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Thread: Chinese Theme Parks

  1. #31
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    Oz and China...

    Also worthy of note here: Shaolin Temple OZ
    China theme park for Oz
    Mon, 03 Dec 2012 3:32 PM

    A China theme park in Australia featuring a full-size replica of gates to the Forbidden City and a nine-storey temple could rival the Sydney Opera House as a tourist drawcard, officials said on Monday.

    The planned A$500-million attraction moved a step closer after Wyong Shire Council in New South Wales signed a deal on Sunday to sell 15.7 hectares of land to the company behind the proposal. Construction of the seven-sectioned theme park 80 kilometres north of Sydney is set to begin in 2015 and be finished by 2020.

    On completion it is expected to employ more than 1000 people.

    "What this proposal will do is turn the Wyong Shire into a tourist mecca and bring millions of dollars worth of tourism into the area - which will have a flow on effect to the entire region's economy," Mayor Doug Eaton said.

    "Outside the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, this has the potential to be among the biggest tourist attractions in the state."

    The first stage of the theme park to be built is likely to be the replica of an entrance to the Forbidden City, Beijing's Imperial Palace, complete with red walls and golden roof.

    There will also be a section constructed in the architectural style of the Tang and Song dynasties, with small courtyards typical of a Chinese neighbourhood, and another in the style of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

    Other areas will include the temple, a theatre, a royal villa, and a children's section devoted to pandas, though not including any live animals.

    "It is going to be a unique $500-million tourist attraction, employing more than a thousand people and bringing economic prosperity to Wyong Shire," said Bruce Zhong, chairman of Australian Chinese Theme Park, the private company behind the project.

    The park will tap in to the growing number of tourists from China visiting Australia.

    China is Australia's fastest growing and most valuable international tourism market, worth more than A$3.8-billion in 2011, with more than 400 000 Chinese visitors coming to New South Wales state each year.
    Gene Ching
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  2. #32
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    Kung Fu Panda: Land of Awesomeness

    This is slightly OT as its not in China...
    New thrill ride to open at Dreamworld
    Tanya Westthorp | 12:01am December 7, 2012

    DREAMWORLD will launch a new big thrill ride and a Kung Fu Panda-themed land before Christmas in the latest battle between the Gold Coast's five theme parks.

    The Coomera-based theme park will open its third DreamWorks Animation precinct -- Kung Fu Panda: Land of Awesomeness -- featuring the latest thrill ride Pandamonium along with a new Big Red Boat ride in Wiggle's World.

    It will cap off a massive 18 months of multimillion-dollar investment by park owner Ardent Leisure, which has stepped up the competition against Village Roadshow -- the owner of Movie World, Sea World and Wet 'n' Wild.

    Dreamworld marketing and sales general manager Kathryn Valk said the 31-year-old theme park had undergone a major facelift in the past year and a half which included opening three huge rides, revitalising the main street, adding new shows, becoming home to the Big Brother house again and partnering with DreamWorks Animation to build three film-inspired lands.

    "We are proud of our heritage, we are part of Australia's DNA as the country's biggest theme park," she said.

    "But we are always looking for something new and to embrace everything that is really unique to Dreamworld.

    "We have a focus to keep revitalising and refreshing to remain relevant."

    The Kung Fu Panda land will join the already opened Madagascar Madness and Shreks Faire Faire Away lands in the new DreamWorks Experience precinct.

    The new land will be themed around an ancient Chinese village and will be home to the Skadoosh bumper cars, Kung Fu Academy and the brand new Pandamonium thrill ride.

    The new ride offers two speeds, allowing those after a calmer ride to be spun around and swung side to side in a Rickshaw car.

    Thrillseekers who queue in the other line will be strapped in for a crazy 2.5-minute cycle that sends them soaring 8m high, round and round, side to side and upside down at up to 3.8 G-forces.

    "Who doesn't love a new thrill ride?" said Ms Valk.

