even more so...

    Fri, June 5, 2015
    First Disneytown Tenants Announced for Shanghai Disney Resort
    Disneytown Offers Unique Dining, Shopping and World-Class Entertainment

    While construction continues on Shanghai Disney Resort, the resort today announced the names of the first tenants for its exciting shopping, dining and entertainment district, Disneytown. The tenants include well-known and trusted local and international brands including renowned restaurants Shanghai Min, Crystal Jade, and The Cheesecake Factory operated by Hong Kong Maxim’s Group, as well as various retail options including stores under I.T group, i.t and BAPE STORE®, and a LEGO Brand Retail store. Other exciting high-profile brands including Food Republic, Coconut Paradise, The Dining Room, Hatsune, blue frog, Xin Wang Restaurant, BreadTalk, Toast Box, and Chow Tai Fook will also be the first of several dozen tenants that will work closely with Shanghai Disney Resort to offer world-class shopping and dining options.

    Shopping, dining and entertainment areas are key features of Disney resorts around the world, helping guests enjoy an integrated resort experience alongside world-class theme parks and hotels. Shanghai Disney Resort’s Disneytown will initially be comprised of a 46,000 square meter pedestrian-access area and will be located next door to Shanghai Disneyland, and within walking distance from both Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel. When the resort celebrates its grand opening in spring of 2016, Disneytown will feature nearly 50 tenants including a high-quality, diverse mix of retailers – premium, affordable luxury and fast fashion options – and exciting restaurants for families and convention guests alike. While located next to the theme park, there will be no charge for admission to this unique area.

    “Shanghai Disney Resort has worked closely with Chinese and international partners to develop new, fresh and exciting versions of these brands for guests visiting Disneytown,” said Philippe Gas, general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort. “This area will offer a distinctive Disney experience, treating guests by both day and night to great dining, shopping and entertainment amid beautiful open-air promenades and lakeshore charm.”

    With Chinese guests in mind, Disneytown has been designed by an international creative team to demonstrate the perfect blend of Disney traditions and classic Chinese and Shanghai design and cultural elements, including traditional Shikumen architecture in homage to the unique heritage of Shanghai. Disneytown will be composed of five distinct districts, including Lakeshore, Marketplace, Spice Alley, Broadway Boulevard, and Broadway Plaza, to create a variety of experiences and unique offerings within each district.

    Tenants of Disneytown will work closely with Shanghai Disney Resort to provide exclusive dining, shopping and entertainment experiences by tailoring every detail of the venues – from the decorations to menu design. Dining options will vary across the districts. Guests may enjoy fine dining experiences at upscale table service restaurants in the romantic theatre district, Broadway Plaza, where Shanghai Min and Crystal Jade will provide authentic Shanghainese and Cantonese cuisine with stunning views of Shanghai Disneyland from both balconies. The first Asia flagship restaurant of The Cheesecake Factory operated by Hong Kong Maxim’s Group and blue frog’s new-concept restaurant will be featured in Broadway Boulevard. Spice Alley will offer a variety of popular Asian cuisines in a casual, yet eclectic and fun environment and its dining experiences will offer something for everyone, including unique Southeast Asian cuisine and local Chinese delights from Food Republic, Thai food from Coconut Paradise and new Shanghainese dim sum and cuisine from The Dining Room. Casual dining experiences will be provided in Marketplace by Xin Wang Restaurant, the all-day Cantonese tea house, as well as fresh bakeries BreadTalk and Toast Box. Guests will also be able to experience a variety of waterfront dining options in the Lakeshore district such as California-style Japanese restaurant Hatsune, while enjoying views of both the lake and the Enchanted Storybook Castle to the north and the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel to the south.

    Guests who visit retail shops at Disneytown will find exciting and exclusive Disney merchandise and a wide range of other options, including the popular fashion store i.t, premium trendy fashion apparel for young adults and kids at BAPE STORE®, and luxury jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook. The area will also feature many other new experiential entries to the mainland China market, including the first flagship retail store operated by the LEGO Group in Asia to provide an integrated and diverse shopping experience with resort-exclusive offerings.

