Theme parks are big business in Asia. In fact, in 2019, the top 20 theme parks in the region enjoyed a total of 141.3 million visits. Theme parks are particularly popular in China, which is home to myriad theme parks run by companies such as Fantawild Holdings, OCT Group and Chimelong Group.
However, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea claimed the top spots for the region. Also popular were Universal Studios Japan, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom and Shanghai Disneyland. Keep scrolling for blooloop’s top 19 theme parks in Asia.
1 Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo Disneyland in Tokyo, Japan is part of Tokyo Disney Resort and opened on April 15, 1983. The theme park is home to 44 attractions, 48 retail outlets, and 54 food and beverage facilities. Covering 51 hectares, Tokyo Disneyland has seven themed lands, as well as the iconic Cinderella Castle.
The largest expansion in the history of Tokyo Disneyland opened in September 2020. It covers Fantasyland, Tomorrowland and Toontown. Fantasyland launched a ride, shops and F&B themed to Beauty and the Beast. Tomorrowland and Toontown added attractions based on Disney’s Big Hero 6 and Minnie Mouse.
2019 attendance – 17,910,000
2 Tokyo DisneySea, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo DisneySea in Tokyo, Japan launched on September 4, 2001. Covering 49 hectares, it features 35 attractions, 40 retail outlets, and 40 food and beverage facilities. Inspired by the myths and stories of the sea, Tokyo DisneySea boasts seven themed ports with rides, live entertainment, shopping and F&B.
The park is expanding with Fantasy Springs, the eighth Tokyo DisneySea port, now set to begin operations in 2023. It will house waterfalls and ponds brimming with magical waters and will feature three areas themed to Frozen, Tangled and Peter Pan. OLC is investing $2.2 billion in the expansion of Tokyo DisneySea.
2019 attendance – 14,650,000
3 Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan
Opened in 2001, Universal Studios Japan is based in Osaka. USJ boasts all the Universal favourites, including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Minion Park, Jurassic Park and Amity Village. In addition, Super Nintendo World opened at USJ in March 2020. It is the first of four Nintendo expansions in Japan, Singapore, Orlando and Hollywood.
“Think of Super Nintendo World as a life-size, living video game where you become one of the characters. You’re not just playing the game; you’re living the game, you’re living the adventure,” said Thierry Coup, senior VP and CCO at Universal Creative.
Comcast Corporation revealed that Universal theme parks “reached breakeven” in both Florida and Japan for the fourth quarter and year-end December 31, 2020. “We are optimistic that the parts of our business that had been most impacted will soon be back on a path towards growth,” said Brian L Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast.
2019 attendance – 14,500,000
4 Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Hengqin, China
Chimelong Ocean Kingdom is a theme park located in Hengqin, Zhuhai. It was designed by PGAV Destinations and opened in March 2014. The marine animal attraction boasts rides, shows and animal exhibits across eight themed zones. It is part of Chimelong International Ocean Resort, owned by Chimelong Group.
Chimelong Group also owns the Guangzhou Chimelong Tourist Resort, which boasts two hotels, Chimelong Paradise, Chimelong Water Park, Chimelong Safari and International Circus. Su Zhigang founded the Chimelong Group’s first theme park in 2006. Chimelong’s resorts in Guangzhou and Zhuhai feature world-class attractions.
In addition, Chimelong Group is building the Qingyuan Chimelong International Forest Resort and is opening a marine science park called Zhuhai Chimelong Marine Science Park in 2021. It will be the largest indoor offering of its kind in the world and is part of the second phase of Chimelong International Ocean Resort.
2019 attendance – 11,736,000
5 Shanghai Disneyland, Shanghai, China
Shanghai Disneyland is operated by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products and Shanghai Shendi Group. It opened in June 2016 in Pudong, Shanghai. It is part of Shanghai Disney Resort, which also includes the Shanghai Disneyland Hotel and Toy Story Hotel, as well as the shopping and dining district Disneytown.
Shanghai Disneyland’s new show, called ‘Illuminate! A Nighttime Celebration’, is debuting at the Enchanted Storybook Castle on April 8. Joe Schott, president and general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort said: “For our 5th birthday celebration, we wanted to create an exceptional experience for our guests.”
The theme park is also expanding with an immersive Zootopia land, its eighth themed land and the first Zootopia zone at a Disney park. “Since we announced the development of our new Zootopia-themed land earlier this year we have been overwhelmed by the excitement and anticipation expressed by fans from across China and around the world,” said Schott.