    "We are the home of thrill rides and this is quite a unique ride -- there isn't one of this kind in Australia."

    She said the new lands had refreshed the park.

    "It has given us the lift we needed," said Ms Valk.

    "It is all about entertainment, escapism and magic and to remain true to the films we need to ensure guests are fully immersed in the lands.

    "I think Kung Fu Panda land is going to be my favourite -- it is truly spectacular."

    The new land and ride will open on December 21.
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  3. #33
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    China & UK

    This reminds me of the Splendid China theme park that used to be in Florida.
    12 Dec 2012
    Visions of China theme park developers sign deal with Rotherham council
    BY Jessica Tasman-Jones



    The Visions of China theme park, planned for a former opencast coal mine in the Rother Valley Country Park, is one step closer to development with a lease agreement signed between the local council and developers.

    The proposed 120-acre attraction is projected to cost more than £100m and would showcase Chinese architecture, garden design and culture and customs.

    A Rotherham Borough Council spokesperson confirmed the authority has entered agreements for the leasing of 153-acres of land, meaning developer Mid City Developments (MCD) and leisure operator China Vision Ltd can move ahead with plans for the project.

    Rotherham Borough Council picked Visions of China as the preferred development for the former Pithouse West colliery site in August last year, stating the attraction would increase visitor numbers to Yorkshire.

    China Vision expects 1.5 million people will visit the park each year where they will see Oriental lakes and gardens, a Chinatown retail street, a Shaolin temple, theatre, children's "fantasy land", restaurants, and an Oriental-themed spa and hotel.

    The project is expected to create 200 jobs during its two-year construction and 380 permanent jobs once in operation.

    MCD chief executive Peter Moore has said they will work closely with Chinese architects and landscape to ensure the authenticity of the project.
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  4. #34
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    Theme park fever

    Case and point: 'More than 100 new theme parks have been built nationwide this year alone...'

    Time to abandon obsession with theme parks
    (People's Daily Online)
    08:46, December 26, 2012

    Chongqing's Hechuan district plans to invest 3.5 billion yuan building a 500-hectare theme park based on Chinese cartoon Xiha Youji. Hyped as the “Disneyland of China,” it is expected to open in 2016. Back in August, the city’s Nan’an district announced plans to invest 10 billion yuan to build the largest theme park in western China based on various Chinese cartoons. Compared with the 500-hectare theme park in Hechuan district, the Disneyland being built in Shanghai only covers more than 113 hectares.

    Chongqing is not the only Chinese city to be obsessed with theme parks, and there has long been a “theme park fever” in China. More than 100 new theme parks have been built nationwide this year alone, and over 20 theme parks have been marketed as the “Disneyland of China” in recent years. Surprisingly, many theme parks are located in second- and third-tier cities with a relatively small number of tourists and inconvenient transportation.

    As a matter of fact, there are around one fourth of theme parks making profits nationwide, whereas all of the remaining theme parks are money-losing, and even descend to burdens of local governments and investors. Even if the genuine “Disney” – Hong Kong Disneyland - makes profits after it had struggled for seven years, during which period it had lost hundreds of millions of yuan. In this case, it is evident that how far the mimic “Disney” could go.

    As the name suggests, a theme park shall first have a “theme”. The success of Disney theme park is resulted from the enduring effect of Disney’s animated films in eight decades to a great extent. Its endless animated films and well-known animated characters not only attract generations of audiences to enjoy themselves in front of screens, but also make theme parks derived from the animation industry popular.

    Compared with the animation industry abroad, China’s animation industry is still in its infancy. In this summer vacation, four Chinese animated films were shown one after another, but brought box-office receipts that were merely half of an imported animated film. Moreover, as theme parks are derivative products that would become popular only after the animation industry gets mature, they would stumble during the future development in such a context that the animation industry has not been high recognized. I wonder how many tourists will visit a “theme park” without theme.