    Shanghai Disney Resort is continuously striving to identify globally–known international and Chinese brands to enrich the guest experience in Disneytown. It will be a place where guests can relax and reconnect with family and friends with amazing new experiences waiting around every corner. With something for everyone, this festive venue will be a “must-visit” for anyone living in or traveling to Shanghai.



    View of Disneytown: the district will incorporate unique Chinese and Shanghai architectural elements



    Rendering of Disneytown’s Lakeshore



    Rendering of Disneytown’s Broadway Plaza
    Gene Ching
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  9. #84
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    Slightly OT

    Not a Chinese Theme Park, a Japanese Love Hotel...

    Gene Ching
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  10. #85
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    More on Shanghai Disney

    They had me at Star Wars.

    Shanghai Disney theme park trading Main Street for the Garden of the Twelve Friends


    Bob Iger, Disney's chairman and chief executive, unveils a huge model of the Shanghai Disney Resort in a presentation at the Shanghai Expo Centre.
    Shanghai Disney
    Caption Shanghai Disney
    Julie Makinen / Los Angeles Times

    Displays showing the new Shanghai Disney attractions during a presentation at the Shanghai Expo Centre include artist renderings of the "Star Wars" attraction.
    By Julie Makinen contact the reporter

    Walt Disney Co. will roll out attractions based on “Star Wars” and Marvel superheroes at its new Shanghai theme park when the $5.5-billion facility opens next year, Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger said here Wednesday as the company kicked its publicity efforts for the long-in-the-making resort into high gear.

    After stumbling with the launches of California Adventure in Anaheim in 2001 and Hong Kong Disneyland in 2005, the company is out to prove that it has learned from past mistakes such as building less ambitious parks and failing to understand the cultural and culinary habits of its customers. Disney has spent handsomely to expand and upgrade Hong Kong Disneyland and California Adventure since their openings.

    At a splashy news event, Iger unveiled a huge model of the resort in front of Chinese journalists, thanked the Chinese government and promised that visitors would discover Disney's “most technologically innovative park.”
    Construction begins at Shanghai Disney Resort

    “Here in Shanghai we are applying everything that we've learned from our six decades of relentless innovation and creativity to deliver a world-class destination,” Iger said. “Our goal was to create something that was authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese, and we believe we've achieved the perfect blend.”

    The appeal of China is obvious: The most populous country — with roughly 1.3 billion people — is home to an expanding class of consumers that relishes the slick products that Disney generates.

    It wasn't always that way. Disney films were briefly banned in China in the mid-1990s after the company distributed a film about the Dalai Lama. But that changed in 1999 with the release of “Mulan,” which was based on a Chinese tale. Now Disney's superhero and action films do massive business here. “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which was released in China in May, grossed about $240 million here.

    When the Shanghai Disney Resort finally opens next year, it will be after years of negotiations and one major delay. In spring 2014, Disney said it would spend an additional $800 million to add attractions; earlier this year, it said it would delay the opening until 2016. No specific date has been set.

    Three employees of companies working on site said extra time was also necessary to remedy construction problems caused by Chinese contractors who cut corners and didn't meet Disney's standards.
    Water show


    Concept art of Shanghai Disneyland suggests a water show could be featured at the Chinese theme park. (Disney)

    Asked about the reasons for the delay, Disney spokesperson Angela Bliss said: “Shanghai Disney Resort is our most ambitious project and represents the Walt Disney Company's biggest foreign investment. It is also one of the largest foreign investments in the history of China. As a result of accelerating our expansion plans, we decided to target the spring of 2016 for opening.”

    Gary Goddard, a former Disney Imagineer who runs his own entertainment design firm and has worked extensively in China, said he thinks the delay was a positive sign.

    “I don't think Mr. Iger wants to open Shanghai and then have to fix things for the next 10 years as had to be done with parks of the last decade and a half,” Goddard said. “Hopes are high.”

    Shanghai Disney, which is 57% owned by the state-owned investment consortium Shanghai Shendi and 43% by Disney, represents a huge potential new revenue source for the Burbank-based entertainment giant, complementing and enhancing its film, TV and merchandising businesses. Although the Chinese government remains cautious about “foreign cultural influences,” Disney has managed to gain a substantial foothold in the country.

