Launch - Regional Updates - October 2018


Ant-Man and the Wasp to Fly into Hong Kong Disneyland

Two new Marvel superheroes are set to appear in a new attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland. “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!” will open next year, as part of the resort’s multiyear expansion.

The ride’s storyline goes like this: “An ordinary visit to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Science and Technology Pavilion at Stark Expo turns extraordinary as guests are called to action. Riding in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s state-of-the-art vehicle, guests engage in a heroic battle, fighting alongside Ant-Man and The Wasp against Zola and his army of Hydra swarm-bots.”

This will be Hong Kong Disneyland’s second Marvel attraction, following “Iron Man Experience,” which opened last year. The movie, “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” grossed more than US$160 million worldwide during its first weekend in Asia.


Cowabunga, China!

Nickelodeon’s largest indoor theme park in the world, and the company’s first such park in Asia, is set to open in Chongqing, China, in December 2020.

Viacom International Media Networks Asia signed a deal with three companies developing the new Mall of China in the central part of the country. Planners say the indoor park will showcase more than a dozen Nickelodeon properties. The attraction, equivalent in size to four football fields, will feature a Teenage Ninja Turtles launch coaster and a tilting drop tower. Viacom touts the coaster will have the longest track, tallest drop, and the most number of inversions for an indoor coaster in Asia.

“As we continue to grow the footprint of Nickelodeon theme parks across Asia-Pacific, I am confident this will also open up new opportunities for the Nickelodeon brand and for our partners across multiple platforms in this important Chinese market,” said Mark Whitehead, president and managing director, Asia Pacific, Viacom International Media Networks, in a statement. Construction on the Mall of China began two years ago. Once open, the mall is expected to be a major tourism draw, with projections of 30 million visitors annually.


New Park Brings Spirou to Life in Provence

Parc Spirou Provence premiered in Monteux, France, this summer. The theme park is based on the comic book adventures of the plucky bellhop Spirou and his friends Fantasio, Seccotine, Spip, and the Count of Champignac. The park is also home to Lucky Luke, Marsupilami, and Gaston Lagaffe (the characters are represented by the Média Participations group and its subsidiary, Mediatoon).

The park initially opened with 4 hectares and 12 attractions. The property will eventually double in size, with a total investment amounting to 85 million euros. Highlights for 2018 include three new roller coasters from Zierer. “En Avant Seccotine” allows guests to hop aboard Seccotine’s scooter. “Wanted by Lucky Luke” features a Western cowboy theme. And “Spirou Racing” features a roller coaster train that looks like a soapbox derby car. Simulation attractions specialist Simworx worked on simulator rides “Gaffe à Gaston,” “Zombillénium,” and the dinosaur-themed “Mesozoïk Island.” Retail and restaurants complete the offering. 

Daniel Bulliard, president of Parc Spirou Provence, said an “alchemy of talents” had made the park happen since it broke ground last year. His hope is that “everyone leaves with lovely memories, which will be our greatest reward.” 

Parc Spirou Provence is located next to the Wave Island water park (which replaced Splashworld Provence).


LetoLeto Water Park Warms Up Siberia

LetoLeto Water Park launched in the Siberian city of Tyumen this summer. It is the “largest indoor water park in Russia,” according to Sohret Pakis, director of marketing and communications at Polin Waterparks. 

Polin worked with Sibentel Holding on the park. Alexander Moore, acting governor for the Tyumen region, hopes the attraction will boost tourism by becoming a “favorite place for family recreation.”

The water park can host 2,500 guests daily in balmy temperatures reaching 28-29 degrees Celsius. Three years in the making, the attraction offers more than 10,000 square meters of fun including three of Polin’s most popular water slides: Turbolance, Windigo, and Magic Hole. In addition, the park features a 750-square-meter wave pool with four programmable modes, a lazy river, and a large children’s zone. The youngest visitors can enjoy a separate children’s area. Several large pools—including a wave pool—provide a more leisurely experience. A four-star hotel and restaurant are located nearby. The hotel and water park also cater to visitors with disabilities. 

LetoLeto Water Park is one of a series of water parks Polin has completed since opening an office in Russia. Others include Gorki Indoor Waterpark, near Ryazan, and H20 Aquapark in Rostov-on-Don.


Hippos Grow into New Home at Guadalajara Zoo

This summer, Mexico’s Guadalajara Zoo opened its newest space, “Kiboko Bwawa,” the new home for hippo Gina and her young baby. The new habitat features two terraces: one that is beach-like and a second underwater observation room, where visitors can catch a glimpse of these large, semi-aquatic mammals swimming in the water. Hippos can remain submerged for up to five minutes and even feed their young while submerged in the water, making feeding time an attraction within itself.


KidZania Receives Global Education Awards

The World Education Congress recently recognized KidZania, which was founded in Mexico in 1997 and now has a global following, with two awards honoring leaders in the field of education. KidZania received the Education Leadership Award—awarded to Dr. Ger Graus, KidZania’s director of education—and the Best Edutainment Platform. The awards recognized the company for its innovations in family entertainment through experiential learning. 


Kalahari Crafting North America’s Next Indoor Water Park

Construction is underway at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions’ newest indoor water park resort, Kalahari Resorts Round Rock in the city of Round Rock, Texas, set to open in 2020. The $550 million, 350-acre complex will include almost 1,000 guest rooms and what the company says will be America’s largest indoor water park at 223,000 square feet. The project is the Kalahari’s fourth indoor water park resort location and its first in the southern United States. 

The outdoor pools will sprawl over 3 acres, and the resort will also feature “Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park,” covering more than 80,000 square feet. The park will include thrill rides, ropes courses, mini-golf, and an indoor zipline. The resort will feature five restaurants, including Kalahari’s signature steakhouse, Double Cut Charcoal Grill. Mondo Sortino’s will offer an Italian kitchen, pizzeria, and gelato shop. Kalahari notes that as with its other resort properties, these attractions and restaurants will be open to local day visitors and overnight guests (day passes will be available based on resort occupancy).  

The resort’s convention center will span 220,000 square feet and include two large ballrooms, 16 meeting rooms, a business center, and 50,000 square feet of outdoor event space.


Story Land Opening New Aquarium

Palace Entertainment’s new aquarium adjacent to the Story Land amusement park in Glen, New Hampshire, will feature stingrays, sharks, and fish in more than 32,000 square feet of tanks, touch tide pools, and hands-on educational experiences. To be named the Living Shores Aquarium, the attraction is expected to open by the end of 2018 and will also include an immersive aviary offering lorikeet feeding experiences. The aquarium will be open year-round and will feature a 150-seat Italian restaurant called Pasta Mia offering indoor and outdoor seating.