    In fact, another reason for the enthusiasm in building theme parks from place to place is that local governments intend to develop tourist properties under the name of theme parks. Though they know that theme parks are hard to make profits, they still stick with them because they could earn profit in other ways. In recent years, many theme parks have worked with property projects for support. As theme parks are developed as cultural projects, developers are easier to obtain commercial lands on that ground. Furthermore, many developers of theme parks that have been recently built have the background of commercial properties themselves.

    However, theme parks that have been developed in haste not only occupy a lot of lands, but also add make China’s staggering animation industry to lose more due to these theme parks. Worse still, as various parks are only backed up by a few number of nameless animation products, they would be reduced to common amusement parks, fall into a vicious circle of ****genization, and become difficult to sustain them.

    As a result, it is high time for the current fever of theme parks to cool down.

    Source:Worker's Daily, author: Zhao Ang.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #35
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    Found this one

    On reddit.

    Unlicensed Wow themepark.
    http://imgur.com/a/fUZhL
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  6. #36
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    Cool find, DJ!

    This got picked up by Forbes even.

    Games | 1/14/2013 @ 4:33PM
    Check Out China's Amazing Unlicensed 'World Of Warcraft' Theme Park


    It may not be strictly legal, but this World of Warcraft themed Chinese theme park looks absolutely amazing.

    I must admit, a World of Warcraft theme park with truly massive statues and some pretty neat looking rides sounds like way more fun than Disney Land.

    That being said, this particular theme park was built without the blessing of World of Warcraft developer/publisher Blizzard so it’s basically one of the most daunting violations of intellectual property I’ve ever heard of—an IP violation that cost some $48 million to build.



    These photos are from redditor FrancescaO_O who has a bunch more posted here. According to her, the theme park is actually pretty amazing. “A lot of the rides used 4-D and special effects,” she says, “which I hand’t experienced much of before. There was a good roller coaster with loops, where you are lying horizontally, face forward, like you are flying. That was my favourite ride. The water log ride (‘splash of monster blood’) was pretty good too.”



    It may be a blatant copyright violation, but then again, would we have ever seen a World of Warcraft theme park without countries like China willing to not simply bend the rules, but shred them into oblivion?

    Either way, I want to go. I want to go see if the people who visit Changzhou, China, where the park is located, go as cosplayers. I bet they do. Now we just need two things: First, an unlicensed Chinese Star Wars theme park, and second, for the Minecraft community to replicate this park block by block.
    This park looks super awesome, and I'm not even into WoW at all.
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  7. #37
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    Look at the truck nuts on this centaur!



    Kung Fu is good for you.

  8. #38
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    random ttt

    It serves as a reminder of why this thread exists.
    China's Theme Park Boom
    Published February 05, 2013 in Arabic Knowledge@Wharton

    In April 2011 in Shanghai, Disney Resorts made its official arrival in the city. The multinational entertainment company broke ground on a new resort site on the outskirts of Shanghai, marking the occasion with a celebration that included a choir singing in both English and Mandarin and Mickey Mouse dancing onstage in a traditional Chinese costume.

    "This is a defining moment in our company's history," said Disney CEO Robert Iger to a crowd. The new park, he promised, would be "both authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese."

    Disney's arrival is the most high-profile example of a theme-park boom taking place in China. The government officials and Disney officers that grabbed shovels on that afternoon were at the center of a trend that has new parks opening in cities all over China and, according to analysts, attracted a total of over 100 million attendees in 2011.

    "There has been amazing growth in the Chinese theme park market," says John Gerner, the founder of a U.S.-based consulting firm called Leisure Business. "The government is encouraging domestic consumption -- and when [consumers] spend more internally, one of the things they spend on is leisure."

    Theme park development, says Gerner, tends to follow the growth of the middle class. With more disposable income, people have become more interested in spending on leisure and entertainment. The rule, he says, applies to growth in the middle class not only nationally but regionally within a given country. "If a market can support a theme park, then you can be sure that it has a pretty good middle class," he says.