    Disney movies including “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Big Hero 6” earned more than $400 million in Chinese theaters in the first half of this year alone, and its cartoons are among the few foreign animations aired on state-run television. The company has a chain of language-training centers called Disney English, and last month it opened a flagship Disney store in Shanghai — the largest in the world at 54,000 square feet.

    Although Shanghai Disney has not disclosed target attendance figures or ticket prices, about 330 million of China's 1.3 billion people live within a three-hour drive or train ride from Shanghai, a metropolis of 24 million, giving the resort a huge potential audience for years to come.

    Walt Disney World in Florida, the world's most-attended theme park, attracted 19 million visitors last year, according to the Themed Entertainment Assn. Disney parks worldwide attracted 148 million visitors; nine of the top 10 most-visited parks were Disney properties.


    Shanghai Disneyland

    Jeffrey Towson, a professor of investment at Peking University and author of the “One Hour China Consumer Book,” noted that the Shanghai Expo, a world's-fair-type event in 2010, attracted 73 million visitors in just six months.

    “Demand for Shanghai Disneyland is going to be overwhelming,” he said. “Usually in emerging markets, you never quite know if the demand is there before you start selling, but this is a rare exception to that rule — the demand is so abundantly clear.”

    Towson said pricing will be crucial in managing visitor flow. A one-day Hong Kong Disneyland ticket costs about $64. It is unclear whether the opening of Shanghai Disney might diminish crowds at Hong Kong Disneyland, which finally began turning a profit in 2012. Last year, 48% of visitors to that park were from mainland China.

    The 2016 opening of Shanghai Disney will come as China is in the midst of a wave of theme-park building. China is expected to add 59 theme parks by 2020, according to a report last year by industry analyst Aecom. Universal Parks & Resorts announced last fall that it would build a $3.3-billion, 300-acre theme park in Beijing to open around 2019.

    But many Chinese theme parks tend to be modestly budgeted facilities underpinned with weak or no intellectual property and little lasting appeal.

    In Shanghai, Disney is jettisoning Main Street and some of the strongly American features of its other parks and adopting concepts unique to China, such as the Garden of the Twelve Friends, with popular Disney characters representing the dozen signs of the Chinese zodiac amid cherry trees.

    Chinese cultural elements will also be expressed during live entertainment coordinated to Chinese holidays and traditions. Although a Chinese-tiled roof for the Enchanted Storybook Castle was rejected in early planning stages, subtle Chinese flourishes are in evidence — the finial is topped with a peony, the national Chinese flower. The castle is billed as the “tallest, biggest and most complex” of any Disney castle, an important bragging right for the Chinese market.

    Stefan Zwanzger, a Singapore-based theme park expert, said one difficulty might be maintaining Disney's traditional practice of visually isolating visitors from the outside world because the park is situated not far from some of the world's tallest skyscrapers. “I hope you won't see a Chuansha town office tower from the Dumbo the Flying Elephant” ride, he said.
    Usually in emerging markets, you never quite know if the demand is there before you start selling, but this is a rare exception to that rule -- the demand is so abundantly clear. - Jeffrey Towson

    Pollution and weather also could be challenging factors for Shanghai Disney; a recent spate of torrential rains has affected the resort's round-the-clock construction schedules and turned the site into what one worker described as a “big mud pit.”

    Shanghai Disney will have six distinct “lands,” including the pirate-themed Treasure Cove, anchored by an all-new, high-tech “Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure” attraction. Other lands include Tomorrowland and Fantasyland. Attractions will include a Tarzan live show featuring Chinese acrobats and a “Frozen”-themed production.

    Outside the main park, a theater situated in a shopping, dining and entertainment district will present a Mandarin-language version of the Broadway production “The Lion King.” The resort will include two hotels.

    “We know about the new Shanghai Disney Resort and we plan to visit,” said Li Jinping, a 16-year-old student from China's Guangxi province who was attending a “Frozen”-themed ice show in Beijing. “I want it to be more thrilling than the one in Hong Kong, where the rides were a bit naive for us.”

    julie.makinen@latimes.com

    Tommy Yang and Harvard Zhang in The Times' Beijing bureau contributed to this report.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  11. #86
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    ew

    Nothing like swimming in that post-coital stew.

