Nanchang, China – On May 28, Wanda Group opened the Wanda Cultural Tourism City, the company’s first city-size culture and tourism project, in the Eastern Chinese city of Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. Filled with an outdoor amusement park, an indoor theme park, hotel resorts and dining and commercial districts, “Wanda City” spans 200 hectares (2 square kilometers) and the cultural and tourism segment of the project is a 22 billion yuan investment.
The project is one of many to come, with year-round accessibility and the incorporation of Chinese local culture. According to Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin, Wanda will unveil its second Wanda City in Hefei this September and another five are planned to open within China in the next three years. By 2020, Wanda will unveil 15 Wanda City projects in China and five overseas.
At the center of Wanda City is “Wanda Mall,” designed by Stufish Entertainment Architects, a giant indoor space that breaks down seasonal climate barriers to reach “year-round amusement.” Wanda Mall boasts one of Asia’s largest aquariums, designed by renowned US company TVS Design and managed by Hanwha from South Korea. It also includes a film park and “Kids Place,” a children’s zone–the first of its kind in central China–with play lands and educational exhibits.
The outdoor theme park covers 80 hectares, with close to 50 entertainment facilities, including the fastest, highest and longest roller coaster and the highest drop tower in China. The theme park features stage shows and parade performances.
Global entertainment design company, FORREC Ltd., was on hand for the opening and also at the helm for the master plan and design development of the 78-hectare outdoor theme park. The park reflects the rich historical and cultural content of the JiangXi region of southern China and includes 32 rides, including what is billed as the tallest, fastest and longest wooden roller coaster in China. FORREC was inspired by the idea that Nanchang is well known for its fresh water lakes – including Poyang Lake, the biggest fresh water lake in China – as well as majestic mountains and other beautiful natural features. Building a theme park around an existing lake as well as the site’s rolling topography created design challenges for FORREC.
“Storytelling is a central aspect of this region and the culture is rich with material to draw from,” said Linda Hung, Senior Director, Theme Parks, FORREC Ltd. “We used some of Jiangxi’s favourite stories to create immersive experiences that take guests through five zones, celebrating the porcelain industry, ancient poetry, famous architecture, fairy folklore, life on the water and natural splendor.”
“It’s our pleasure to be a part of another exciting Wanda Group project,” said Gord Dorrett, President and CEO of FORREC Ltd., who attended the opening ceremony. “This is an iconic brand in China and FORREC has been honoured to help develop several recent projects including Wanda Xishuangbanna Theme Park and Water Park in the region by the same name and also Wanda Movie Park in Wuhan, China.
At the interactive movie park, tourists can fight 3D monsters and fly through China’s Jiangxi Province in a flight simulator. Wanda City also features a movie theater with 14 screens and 3,000 seats, a dining district with 50 domestic and overseas restaurants, a commercial shopping area and clubs where tourists can enjoy nightlife.
For accommodations, Wanda is planning nine hotels, with five, including a six-star luxury Wanda Vista Hotel, already open.
Nanchang Wanda City can accommodate 30,000 tourists with projected annual visits of over 10 million, creating 20,000 jobs.