    Gerner'shypothesis is supported by climbing park attendance numbers in China. The country's middle class has expanded rapidly in the last two decades, and in 2011 alone, six major theme parks opened across the country, many in smaller, second-tier cities. These included two water parks, two sea-life parks and theme parks in the cities of Qingdao and Changzhou, a neighbor to Shanghai. By the year 2020, analysts expect theme park attendance will double to more than 200 million each year.

    The rush to build new theme parks and capitalize on this new market, however, is no measure of the quality of parks that are opening. Many parks are still not turning a profit and many are aging quickly, without any reinvestment from park runners. As Disney and other international parks arrive, however, analysts expect that China's theme parks will have to improve to compete. When Disney opens in 2015, a new and improved theme park boom is expected.

    The Township Model

    China's first theme park opened in the early 1990s, added to residential developments as a bonus -- an extra attraction for the city's new residents. "[Developers] had the idea of building a town, and decided to include a number of theme parks to anchor the development," says Chris Yoshii, the global director of the consulting group AECOM. "That township model has caught on. It has been replicated in China and to some extent in South East Asia."

    The attraction of combining a residential and commercial development with a theme park, Yoshii says, has to do with the intensive capital requirements that come along with theme parks. Parks are attractive to local governments because they can attract tourism and encourage locals to spend their disposable income within the city. A successful park, however, requires infrastructure and a large initial investment. "A lot of the cities themselves don't have money to invest themselves, but they do have land," says Yoshii. To get their theme parks, cities will offer land to developers willing to include a theme park in their plan. This way, Yoshii says, "The city gets what they want without putting out much money. All they have to do is issue land approvals."

    In turn, a developer can include residential and commercial units in their theme park "township." These aspects of the development offer a quicker return on investment. "They can use the residential element to pay for some of the infrastructure costs," says Yoshii. "And at the end, you have a park that is generating a good return while some of the capital has already been paid back."

    While the majority of theme parks in China are built this way, the formula does not always produce stellar results. In some cases, developers have not delivered on their promise to develop a theme park and have focused instead on residential and commercial real estate alone. In others, the theme park is an afterthought --poorly put together, poorly maintained and poorly run.

    "Surveys show that the majority of theme parks [in China] have been loss making," points out Michel Brekelmans, the co-head of L.E.K. Consulting's China operationsbased in Shanghai. Local governments will often offer land at a steep discount to developers who include a theme park in their plan. "Not surprisingly, many of these parks have ben unsuccessful and leave visitors with a disappointing experience," Brekelmans says.

    China's earliest parks were intended to present China to foreign tourists. These include the parks Splendid China and China Folk Cultural Village. Soon after, a park called Window of the World opened in Shenzhen, offering visitors a look at theworld-the pyramids, the Eiffel Tower-on a small scale. China's largest theme park chain, Happy Valley, opened its first park in the 1990s, offering a more Western-style format, introducing its own characters and dividing the park into different themed areas.

    While Happy Valley has been successful and expanded, the majority of parks opening in China are either animal themed or loose adaptations of existing theme parks. According to Brekelmans, the majority of new parks will present visitors with an amalgamation of thrill rides, roller coasters and Ferris wheels. "More recently local operators are realizing that theming … is a key factor in marketing the park and creating the overall experience," he says. "We're seeing more attempts to come up with original concepts."

    Although Brekelmans believes the majority of new parks opening in China are still poorly planned and unlikely, in the long run, to succeed, he also sees changes in the market. With the arrival of Disney and other multinational projects, he says, more expertise and dedication is being shown across the board. "A wave of [joint ventures] with foreign players is entering the market, bringing with them the skills and concepts to succeed in China," he says. "Slowly local players are learning lessons, and many smaller upstarts have exited the market."
    continued next post
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  9. #39
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    continued from previous

    International Arrivals

    Disney is not the only multinational theme park company to arrive in China. DreamWorks recently announced they would be investing more than $3 billion in a dining, shopping and entertaining district that will include theme park attractions based on some of the animation studio's popular movies. Both companies are entering the market in joint-venture structures, partnering with the Chinese state-owned enterprise Shanghai Shendi, in Disney's case, and China Media Capital, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd., in DreamWorks' project.

