Pack Your Bags, Nick Fans: Viacom International Breaks Ground on First Nickelodeon Theme Park in China
Viacom kicked off 2017 by making history abroad. On Wednesday, Jan. 4, Viacom International Media Networks broke ground on Nickelodeon’s first theme park in China. SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will reside at the Nickelodeon Theme Park in Foshan, China by 2020.
It will be part of the 750-acre Foshan Cultural and Ecological Coastal Project, an initiative that promises to venerate traditional Chinese and international sectors such as tourism, sports, science, and technology. Nickelodeon’s attractions will comprise 250 acres of this iconic cultural hub.
Ron Johnson, executive vice president of Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products for Viacom International Media Networks lauded the project in a press release. “We are thrilled to be part of this incredible initiative and groundbreaking today,” Johnson wrote. “On-the-ground experiences like this offer kids and families an opportunity to experience and interact with the characters that they love in new meaningful way.”
Viacom licensed the Nickelodeon name for this project. Two firms—Sanshui New Town and Hong Kong Elite Global Group—will help bring Nickelodeon’s first branded attraction to China.
With the advent of China’s first Nickelodeon park, Viacom’s beloved franchises can bring a dazzling dimension of family-friendly entertainment to a flourishing region.
Thanks to its growing middle class, China is a burgeoning market for theme parks, which generate over $3 billion in revenue each year. This figure has steadily risen in the last five years, and it’s expected to reach $5 billion by the time our characters arrive.
In September 2016, Chinese business mogul WangJianlin opened his latest mega-resort, Hefei Wanda City. The elaborate facility boasts a shopping mall, movie complex and indoor water park.
Another one of China’s parks, Shengzhen Windows of the World, lets guests take a leisurely stroll through the Acropolis, the Palace of Versailles, and raft through the Grand Canyon—all before dinner. Miniature versions of the world’s most spectacular landscapes cater to global travelers on a domestic budget at Shengzhen.
Now, China welcomes beloved Nickelodeon characters.
Resorts and theme parks are ideal for branded entertainment. They offer a new realm for companies to cross-market products and services. Economic strategists expect China will boast the world’s largest movie market by 2020, according to Forbes. With the advent of China’s first Nickelodeon park, Viacom’s beloved franchises can bring a dazzling dimension of family-friendly entertainment to a flourishing region.
Last February, the network opened its first branded attraction in Asia. Tucked inside a lush jungle, Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon in Sunway Lagoon, Malaysia is built to resemble a hidden metropolis. Visitors to this lost world of woven water slides can experience interactive games, shopping extravaganzas, and a daily signature slime deluge, according to the resort website.
If you’re not planning a trip to Asia anytime soon (or if you want to wait until China’s park is open) Nickelodeon characters can be found at a few other global gatherings. There’s SeaWorld on Australia’s Gold Coast, Wet n’ Wild in Sydney, the Nickelodeon Land at Blackpool in the U.K. and Madrid, Spain, and Nickland at Movie Park in Germany.