    'No sex!': Signs at Chongqing water park remind visitors to swim in a 'civilized' manner



    It seems as though the managers of this water park in Chongqing are seriously keen on avoiding any indecent activity within their precious pools in the wake of the Uniqlo fitting room sex scandal, as an array of hard-to-miss "no sex" warning signs were seen plastered all over the park in the Meixin Foreigner Street.



    "Swim in a civilized manner. Don’t play the roles in the Uniqlo video," one poster read, while another warned park-goers that "The Uniqlo incident was a fiasco. There is no winner in the fitting room". The signs reminded park visitors to refrain from having sex in the pools, sauna rooms and, of course, the unisex restrooms.







    With the temperature rising, public pools are bound to see an influx of visitors, so we don't blame the managers for taking a little preventative action to keep everyone's animalistic urges in line. A little reminder (and publicity) doesn’t hurt, right?







    By Crystal Lau

    [Images via NetEase]
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  12. #87
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    Chinese Fun by Photographer Stefano Cerio

    9 photos of completely deserted and utterly creepy Chinese amusement parks
    Jack Sommer
    Aug. 26, 2015, 2:41 PM 20,871 1


    Stefano Cerio
    Shenzhen's Happy Valley park covers 350,000-square-feet

    Photographer Stefano Cerio generally splits his time between Rome, Italy and Paris, France — but this past year he journeyed through China to explore its many and wildly popular amusement parks.

    Cerio was curious about what these parks had to offer, but not in the way most visitors are.

    Fascinated by the idea of "absence," he headed to the highest populated country in the world to document these parks when they were completely empty.

    His new book, "Chinese Fun," offers a rare and desolate look at various Chinese amusement parks.

    The results are both creepy and serene. See for yourself below.


    Five major themes recur in Cerio's work: representation, illusion, vision, expectations, and reality. Here, he questions whether rides, and the parks they reside in, are symbols of happiness, or merely an illusion.


    Stefano Cerio
    Shanghai Happy Valley, Shanghai

    Those five themes are explored through recreational areas generally visited by the public for holidays and vacations. What these spaces look like when they're completely empty allows us to see them in a new light — and to question their existence.

    Stefano Cerio
    Treasure Island Pirate Kingdom, Qingdao

    General images of amusement rides and carnival food stands usually trigger nostalgic, happy memories. But through Cerio's washed-out, muted color palette — and especially without people around — the spaces verge on depressing.

    Stefano Cerio
    Shijingshang Park, Beijing

    Cerio used the severe levels of pollution and consistent smog in the surrounding areas to create his own eerie dystopia through the diffused and gentle light of the gray skies.

    Stefano Cerio
    Huairou

    He took the pictures in cities across China, such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Macao, and Dongguan.

    Stefano Cerio
    Polar Ocean Park, Qingdao

    Although this strange series was shot in China, Cerio insists that the project is not social commentary on China's culture, or the country as a whole.

    Stefano Cerio
    Happy Valley, Shenzhen

    The series is actually about the concept of human amusement. We're meant to question our ideas of happiness, as well as the true nature of these structures. Cerio wants viewers to realize that happiness can be found in other, less obvious places — or simply within us, wanting and waiting to be found.

    Stefano Cerio
    Shilaoren Bathing Beach, Qingdao

    Here we have the rather mysterious cover image for Cerio's book. He doesn't explain why the giant fruit installation exists or how it came to be. That sense of wonder is part of his art.

    Stefano Cerio
    Huairou

    The feeling that Cerio coaxes with his images is purposefully "detached." He frames the structures to appear disconnected — from their environment and from the viewer. As the parks reopen and visitors flood in, the amusement parks become happy again. But Cerio asks, "Why don't they represent this to begin with?"

    Stefano Cerio
    Little China, Shenzhen

    Imagine what a great villain's lair these would make. You could stage an epic Kung Fu fight finale here.
    Gene Ching
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  13. #88
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    Great British Teddy Bear theme park

    Great British Teddy Bear theme park soon to open in Beijing



    The Great British Teddy Bear Company has joined hands with Chinese architectural firm Tenio Architectural Design to create a cuddly wonderland in Beijing's Daxing district.

    The park is part of a 200-million yuan government-led project to create an environmentally-friendly town of roses in the Weishanzhuang area of Daxing district. China News reports it will be located on a 6,600 acre plot of land next to the new Beijing airport and is expected to attract 250,000 tourists annually.