    While the presence of international players may drive some domestic theme parks out of business, Yoshii says in the past, the arrival of Disney Resorts in international markets hasactually boosted the theme park market overall. "When parks like Universal or Disney open, they raise the standards of what people in that market consider a good theme park environment," he says. At the same time, the arrival of a Disney park helps familiarize people with what a theme park experience entails.

    "Americans are very familiar with theme parks," points out Leisure Business's Gerner. "Walt Disney was very smart when he worked out a deal with the ABC TV network to do a show." The Disney show helped promote the theme park to its audience, educating them on what to expect from the Disney experience. "Outside the U.S., a lot of people don't really know what theme parks are, and it takes quite a bit to educate them," he notes. "This is not in any way a formal education, but by hearing commercials and news stories people get a better understanding."

    This education process happens faster when there is a major resort entering a market. For these reasons, Gerner says, the arrival of Disney typically leads to an increase in the number of theme parks in a market. In Japan, for example, the opening of Tokyo Disney led to a wave of new theme parks, many of which are still very successful.Disney's high ticket-prices also have a tendency to buoy the rest of the market, says Yoshii. "Disney is going to come in at the highest price, and that has a bit of an umbrella effect," he notes. "They can raise their pricing a little bit and still be under Disney. Overall, it's a positive impact."

    Shanghai Disney is expected to anchor an entertainment district that will fit the pattern of other Chinese theme parks. The Disney resort will include a theme park, an entertainment district, a shopping district and restaurants. Shanghai Shendi, says Yoshii, will be responsible for the residential and other development around the Disney resort.

    Chinese-style Attractions

    As more multinationals arrive, adapting to the Chinese market has been a priority. Disney has emphasized the fact that their park will incorporate Chinese cultural elements to the traditional Disney fare. Modifications to the design of the park have been announced in public, including the elimination of "Main Street," a central feature in all other Disney resorts, and the inclusion of the largest storybook castle in the world.

    Chinese audiences, says Yoshii, do demonstrate different preferences from their Western counterparts. "It's less about the thrill roller coaster in China," he says. "There's a very strong preference for shows. Chinese audiences tend to like music and dancing and animal shows. These are more passive attractions."

    While multinational operators are trying to adapt to Chinese consumer habits, Brekelmans believes that China's theme park developers are slowly becoming more creative and savvy about the market, adding their own cultural flavor to home-grown parks. "We are seeing attempts to come up with original concepts based on Chinese culture and history such as Ming dynasty parks or The Monkey God," he says. "These could be hugely successful if executed to high operational standards, as they would enhance the overall experience and customer satisfaction which would drive return visits and merchandising sales."

    Part of the learning curve, he adds, is the realization that smart marketing and well-placed reinvestment provide an important boost to theme park revenue. Spending on retail and concessions make up an important part of park profits. "Besides ticket revenue, themeparks also need to drive value by getting people to open their wallet for drinks, food and merchandising," says Brekelmans. "Creating a strong themed experience is critical in this respect."

    Globally, the most successful parks also continuously invest in new attractions, opening a new ride or a new show on a regular schedule. "For theme parks to be successful on their own, it's critical to drive repeat visits," Brekelmans says. This means re-investment, offering new attractions that can bring visitors back for their second, third and fourth visits. "In China, this does not necessarily mean coming up with a new attraction every two years, as these can be highly risky and capital intensive investments," Brekelmans says. "China has a great tradition in staged acrobatic performances, for instance, and these could be a great draw for people if done well and to a high standard."

    While many of the parks opening today are buoyed by growth in the market overall, Brekelmans believes the operators who understand these dynamics have a better chance at survival in the long-term. And, while many of today's new parks will close, China's theme park boom isn't expected to slow down any time soon.