2019 attendance – 11,210,000
6 Everland, Seoul, South Korea
Everland first opened in Seoul, South Korea in 1976 as Yongin Natural Farm. The largest theme park in South Korea became Everland in 1996. It boasts five themed areas, which are Global Fair, Zootopia, European Adventure, Magic Land and American Adventure. It is also home to a water park called Caribbean Bay.
2019 attendance – 6,606,000
7 Lotte World, Seoul, South Korea
South Korea’s Lotte World can be found in Seoul and is operated by Lotte Group. It has both indoor and outdoor areas, Lotte World Adventure and Magic Island. Family-friendly rides and attractions are on offer at Lotte World Adventure, while thrill rides and coasters can be enjoyed at Magic Island.
Lotte World is expanding to Busan with Lotte’s Magic Forest, as announced in 2018. The new theme park is scheduled to open in 2021 and will feature six themed zones inspired by nature. It was designed with Legacy Entertainment. The first phase is set to include more than a dozen family rides and attractions, as well as two signature roller coasters.
Marcus King, senior director of project management for Legacy Entertainment, said the goal was to create “Asia’s first European-style theme park”, while Yaeli Chung, MD of Korea for Legacy Entertainment, said Lotte’s Magic Forest will be regarded as a “symbol of joy and happiness for generations to come”.
Christie, the global visual and audio technology company, recently provided solutions to illuminate the Magic Castle at Lotte World. “This is a spellbinding nighttime show that lights up our iconic landmark with Lotte World’s most beloved characters,” said a spokesperson from Lotte World.
2019 attendance – 5,953,000
8 Nagashima Resort, Kuwana, Japan
Nagashima Resort has been operating since 1966 and was formerly known as Nagashima Spa Land. Located in Kuwana, Nagashima Resort features coasters, thrill rides, family-friendly attractions and a water park. Lagotronics Projects and WhiteWater supplied the theme park with IP and waterslides in 2019 and 2013.
2019 attendance – 5,950,000
9 Ocean Park, Hong Kong, China
Ocean Park is the leading educational theme park in Hong Kong. Since it first opened in January 1977, close to 100 million guests have visited Ocean Park Hong Kong. The park covers more than 915,000 square metres and includes animal attractions, thrill rides and shows. It is operated by the Ocean Park Corporation.
Hong Kong lawmakers recently approved Ocean Park’s HK$6.8 billion ($876 million) makeover plans. This includes a HK$361 million ($46 million) government bailout to turn the struggling theme park into an open-air classroom and adventure-themed resort in Hong Kong.
“Ocean Park is more than a theme park, more than roller coasters,” said Edward Yau Tang-wah, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development.
“We agreed that the park should steer away from the conventional development model of theme parks, cut down on facilities and related expenses which are not cost-effective and re-orient its development focus back to education and conservation.”
2019 attendance – 5,700,000
10 Hong Kong Disneyland, Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong Disneyland can be found on Lantau Island and opened in September 2005. It covers 310 acres and includes the Hong Kong Disneyland theme park as well as three top hotels. Hong Kong Disneyland is made up of seven themed lands, which are Fantasyland, Adventureland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, Tomorrowland, Toy Story Land and Main Street, USA.
In September, the Walt Disney Company lost the option to expand Hong Kong Disneyland after the government opted not to renew an agreement to develop an adjacent plot of land for economic reasons caused by COVID-19. Disney reps said the company will continue to invest in the attraction but expressed disappointment.
Hong Kong Disneyland launched its 15th-anniversary celebration with the opening of the reimagined ‘Castle of Magical Dreams’ in November 2020. The castle now features Tiana (The Princess and the Frog), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Merida (Brave), Rapunzel (Tangled), and Jasmine (Aladdin).
2019 attendance – 5,695,000
11 Happy Valley Beijing, Beijing, China
OCT Group opened Happy Valley Beijing in July 2006. Located in the Chaoyang District, Happy Valley Beijing covers an area of 560,000 square metres and includes attractions and rides as well as cultural offerings and performances. The theme park boasts seven themed areas, more than 100 cultural landscapes and more than 300,000 square metres of gardens.
OCT currently operates eight Happy Valley theme parks across China and is opening the new Happy Valley park in Zhengzhou. OCT’s first Happy Valley opened in Shenzhen in 1998, and the latest park in the portfolio is Happy Valley Nanjing, which launched in 2020. OCT Group is the largest theme park developer and operator in China.
