Legoland Shanghai Resort planned
Merlin Entertainments has entered into an agreement with the Shanghai Jinshan District Government, CMC Inc. and Kirkbi to develop a Legoland Resort in the Jinshan District of Shanghai, China. Under the terms of the agreement, all parties will form a joint venture company and contribute funding to the construction and development of Legoland Shanghai. The total project investment is expected to be approximately £500 million. The schedule for the project is still to be determined, but the project is not expected to open until after 2023.
Legoland Shanghai will be one of the largest Legoland Resorts in the world and will incorporate a 250-room fully themed hotel on opening. It will be located in the Jinshan District in south west Shanghai with a two-hour catchment of 55 million people. The region comprising Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui has an estimated population of 220 million.
The announcement was made at an event attended by the Executive Vice Mayor of Shanghai Mr. Chen Yin as part of the China International Import Expo (5-10 November). China is a focus of significant development and investment by Merlin. Since the start of 2018, the Company has opened five new Midway attractions, including the world’s first Peppa Pig World of Play (Shanghai) and Little BIG City (Beijing).
“I’m delighted that we are able to realize the development of a Legoland Resort in Shanghai; one of the most vibrant cities in the world,” offered Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments. “A gateway city with modern consumers, Shanghai is already the home for many Merlin brands, and it has been our ambition for some time to build a full-scale theme park that offers the people of Shanghai and visitors to the area the opportunity to immerse themselves in a unique Legoland® experience.”
China is a strategic growth market for the Lego Group. During the past few years the company has significantly expanded its retail operations and by the end of 2020 is on track to have 220 stores in more than 50 cities. The company began distributing products in mainland China more than 30 years ago. It opened a regional office in Shanghai in 2014, followed by a flagship store in the city in 2016. It also opened a state-of-the-art production facility in Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province in 2016 to supply products to China and the Asia Pacific region. The brand now has three flagship stores in Beijing and Shanghai.
Merlin currently operates 13 Midway attractions in China including Legoland Discovery Centers, Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Centers, Dungeons, Peppa Pig World of Play and Little Big City. Dependent on opening schedules, Legoland Shanghai will be opened after Legoland New York (scheduled to open 2020) and Legoland Korea (scheduled to open 2022).