    "There will likely be another wave of development after Disney's arrival," says Gerner. "That wave may include more foreign brands, but it will continue to boost the domestic brands as well."
    Actually, you really don't have to read this whole article to know why this thread exists. You can just look at DJ's post above to get the picture.
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  10. #40
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    Slightly OT...

    It's Russia...but it's also Kung Fu Panda

    DreamWorks Animation licenses ‘Shrek,’ ‘Madagascar,’ ‘Kung Fu Panda’ for Russian theme parks
    By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, February 15, 10:15 AM

    GLENDALE, Calif. — DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. says it is licensing its characters to a developer of theme parks in Russia.

    The Regions Group of Companies plans to open parks in St. Petersburg, Moscow and the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg in 2015.

    DreamWorks said Friday that the parks will be Europe’s largest year-round indoor entertainment zones. The zones will be part of larger entertainment complexes, each featuring a mixed-use movie and concert hall, a movie theater, a hotel and a retail center.

    Some franchises that are to be featured at the parks include “Shrek,” ‘’Madagascar,” ‘’How to Train Your Dragon” and “Kung Fu Panda,” as well as upcoming films such as “Turbo,” a movie set to debut in July about a snail that gets super speedy powers.

    DreamWorks shares were up 54 cents, or 3.2 percent, at $17.48 in afternoon trading on Wall Street Friday.
    Gene Ching
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  11. #41
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    I love it when it all comes together

    See our Stephan Chow's Journey to the West thread here.

    Stephen Chow Signs Deal for 'Journey to the West' Theme Park
    3:31 AM PST 2/22/2013 by Clarence Tsui


    The actor-director will have a 25 percent stake in the 173-acre amusement park, set to open in 2015 in the Chinese city of Wuzhen, 90 minutes from Shanghai.

    HONG KONG -- Stephen Chow Sing-chi has been traveling the lengths and breadths of China for the past few weeks promoting his CGI-blockbuster Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons. But his trip to Wuzhen -- a city with a population of 60,000 (tiny by Chinese standards) -- is of as much significance to him as any other stop in his nationwide tour: He was visiting the town, which is a 90-minute car ride from Shanghai, to help cement his cinematic legacy in the form of a new theme park based on his latest film.

    Appearing with Dong Ping, the chairman of Hong Kong-listed China Vision Media, Chow inked a deal that will give him a 25 percent stake in a project tentatively titled "Journey to the West Film City," with its central theme revolving around not just Chow’s current film, but also installments from the A Chinese Odyssey franchise, his 1990s adaptations of the titular classic Chinese novel.

    According to a report in the Beijing Times newspaper, the company’s vice-president, Wang Jing, said the complex would boast “high-tech entertainment”, elements of cultural tourism, hotels, exhibition and commercial facilities. The site will take up an area of about 700,000 square meters (about 173 acres).

    Construction is slated to begin in the second half of 2013, with the first parts of the complex opening to the public in 2015, the company said. The Beijing Times report said Chow and a China Vision Media subsidiary signed an undisclosed agreement last October with a view towards collaborating on film-themed entertainment complexes and theme parks.

    By Thursday, Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons has taken in 853 million yuan ($136 million) since it opened on Feb. 10, and is now set to challenge the 1.2 billion yuan ($192 million) domestic-film box-office record set by Xu Zheng’s comedy Lost in Thailand last month.

    The Journey to the West theme park is just the latest in a line of Chinese property development projects spinning off from hit blockbusters. Last July, filmmaker Feng Xiaogang (Back to 1942) teamed up with his long-time backers, the Huayi Brothers studio, and Mission Hills Group to build a theme park based on his work.

