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Hello Kitty theme park to open in Shanghai

CHINA’S first indoor Hello Kitty theme park will open its doors October next year on the downtown Nanjing Road E., Shimao Group said at a news conference held Wednesday.

The theme park will spread over three floors, from 8 to 10, in the Shanghai Mart retail mall, nearly as big as five Olympic-size swimming pools. Shanghai’s unique elements will be used in the design, but every floor will be decorated in different styles to showcase three different eras in the city’s history, according to the plan.

At the conference, Japan’s Sanrio, who created Hello Kitty in 1974, licensed her image to Shimao Group, which owns and runs Shanghai Mart. Shimao will design and run the park by itself.

Eddie Yang, Shimao’s vice president, said the theme park will be an exciting blend of two great IP (intellectual property).

Yang said: “In the old glorious times in 1920s and 30s, Shanghai women wore western-style skirt and modern hair-cut. They were fashion icons for the nation.”

He added, “Every Chinese has some emotions with old Shanghai times, featuring romantic and legendary attributes. While for Hello Kitty, the flurry kitten has gained worldwide popularity, adored by all-age people.”

Of course, the blend of the two will be visible in the park, including Shanghai-style dolls, set meals and other limited edition products only on sale here. And it will very much focuses on providing interactive and immersive experiences, according to the plan.

Yang said the group plans to invest nearly 200 million yuan (US$29 million) in the park and it will open in October 2018.

“We plan to accept at most 3,000 visitors per day. So reservation in advance is suggested,” he added.

In fact, the introduction of the park is part of Shimao’s strategy to upgrade the Shanghai Mart.

According to Yang, an Italian architect has been invited to re-design the facade of the mall. The design took the concept of the very classical architectural style of the opera house but architect will give a modern interpretation. 


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