Legoland set for Shanghai
Brick by brick, Legoland is toppling the idea that modern children are only interested in screens as sites of entertainment.
Since April, budding construction masterminds in the Shanghai area have been able to test their skills and learn from professional Lego genii at the Legoland Discovery Center. The success of this center has led to the announcement that a full-fledged Legoland theme park will be developed in the Qingpu area.
Shanghai's iconic Bund view built from Lego wows fans at the Legoland Discovery Center. [Photo from Wechat account shanghaitourism]
The technicolour brick wonderland will be operated by Merlin Entertainment Group, a British-based company that owns seven Legoland theme parks internationally.
Merlin, the world's second largest theme park operator, has entered a partnership with China Media Capital and together the companies have pledged to create a spectacular Legoland imbedded with a distinctly Chinese flavor.
In contrast to the Legoland Discovery Center that primarily targets families with children aged 3-10, the new Lego development hopes to attract the full spectrum of Danish toy aficionados. Accordingly, the new theme park is nearly 400 times larger than the discovery center and will feature a gluttony of large-scale outdoor recreational facilities.
The Qingpu site has been chosen on account of its centrality within the Yangtze River Delta and its prime proximity to the affluent markets of Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
Glenn Earlam, a managing director at Merlin, believes the area offers the company significant potential for growth.
"It is a very exciting and dynamic market and Chinese tourists love our brands."
Yang Xiong, mayor of Shanghai, meets with Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments Group on Oct 28.
The announcement comes in the immediate wake of a high-profile meeting between Yang Xiong, mayor of Shanghai, and Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainment Group. At the meeting Yang promoted the geographic and demographic appropriateness of the Yangtze River Delta and encouraged the further development of foreign cultural projects.
The Legoland theme park will represent Merlin's fourth development in the Shanghai region following Madame Tussauds, Changfeng Ocean World, and Legoland Discovery Center.