Merlin Entertainments has announced that construction has officially started on the family-oriented international IP-based theme park LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort, in Jinshan.
The deputy mayor of Shanghai, Shanghai municipal government officials, government officials of Jinshan District, Shanghai Jinshan Urban Construction Investment Group (JUIG), KIRKBI, Merlin Entertainments, and CMC Inc. all participated in the ground breaking ceremony. All VIP guests together witnessed the significant moment for LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort on 17 November.
During the ceremony, VIP guests unveiled a giant LEGO brick statue, a symbolic “First Building Block” of the LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort, signifying that construction has officially started at the most anticipated one-stop family-friendly theme park in the Yangtze River Delta area.
Located in Fengjing town, Jinshan District, the LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort is on the southern side of Jinshan North Station and north of Tingfeng Highway. Covering approximately 31.8 hectares, the Resort has been invested in by JUIC, KIRKBI, Merlin Entertainments and CMC Inc., with the park expected to open in 2024.
As the first family-focused international IP-based theme park resort in the Yangtze River Delta area, it is designed to provide 2- to 12-year-old children and their families with unique theme park experiences which integrate local Shanghai features and traditional water town elements.
It is also the first LEGOLAND Park to have a land themed on a famous LEGO product line inspired by a timeless Chinese legend. Based on the classic novel Journey to the West and the 500-year-old legend of the Monkey King, Monkie Kid is designed to connect Chinese children with their heritage and unleash their creativity. Based on this popular story, LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort will build a unique Monkie Kid zone that takes on references from traditional Chinese architectural style and China’s iconic natural landscape.
LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort is dedicated to bringing fun technological experiences to visitors by designing, developing and introducing new and advanced equipment and facilities, whilst incorporating the LEGO spirit of “hands-on interaction and sharing” and the LEGO concept of “learning-through-play”. Guests will feel and experience the spark created from this combination of traditional Chinese culture and modern interactive technology.
LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort theme park will consist of eight themed areas covering most of the signature and popular attractions and rides of LEGOLAND Parks around the world, which include LEGOLAND CREATIVE WORLD, BRICK STREET, BRICKTOPIA, LEGO CITY, LEGO FRIENDS, LEGO MONKIE KID, LEGO NINJAGO World and LEGO CASTLE, creating a diversified and immersive theme park experience for both local families and tourists.
Liu Jian, secretary of Jinshan District Committee, gave a warm welcome for the official ground breaking of LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort. With the support and help of Jinshan District government, the project has progressed smoothly.
Mr. Liu said: “The project of LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort has received great attention and strong support from both municipal and district government while being processed and developed. I believe that in the future, LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort will become a fine project, a symbolic project, as well as a culture and tourism integrated project that drives the economy and benefits people, and becomes a rising star that represents the ‘energy, beauty and happiness’ of Shanghai Bay area construction.”
Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments and Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, executive chairman of The LEGO Brand Group gave speeches and expressed heartfelt congratulations and expectations upon the ground-breaking of the LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort via video calls.
Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, said: “It’s our pleasure to have forged such a strong strategic partnership with the Shanghai Government and Jinshan District Government to build this LEGOLAND Resort. Shanghai was chosen as the ideal destination for our Resort as it offers the perfect mix of Chinese and Western elements and is recognised as the centre of the economy, finance, culture, and trade for China. The official start of construction and this groundbreaking is a great achievement for Merlin Entertainments, and this continues our ambition to bring more memorable experiences to families and visitors in China.”
Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, Executive Chairman of The LEGO Brand Group, gave sincere greetings to all Chinese LEGO fans while expressing his vision for the LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort: “The LEGO brand has increased its presence and contribution in China in the past few years. We have been thrilled with the positive response the LEGO brand has received in China, while seeing the fast growth of its popularity across the country.
The LEGO brand has formed an emotional bond with Chinese families through its unique learning-through-play experiences. KIRKBI and the LEGO brand are excited to bring the LEGOLAND Resort to Shanghai, and we are looking forward to offering even more creative and imaginative experiences to Chinese families, to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.”
Gu Jiong, vice president and chief financial officer of CMC Inc.; president of location-based entertainment, spoke at the ceremony: “The official start of construction of the LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort is another important milestone for the expansion of CMC Inc. in the culture and tourism industry. CMC Inc. will continue to explore the development and operations of the location-based entertainment industry, adapted to the Chinese local market and will keep moving towards the goal of being the signature theme park provider of China, providing Chinese consumers with high-quality family entertainment experiences which will incorporate international and Jiangnan water town elements within Shanghai.”
Regarding the market positioning and future development of the LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort, Jeanette Chen, general manager of LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort stated: “We are very pleased to bring a world-class, international theme park to more Chinese consumers. The design of the Resort incorporates many of the most iconic LEGOLAND experiences, as well as elements of traditional Chinese and Shanghai culture. We aim to provide visitors with diversified, interactive, immersive and fun theme park experiences that will enhance the connection between parents and their children.”
During the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) in 2020, Merlin Entertainments officially announced its agreement to develop a LEGOLAND Resort in the Jinshan District of Shanghai, China. With the support of the municipal and district government, the project has turned into a city brand project for establishing the “Shanghai Bay Area.” Jinshan District is focused on building the LEGOLAND Shanghai Resort according to world-class standards by optimising regional transport services, among others. The Jinshan government is also progressing with the corresponding development of the Resort’s surrounding environment and the park through the “One City” and “One Corridor” projects.