    Provincial governments, film studios and media companies are also investing in similar projects, with Changchun Film Group -- formerly a state enterprise -- reportedly investing nearly 44 billion yuan ($7.06 billion) in the construction of a theme park in the southeastern island province of Hainan.
    Gene Ching
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  12. #42
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    Captain America in Hong Kong

    And I was hoping they'd get an area dedicated to Star Wars.
    February 27, 2013, 4:59 PM
    Hong Kong’s Disneyland to Get Marvel Superheroes


    Mario Tama/Getty Images
    Superheroes like Captain America and Captain Marvel are coming to Disneyland in Hong Kong soon.

    Famed Marvel Comics superheroes like Spider-Man, X-Men and the Fantastic Four will soon call a part of Hong Kong Disneyland home, when the theme park opens an area dedicated to the comic-book stars.

    On Wednesday, Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang said the theme park, which is 52%-owned by the city’s government, will add an area featuring “Marvel heroes” as part of the resort’s expansion program.

    Hong Kong Disneyland, the smallest of Walt Disney Co. DIS +1.20%’s parks worldwide, last week reported its first annual profit since its 2005 opening. The park has struggled over the years to boost attendance from its key target demographic—tourists from mainland China—many who aren’t enamored enough of Disney characters to make a special trip to the park. The park has also been competing with Ocean Park, a Sea World-type marine park in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Disneyland has added several new themed “lands” over the last few years to boost its size and attractiveness.

    The addition of Marvel in Hong Kong will be the first of its kind of any Disney resort, and could be a big draw for mainland Chinese tourists after the success of several Hollywood smash-hits that featured Marvel characters. Marvel superheroes could also attract older and more affluent visitors, as opposed to the younger audiences that the traditional Disney characters target.

    The Marvel addition is the latest move by Disney aimed at reaping the benefits of its $4 billion acquisition in 2009 of Marvel Entertainment. In May, “The Avengers”, the first Marvel film to be released by Disney since its Marvel purchase, shattered box-office records.

    Earlier, Disney said it would prioritize plans to introduce theme-park rides based on Marvel superheroes.

    – Jeffrey Ng
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  13. #43
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    holy crouching tigers!

    Oh man, one of us has got to do this. Dang it, our man in Kunming is back home already.
    Sunday, August 25, 2013
    Kung Fu? no big deal
    www.odditycentral.com


    Remember those awesome action sequences from the movies like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, where kung fu masters would float through the air, skim on water and do battle through tall bamboo trees? A Chinese resort is now giving martial arts enthusiast the chance to perform these impossible feats themselves with the help of special effects equipment used on the big screen.

    A martial arts theme-park in Kunming, China, has invested around $800,000 in high-tech special effects equipment that gives kung fu fans the chance to perform the impossible stunts of their favorite movie icons. From skywalking to skimming on water, anything is possible at the Wild Duck Lake Resort, thanks to a computer-controlled wire system almost identical to the ones used in blockbuster films. This is apparently the first time people outside the movie business get the chance to live their dreams of becoming legendary kung fu masters, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

    According to a theme-park spokesman, the computer controls how fast and how far visitors travel on the water and through the air, once they are connected to the wires. So all they have to do is strike a nice pose as their friends and family take photos. Fees for the realistic martial arts experience start as low as $15, so if you’ve always fantasized about starring in your own kung fu flick, this is one chance you don’t want to miss.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Oh man, one of us has got to do this. Dang it, our man in Kunming is back home already.
    Nuts!! As if missing Kingdom of the Little People wasn't bad enough! I also missed my chance for a "realistic martial arts experience."

  15. #45
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    You must go back, ShaolinDan

    Or we could go to a Monkey King-themed park in Beijing, China

    Theme Park Insider interview with Dave Cobb, on Chinese theme parks and overcoming the knock-off culture
    Written by Robert Niles
    Published: August 21, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    This week on the Theme Park Insider Podcast, we talked with Dave Cobb, senior creative director at Thinkwell, an independent theme park design firm in Burbank, California. Thinkwell's the team behind The Making of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in the United Kingdom, as well as the Special Effects Stage show at Universal Studios Hollywood, among many other projects around the world. Before joining Thinkwell, Dave worked at Universal Creative, where he was the creative director for Men in Black: Alien Attack at Universal Studios Florida, then he moved onto the Paramount Parks chain, where we oversaw themed attractions such as the Italian Job Stunt Coaster and Tomb Raider, before that chain was sold to Cedar Fair.