    Paul Jessup, founder of The Great British Teddy Bear Company told reporters, "families of all generations [can visit] to interact, create memories and have a British experience."

    Perhaps it's the quaint history of the family-run teddy bear company from Britain, established in 2008, which attracted Chinese investors. They're famous for modelling their teddy bears on well-known British personalities such as Prince William, Florence Nightingale, Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood.



    This "low-carbon teddy bear paradise" will meet a rising demand for The Great British Teddy Bear Company brand in China. The Sherlock Holmes bear is cited as being the best seller in the Chinese market, likely due to the runaway success of BBC's Sherlock.

    Park attractions are being marketed as a center for cultural learning. Children can experience the "Shakespeare theatre" with teddy bears based on characters from the canonical plays, and "Beefeater bears" will be present at a Tower of London attraction.



    When asked why he started the company, Jessup answered: "We wanted to create a teddy bear with true meaning, one that will be retained and then passed to the next generation. In our understanding of the teddy bear's role in human life, we design them to convey meaning, to bring joy, comfort, and historic preservation, as well as sorrow."

    By Daniel Cunningham
    Contact the author of this article or email tips@shanghaiist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
    By Shanghaiist in News on Sep 18, 2015 4:00 PM
    I didn't even know that this was a thing.
    Gene Ching
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  14. #89
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    Chinese Communist Party Children's Theme Park

    Theme park celebrating heroes of the Chinese Communist Party opens in Wuhan



    Wuhan is now host to its very own children's theme park dedicated to the Chinese Communist Party, which has conveniently opened just in time for the Golden Week holiday.



    The park occupies an area of 300,000 square meters in Wuhan's Hongshan District and is packed full of cartoon statues commemorating important figures from communist party history.



    Contemporary figures also take prominent positions, with statues also honoring the contributions made by China's astronauts and Olympic athletes.



    The park also contains plenty of exhibits from which one can learn about the glorious history of the CCP and the values which all good communists seek to uphold.



    Disneyland Shanghai looks to have some fierce competition on its hands, that is if it ever opens...



    [Images via NetEase]
    Contact the author of this article or email tips@shanghaiist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
    By Dominic Jackson in News on Sep 30, 2015 3:30 PM
    Wonder if it has rides...
    Gene Ching
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  15. #90
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    The bubble bursting?

    ...or maybe it's just these smaller parks are getting walloped by the bigger ones...

    Theme park building boom hits the skids in smaller Chinese markets
    October 3, 2015. 2:00 AM | TANGSHAN, CHINA


    The Dragon Fantasy amusement park, a 165-acre development in Tangshan City about two hours’ drive from Beijing, has no visitors. One section was opened for a few months in 2013, then closed. (Jonathan Kaiman / Los Angeles Times)

    Wei Jiushan spends his day in a fantasy land, surrounded by rides, arcades, souvenir shops, bungee-jumping towers that look like six-story-high banyan trees and a small village of mushroom-shaped houses.

    But he barely notices all of that. After all, he has his corn to harvest.

    A gruff, 52-year-old security guard, Wei says he's been working at the Dragon Fantasy amusement park for three years. The problem is that the park, a 165-acre development in Tangshan City about two hours' drive from Beijing, has no people. Developers began building it in 2011, opened one section for a few months in 2013, and then closed it again for lack of visitors and funding.

    So he grows a few rows of corn, two dozen stalks at most, in a grassy island among shuttered ticketing offices and merchandise shops by the park's front gate.

    "They don't allow me to grow corn, but I have nothing else to do," he said, holding an ear up for inspection. "The corn isn't even growing well, because the land's no good. Look, it has worms in it."
    See the most-read stories this hour >>

    The park has all the hallmarks of a white elephant with dismal prospects, in surprising contrast to what's going on in major Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou. That's where heavyweights such as Walt Disney Co. and Universal Studios are building multibillion-dollar parks, betting on huge growth in the industry.

    Analysts say that the China theme park market is worth $3.3 billion and will probably hit $4.8 billion by 2020 as the country's consumer class continues to grow. A forecast by Los Angeles engineering firm AECOM, a contractor on many projects, even predicts the number of parkgoers in China will surpass that in the U.S. by 2020.

