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Hello Kitty Theme Park Coming to China

9 May
Hello Kitty wedding scene

Sanrio Puroland boat ride, Tama City, Tokyo, Japan

Mr. Broke Hoedown was kind enough to tip me off to the news that Sanrio has given permission for a Hello Kitty theme park to be built in Anji, China, just about a 3-hour drive from Pudong, the site of the upcoming Shanghai Disneyland. From AFP:

The creators of Hello Kitty, Japan’s world-famous cartoon icon of cuteness, have agreed to a $230-million outdoor theme park in China, the first on foreign soil, a company spokesman said Monday.

The Hello Kitty-themed amusement park will be completed in the city of Anji, in east China’s Zhejiang province, in 2014 under an agreement between Sanrio Co. and its Chinese partner, Sanrio spokesman Kazuo Tohmatsu said.

Sounds to me like this new Hello Kitty theme park could leverage Sanrio’s experience with Sanrio Harmonyland, in Japan’s Oita prefecture. The article also mentions “another plan to build a much smaller indoor amusement park featuring Sanrio characters in Malaysia in 2012,” which sounds reminiscent of my dearly-loved Sanrio Puroland (which I visited in 2002).

I think Mr. Broke Hoedown’s just building a case for me to join him in some trans-Pacific travel once these new theme parks come online. He’s planning a trip to Mongolia in a couple years, which might well take him through Beijing en route, and while Beijing and Shanghai aren’t exactly neighboring cities, they’re a heck of a lot closer to each other than either is to Boston.

Shanghai Applies to Central Government for Disneyland

6 Mar

From ShanghaiList:

After the long-standing ding-donging of the Disneyland project, it has also been confirmed by the mayor that Shanghai has applied to the central government for such a park (although approval has not been given yet by the National Development and Reform Commission). Shanghai’s Disneyland would be 4.7 times the size of Hong Kong’s.

Reuters has the story too, and in fact ShanghaiList links to them above, but I liked the phrase “long-standing ding-donging,” so I just had to quote them.

The fact that they’ve applied, of course, does not necessarily mean that Disney’s in on the application. And even if they weren’t in some degree of talks with Disney (which they sure seem to be, but who knows?), the term “Disneyland” gets thrown around generically anyway, as anyone who subscribes to Google News Alerts surely knows.

4.7 times the size of Hong Kong Disneyland sure sounds big, even with HK Disneyland being on the small side. Are they comparing apples to oranges, comparing the size of the actual theme park with the size of the projected Shanghai resort area? Or do they really want a big honkin’ piece of land, more like Disneyland Paris?

Shanghai Disneyland on Yangtze River?

7 Dec

Fans of a little duck named Ping will be excited to hear this rumor from the International Herald Tribune:

Shanghai is awaiting approval of mainland China’s first Disneyland, and the theme park could be built on an island in the Yangtze River, according to reports in the mainland and Hong Kong media.

Shanghai Disneyland Slated for Construction After 2010?

4 Dec

The Associated Press reports today:

Shanghai is awaiting approval of mainland China’s first Disneyland, and the theme park could be built on an island in the Yangtze River, according to reports in the mainland and Hong Kong media.

A Shanghai city spokeswoman, who like many Chinese officials refused to give her name, said Shanghai was waiting for approval of the project by the central government.

The article goes into some details about the potential site, and then states:

The park would be built after 2010, when the city is due to host the World Expo, it said.

CNN had also previously reported the 2010 prediction. It seems a little soon to me, given the various other commitments (including but not limited to the capacity expansion needed at Hong Kong Disneyland, and the major improvements slated for Disney’s California Adventure). But if Shanghai structures the deal right, I can imagine Disney going for it.

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