2019 attendance – 5,160,000
12 Chimelong Paradise, Guangzhou, China
Chimelong Paradise in Guangzhou is owned by the Chimelong Group. It was founded by Su Zhigang in 2006, becoming the group’s first theme park. Chimelong Paradise is part of the Guangzhou Chimelong Tourist Resort, which includes two hotels, Chimelong Water Park, Chimelong Safari and International Circus.
Chimelong Group also operates Chimelong International Ocean Resort in Zhuhai, which features Chimelong Ocean Kingdom and will soon include a new attraction known as Zhuhai Chimelong Marine Science Park, opening in 2021. Additionally, Chimelong Group is developing the Qingyuan Chimelong International Forest Resort.
2019 attendance – 4,905,000
13 Universal Studios Singapore, Sentosa, Singapore
Universal Studios Singapore is a theme park at Resorts World Sentosa, an integrated resort on Sentosa Island, Singapore. It is the first and only Universal park in Southeast Asia and has 24 rides, shows and attractions across seven themed zones. Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) also features the S.E.A. Aquarium and Dolphin Island.
Genting Singapore previously confirmed delays to the $4.5 billion expansion of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS 2.0) due to COVID-19. As part of the project, Universal Studios Singapore is adding two new attractions, Minion Park and Super Nintendo World. The theme park is now using facial recognition technology for entry at RWS.
2019 attendance – 4,500,000
14 China Dinosaurs Park, Changzhou, China
China Dinosaurs Park, also known as China Dinosaurs Land, is located in Changzhou and has been open since September 2000. The dinosaur-themed park includes rides, shows and the China Dinosaurs Museum. Back in 2019, Super 78 launched the immersive Dino Tour dark ride at China Dinosaurs Park.
2019 attendance – 4,434,000
15 Window of the World, Shenzhen, China
Shenzhen Window of the World is a theme park located in Shenzhen, China. It was jointly developed by China Tourism Group and OCT Group. The park boasts eight lands – Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, Americas, World Plaza, World Sculpture Garden and International Street. The attraction includes entertainment offerings, rides, global scenes, and colourful shows.
2019 attendance – 3,990,000
16 Happy Valley Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China
Happy Valley Shenzhen opened in 1998 and was the first Happy Valley attraction for OCT Group, the biggest operator of theme parks across China. Covering 350,000 square metres, Happy Valley Shenzhen boasts nine themed areas, including the Playa Maya Water Park. OCT hosts nearly 50 million annual visitors at its various sites.
OCT operates eight Happy Valley attractions in China and is adding a new Happy Valley theme park to its portfolio in Zhengzhou. The most recent Happy Valley offering opened in Nanjing in 2020. OCT Group also develops and operates Window of the World, OCT East and Splendid China.
2019 attendance – 3,980,000
17 Zhengzhou Fantawild Adventure, Zhengzhou, China
Zhengzhou Fantawild Adventure is part of the Zhengzhou Fantawild Resort, which also includes Zhengzhou Fantawild Dreamland, Zhengzhou Fantawild Water Park and the Fantawild Holiday Hotel. Fantawild Adventure opened its doors in 2012 and is owned by Fantawild Holdings, which operates a total of 28 parks.
“Fantawild’s rapid growth in recent years is down to its competitiveness,” Daisy Shang, executive president of Fantawild Holdings, told Blooloop. “Fantawild explores different cultures and presents them to visitors using advanced technology, providing audiences with a unique and immersive experience.”
2019 attendance – 3,840,000
18 Happy Valley Chengdu, Chengdu, China
Happy Valley Chengdu opened in January 2009. It was the third Happy Valley offering from the OCT Group, following parks in Shenzhen and Beijing. OCT boasts eight Happy Valley theme parks and is working on its ninth in Zhengzhou. OCT Group’s park portfolio also includes Window of the World, OCT East and Splendid China.
2019 attendance – 3,580,000
19 Ningbo Fantawild Oriental Heritage, Ningbo, China
Located in Hangzhou Bay New Zone, Ningbo Fantawild Oriental Heritage is a high-tech theme park that opened in 2016. It is home to state-of-the-art technology including lasers, special effects and live performances. Fantawild is known for its use of innovative technology at its parks across China.
“The company has developed many unique track rides, vehicles, stages, special effects facilities, robot designs, smart control systems and other interactive entertainment facility systems,” said Daisy Chang, executive president of Fantawild Holdings, a one-stop solution provider in the theme park industry.
Fantawild Holdings owns theme park brands including Fantawild Adventure, Fantawild Dreamland, Fantawild Oriental Heritage and Fantawild Water Park. The company is now investing in three new theme parks in Shaoxing, as well as a new theme park in the Wudang Mountains.
2019 attendance – 3,575,000