    But outside of major tourist hubs, the parks boom has been less of a thrill ride. Many of the country's estimated 850 parks developed by cities and smaller companies have struggled to attract thrill-seeking customers.

    "They have these build-it-and-they-will come strategies — and then the people don't come," said Jeffrey Towson, a professor of investment at Peking University.

    Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services in Cincinnati, pegs much of the problem on China's economy, which is no longer growing at the breakneck pace of years past. The issue was highlighted by the August devaluation of the yuan.

    "We're already seeing a slowdown with the emerging middle class starting to hold back and not spending as much as they used to," he said.

    The Dragon Fantasy park, in Tangshan's Fengnan district, an eerily uninhabited sprawl of brand-new apartment blocks and freshly paved roads a few miles from the central city, also underscores the challenges that China faces as it attempts to shed its export- and investment-based economic model to one based on consumption.

    Tangshan is best known in China for being the site of an earthquake in 1976 that killed more than 250,000 people. In the following decades, the city developed into an industrial powerhouse, its factories churning out heavy machinery, chemicals, textiles, cement and steel.

    Yet China's appetite for raw materials is declining, and Tangshan officials have tried to transform the city into a tourism destination. A 2014 post on the Tangshan government's website said that a state-backed company, Tangshan City Fengnan City Construction Investment Co., built Dragon Fantasy with a $235-million investment. It added that the park would create 800 jobs and bring in $88 million of annual revenue.

    "This project will upgrade the whole industry, play an important part in revitalizing the industry, and also provide a high-level foundation for the extracurricular, high-tech education of our youth," it said.

    Typically, the parks are developed by local governments or state-owned enterprise that have access to land, a local developer with construction and management experience, and an entity with some source of usually cheap debt or equity, such as a local government financing vehicle, Towson said.

    "In those cities, it's like trying to play cards with a really bad hand," he said. "Maybe they're just doing what they can. And what do they got? They've got land. That's their main card to play."

    There is also money to be made through construction contracts, management fees, and selling extra land for building hotels or apartments. "The trick to getting everyone to say yes to a very speculative project is to give each party compensating near-term profits," he said.

    Before the Chinese economy showed signs of slowing, 59 theme park projects were in the pipeline in China, with dozens of Southern California-based designers and contractors winning contracts to help infuse the projects with American ingenuity and imagination.

    Well-established domestic companies have also positioned themselves to benefit from the boom. The massive Beijing-based property developer Dalian Wanda is investing tens of billions of dollars to build dozens of amusement parks across the country, including a "Wanda City park" in Xishuangbanna, a swath of jungles and thatch-hut villages near the Laos border.

    So far, none of the major projects proposed by the biggest U.S. and Chinese theme park firms have been delayed or put on hold, such as the $5.5-billion Shanghai Disney Resort set to open in the spring.

    "They are looking at this for the long run," said Naveen Sarma, senior director at Standard & Poor's. "In the long term, China is still a huge market. It's an attractive market."

    Still, previous investments abroad have shown that underperforming theme parks can be expensive.

    Disney was forced to inject $1.3 billion last year to improve and refinance aging Disneyland Paris, which has struggled with attendance and has had a rocky history since opening in 1992.

    Edward Marks, chief executive of the Producers Group, a Glendale theme park design and construction firm that has worked on Universal Studios Singapore and Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in Hengqin, China, said he would not be surprised if some smaller projects on the drawing board are shelved.

    "I see people reevaluating where they are with particular projects that haven't broken ground," he said.

    Wei, the security guard, said that he began working in steel plants when he was in his early 20s. Then the mills went bankrupt, one after another, and he was forced to find new work. The park pays him about $350 a month, he said, less than what he made at the steel plant, but enough to survive.

    "These are all supposed to be merchandise stores," he said, waving toward a row of abandoned storefronts, their colorful facades cracked and peeling. "When the park first opened, some families would come, but the rest of the park never opened.

    "The government probably just ran out of money," he added, and went back to tending his corn.

    jonathan.kaiman@latimes.com
    hugo.martin@latimes.com

    Times staff writers Kaiman reported from Tangshan and Martin from Los Angeles. Tommy Yang in the Times' Beijing bureau contributed to this report.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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