Wanda 'wolf pack' grows as operator launches latest multi-billion dollar Wanda City development

Wang Jianlin’s public feud with Disney continues to heat up with the Wanda chair’s latest multi-billion Wanda City to open its doors tomorrow (23 September).

Located 500km (311m) west of the recently opened Shanghai Disney Resort, the US$5.2bn (€4.64bn, £4bn) Hefei Wanda City has been described as the “first Huizhou culture theme park in the world.”

A tribute to the culture of the Anhui province, which dates back more than 2,200 years, the park sits on 380,000sq m (4 million sq ft) of land next to Lake Chao – the fifth-largest freshwater lake in China.

Dutch firm Jora Vision Designs was strongly influenced by the local Hui style of architecture when creating the park’s six areas.

Telling the story of the Anhui, the first area celebrates ancient Anhui architecture. In the second area, visitors learn about the Battle of the Fei River – a fierce naval battle considered a major turning point in the history of China. The third area – Butterfly Dreamland – comprises a garden “filled with human-like animals and insects.” the fourth zone takes visitors to the remnants of the sunken city of Chaozhou and the fifth is dominated by a lake and special waterfront village, which is also the stage of the park’s acousto-optic fireworks show. The final area, known as Opera Garden, focuses on Anhui’s famous Opera and theatrical stories, with the section home to the park’s performing arts show, which will be the largest in Eastern China.

The park is designed to cater to audiences of all ages, with thrill rides, stage shows and children’s attractions all included in the development. The attraction also features an indoor/outdoor waterpark and a movie park with a 3D motion theatre.

"Each of Wanda’s cultural tourism cities has its own unique characteristics," said Wang. "The Hefei Wanda Cultural Tourism City fuses world class design and technology with a blend of local cultural and historical elements that fully embody Anhui's culture."

Wanda is at the heart of China’s current theme park boom, with the 15 Wanda Cities being developed across the country expected to be open by the end of the decade. Including these developments, 59 new theme parks are expected to open their doors by the end of 2020, according to Aecom.

Among examples of Wanda cities are the US$1bn (€839m, £659m) movie park in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which opened in January 2015 and the US$8.2bn (£5.1bn, €6bn) mega-complex in the eastern port city of Qingdao. Last year, Wanda launched its US$2.5bn Xishuangbanna Resort and last month inked a deal for a US$9.4bn (€8.4bn, £7.2bn) culture, sports and tourism city in Jinan, Shandong province.

With its Wanda City plan, Wanda is attempting to topple Disney as the world’s largest tourism enterprise by 2020. By that time, Jianlin wants his parks to have welcomed more than 200 million people and be earning annual tourism income in excess of US$14.9bn (€13.4bn, £11.4bn).

Wang sparked a public feud with Disney in May, telling the company that “one tiger is no match for a pack of wolves” ahead of the launch of Disneyland Shanghai in June.

Wanda  Disney  Shanghai  Hefei Wanda City  theme park  Shanghai Disney Resort  Wang Jianlin  Bob Iger  Anhui province  Jora Vision  China  Huizhou 
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Wang Jianlin’s public feud with Disney continues to heat up with the Wanda chair’s latest multi-billion Wanda City to open its doors tomorrow (23 September). Located 500km (311m) west of the recently opened Shanghai Disney Resort, the US$5.2bn (€4.64bn, £4bn) Hefei Wanda City has been described as the “first Huizhou culture theme park in the world.” A tribute to the culture of the Anhui province, which dates back more than
Dutch firm Jora Vision Designs was strongly influenced by the local Hui style of architecture when creating the park / Jora Vision
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