Merlin Entertainments has annouced an agreement with the Shanghai Jinshan District Government, CMC Inc. and KIRKBI to develop the LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort in the Jinshan District of Shanghai, China.
Scheduled for completion in 2023, LEGOLAND Shanghai will be one of the largest LEGOLAND Resorts in the world, incorporating a 250 room themed hotel. A joint venture company will be set up to fund the £500 million construction and development.
Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments, said, “I’m delighted that we are able to realise the development of a LEGOLAND Resort in Shanghai; one of the most vibrant cities in the world. A gateway city with modern consumers, Shanghai is already the home for many Merlin brands, and it has been our ambition for some time to build a full-scale theme park that offers the people of Shanghai and visitors to the area the opportunity to immerse themselves in a unique LEGOLAND experience.
“I’m honoured therefore to join our partners at this prestigious event and be able to announce this project which is a reflection of the scale opportunity in China and our commitment to developing our business here.”
China strategic market for Merlin expansion
China is a key strategic growth market for both Merlin and LEGO.
Merlin has opened five new Midway attractions in China since 2018, including the Peppa Pig World of Play in Shanghai and Little BIG City in Beijing.
Meanwhile, LEGO expects to have to have 220 stores in more than 50 cities by the end of 2020.
Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, Executive Chairman, LEGO Brand Group, an entity within KIRKBI, said, “The LEGO® brand has increased its presence, revenue and contribution in China during the past decade to create a positive impact on the development of the Chinese society with learning through play experiences. We are excited about the opportunity to bring LEGOLAND® to Shanghai Jinshan. It will give Chinese families even more opportunities to experience the benefits of LEGO® play and have fun together. We have been pleased with the positive response the LEGO® brand has received in China. KIRKBI, the LEGO® Group and LEGO® Education look forward to continuing to invest to bring even more exciting experiences to families in Shanghai and the Yangtze River Delta.”
Shanghai as a theme park destination
Mr. Hu Wei Guo, Mayor and Party Secretary of Jinshan District, Shanghai, said, “The establishment of a LEGOLAND® Park in Jinshan not only supports the economic bridge between Shanghai and Zhejiang province, and better contributes to the high-quality integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region; it also promotes Shanghai as a theme park destination with Disney Resort in the East and LEGOLAND® Resort in the west, supporting the local tourism economy. For Jinshan, it is an important opportunity to further the momentum in our regional development, enhance the area’s attractiveness and competitiveness and facilitate the growth in consumption. It also promotes the “simultaneous development of advanced manufacturing and modern service” and accelerates the pace of economic improvement in Jinshan.”
Mr. Li Rui Gang, Chairman and CEO of CMC Inc., said, “CMC Inc. has been a dedicated creator of premium entertainment content across on- and offline media. Kids and family, and themed entertainment are major parts of CMC’s content strategy. With an accelerated evolution in consumer taste among younger generations, we’ve committed ourselves to become a key player and trailblazer within this sector. We are pleased to work together with Jinshan District, Merlin, and KIRKBI to make LEGOLAND® Shanghai Resort an exhilarating destination.”
Future LEGOLAND resort developments
Images: Merlin Entertainments