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Theme parks: The Hettema Group to Design Hello Kitty Park in China


The Hettema Group is pleased to announced that Sanrio has selected the Hettema Group to develop the master plan and concept design for a Hello Kitty Park in Anji, China.

Related: The Hettema Group company profile4D Cinema: “Beyond All Boundaries” Honored with Thea Award by the Themed Entertainment AssociationThe Hettema Group Announces Jeff Rosen as Director of Project Development

Currently scheduled to open in 2014, the park will be located less than a two-hour drive from Shanghai via a new freeway.   The park’s nature theme is appropriate for a region famous for its bamboo groves and scenic relaxation areas, including the Longwang (Dragon King) Mountain Nature Reserve renowned for its 800-hectare primeval forest.

“Hello Kitty Park will be sensitively integrated into the landscape, ” said Phil Hettema, president, creative executive and founder of The Hettema Group, “with ecological themes such as sustainability, recycling, and alternative energy sources featured throughout the parks attractions.”  Five natural elements – fire, water, wood, metal and earth – will create sub-themes, separating the park into five major areas within a flower petal design.   Additionally, a world festival area will feature holiday and cultural celebrations, and handle increased attendance at such peak festival times as Chinese New Year.

Industry leader Phil Hettema previously served as Senior Vice President, Attraction Development for Universal Studios Theme Parks Worldwide for more than a decade.  Established in 2002, The Hettema Group specializes in creative design, production and architecture for theme parks, museums, visitor centers and international resort destinations, including projects in North America, the Middle East and Asia.

Established in 1960, Sanrio develops and distributes a unique line of children’s gifts, stationery and accessory items. Hello Kitty is the company’s flagship character.  Currently, the company operates two theme parks in Japan:  Sanrio Puroland, in Tokyo; and Sanrio Harmonyland in Oita. Hello Kitty Park will be Sanrio’s first outdoor park operation outside Japan. Hello Kitty Park is the working park name.

Sanrio has entered into a licensing agreement with Zhejiang New Insight Leisure Tourism Development Co, the developer of the project, for use of Sanrio characters and related intellectual property. Ground breaking is expected in November 2011.

Recently, The Hettema Group created and produced the award-winning, multi-media experience “Beyond All Boundaries” for the National World War II Museum, narrated by Executive Producer, Tom Hanks.  The 4-D production has received critical and popular acclaim, and received top awards from the Themed Entertainment Association and the American Association of Museums, for its powerfully emotional evocation of the war that spanned the globe.  

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