China’s Theme Park Battle: Wanda City Vs Disney Resort
Can Wanda City theme parks beat out Disney in the battle to draw customers? The new Shanghai Disney Resort opened this month and has received more than its fair share of media attention and excitement, but that’s not stopping the team behind Wanda City. The Wanda Group plans to top Disney’s resort with its own, more China-appropriate theme parks.
The Wanda Cultural Tourism City, which can be found in the city of Nanchang, will include all the typical resort amenities: hotels, shopping centers, swimming pools, outdoor and indoor amusement park, and the world’s largest ocean park.
Located in 500 acres, it has China’s fastest, highest, and longest roller coaster, a state of the art cinema complex where visitors are able to fight realistic 3D monsters, and the highest drop tower.
The park, which cost a staggering $3.3 billion, is the first of many cultural theme parks in China. Within the next five years, Wang’s Dalian Wanda Group plans to have 15 new parks constructed throughout the country and a further five in international locations.
The Wanda Group has been quite vocal about their opposition to an increasing western influence in China, from movies, television, heroic characters, and theme parks. They have spoken strongly about their goal to remove the western influence in China and have spread Chinese ideas and culture around the world.
At the park’s opening, Wang said, “Chinese culture led in the world for 2,000 years, but since the last 150 years, because of our lagging development and the invasion of foreign cultures, we have more or less lacked confidence in our own culture.” In a further statement, he said, “We want to be a model for Chinese private enterprise, and we want to establish a global brand for Chinese firms.”
Wang seems to believe Disney is no match for culture in China and the innovation of the Wanda Group. He claims that Disney is recycling ideas, characters, and products.