Merlin Entertainments has announced plans for five Peppa Pig World of Play attractions in China and the US.
The first of the standalone indoor play centres will open in Shanghai’s LC Mall in 2018. Four further locations have already been secured in Beijing, Dallas/Fort Worth, Michigan and the New York area to open in 2019.
Merlin will build and operate the attractions under an exclusive multi-territory licensing agreement with brand owners Entertainment One (eOne). Peppa Pig is one of the world’s leading pre-school IPs with more than 1,000 licencees across 60 countries. The TV programme is aired in 180 territories in 40 different languages, and both China and the US are key markets.
The new themed indoor play centres will bring the popular pre-school TV characters to life with family-inclusive activities in ten themed play areas.
Commenting on the announcement, Mark Fisher, Chief Development Officer, Merlin Entertainments, said, “We are very excited about the opening of the world’s first ever Peppa Pig World of Play in partnership with eOne. Peppa Pig is an exceptionally strong brand, recognised and loved by families around the world, and the global preschool market for location-based entertainment represents a great opportunity for Merlin. The attraction’s unique concept and flexible design means we are excited about the rollout potential of these attractions, with an initial focus on China and the US.”
Andrew Carley, eOne’s EVP Global Licensing, Family & Brands, added, “Peppa Pig is a brand loved by children and families across the world and we are thrilled that our partnership with Merlin will create the ultimate Peppa Pig indoor play experience for her many fans. The partnership with Merlin underlines our own long term strategy of building enduring success for Peppa Pig and this attraction will play an integral role in making it a favorite pre-school property for many years to come.”
Merlin Entertainments launched Peppa Pig themed areas at Gardaland, Italy and Heide Park, Germany earlier this year as well as Peppa Pig-themed accommodation at both Resort Theme Parks.
In April there were reports that eOne was working with Alpha Group to open a Peppa Pig theme park in China.
Peppa Pig World opened in 2011 at Paultons Park, and transformed the attraction, doubling attendance from 500,000 to 1 million visitors a year, and delivering the title of Trip Advisors’ top UK theme park.