    Dave Cobb. Photo courtesy Thinkwell GroupIn our conversation, we talked about one of Thinkwell's current big projects, a Monkey King-themed park in Beijing, China. From there, we got into a broader discussion about how parks copy one another, and how, too often, they miss the crucial distinction between form and function that leads fans to fall in love with great theme park attractions.

    Dave: Money King, yeah, we just wrapped up schematic on that, maybe a little further. All of our projects are broken up into phases. In most of the theme park world, it's usually blue sky phase, concept development and refinement, schematic, which is where you figure out space and size and cost, design/development, which is where you actually figure out engineering and architecture, and then production, which is when you put stuff in the ground. Usually, you end up putting stuff in the ground sometime in D/D, hopefully.

    Unlike an operator, a Disney or a Universal, we don't have the luxury of saying from the get-go, we're absolutely for sure going to build something. A lot of the time we're hired by clients in phases. Monkey King is a perfect example of that. We did the concept back in late 2009, early 2010, and that was with a developer in China who does a lot of real estate. They had us develop a concept package which then went to the Chinese government for approvals and blessings and everyone said hey, this looks great. Then we did a concept refinement, and we finished schematic a couple months back. It's this huge package. What's funny is that we brought them the final package and it was like three feet tall, and they said you didn't need to bring so many copies, and we said, no that's just one -- it's the schematic. It's literally hundreds of sheets per attraction.

    The Monkey King project really represented a milestone for us in our projects dealing with China. It was the furthest got in terms of design/development with a project there. Also, culturally. Those are stories [Monkey King] that are in the DNA of more than a billion people. You can't screw it up. And that was a concern, but we have a lot of designers who either are Chinese or have worked on projects in China before. We actually had a couple of Beijingers (where the park is going) working on the project here [in Burbank] and we really tried to imbue the whole team not just with a sense of cultural responsibility -- of course that's there, that's assumed -- we wanted them to really celebrate it and get their heads into why these stories are so cool.

    It's easy to look at them [the Monkey King stories] and think, oh, they're fairy tales. But they're really more than that. They're national consciousness in a lot of ways. They're superheroes. They're a trickster character who lives by his guile and thumbs his nose at the authorities. So there really are some fun themes to play with there. Half of the challenge was to find unique ways to show off what we do, which is spectacle and Western entertainment and dark rides -- all the stuff they're hiring us for. But [we have to] make sure it still stays true to why people like those stories.

    I had a standard question I would ask all the clients: "What's your favorite Monkey King story, and why?" Journey to the West is the name of the book, and there are 100 or so chapters. And everybody had a different answer. Now, there was a constant on a couple of them. There were two or three that were always in everyone's top [answers], and those became some of our bigger attractions. (Laughs)

    The gratifying part of this was, after pitching to cultural consultants and people there, we pitched to this guy who is head of one of the film boards in China. He approves which films from outside of China get played in China. He's that guy. I pitched one of the rides that all of us worked so hard on, and at the end he stood up at the desk and he applauded. I was so tickled. One of our guys was actually recording that moment, so we showed it to the team when we got back.

    It's a challenging place to work for a lot of reasons, but the culture is so incredibly cool and different from ours, yet [it's] the same and different. People ask me, how different is a theme park there? Well, at the end of the day they're hiring us for spectacles and dark rides. They want that. But how do we address that to a Chinese sensibility and culture? That's an ongoing collaboration.

    Robert: The stereotype of Chinese theme parks is, thanks to Tumblrs on the Internet, cheap knock-offs of Western theme parks. The Bizarro Disneyland.

    Dave: [Laughs] And I've been to all those.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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