Merlin Entertainments is expanding its portfolio in China with the opening of the first Peppa Pig World of Play, as well as Asia’s first Dungeon and Little BIG City attractions.
The company now has eleven attractions in China and is looking to add to those with plans for a LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Beijing in 2019. In a statement Merlin also confirmed that it is in “advanced discussions” for more than one LEGOLAND theme park in China.
Peppa Pig World of Play, Shanghai
The wildly popular pre-school brand from Entertainment One now has a unique indoor attraction in China. Merlin chose Shanghai as the first location for Merlin’s Peppa Pig World of Play.
The all-year-round attraction includes ten play areas inspired by locations in the Peppa Pig TV series.
The Peppa Pig World of Play attraction concept is set to be rolled out over the next year in Beijing and Dallas with other locations to follow including New York and Michigan. The IP partnership extends Merlin’s offerings for younger visitors.
The Shanghai Dungeon on NanJing Road includes the first Dungeon standing drop ride. The attraction has been specifically created for the Chinese market, drawing on the history and legends of the city.
Merlin New Openings Director for Asia, Ben Sweet explained, “Traditionally the Dungeon brand has been associated with blood, gore and ritual humiliation of visitors, but going to China, all of these elements have their limitations, so we’ve adopted a different, humorous interpretation of history involving the mysterious legends of Shanghai which our guests absolutely love.”
Little BIG City Beijing
After the successful launch of Little BIG City Berlin last year, Merlin has opened a second version of the interactive handcrafted miniature attraction in Beijing. Cutting edge technology depicts in detail the history of the city.
Commenting on Merlin’s expansion in China John Jakobsen, Merlin’s Chief New Openings Officer, said, “China is an important market for Merlin as we continue our strategy of geographic diversification. It provides great opportunities for us to develop existing attraction concepts, as well as introduce new brands. These new openings together with additional roll out of Midway brands and rapidly developing plans for new LEGOLAND Parks, help Merlin serve the increasing appetite of Chinese consumers seeking a more interactive, immersive and better-quality entertainment experience.”
Earlier this year, Merlin Entertainments Group CEO, Nick Varney talked to Blooloop about a wide range of issues including the Group’s international growth and expansion into China.