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Legoland| Sichuan China | 2 Theme Parks + 1 Water Park

roomraider

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Hi all

About time we had a post for this big new Legoland going up in China (one of several but the one seemingly the furthest along and with the most info), this will be build south of Chengdu.

Unusually for Merlin its not quite the standard copy and paste Legoland we are used to. And has one or two interesting additions.

The park will feature the main Legoland park, A Legoland Water Park and later on a Peppa Pig World (not yet shown in the concept art)

Logo
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Press Release
LEGOLAND Sichuan planned to open by 2023.

Merlin Entertainments today announces that it has entered into a partnership agreement with Global Zhongjun Cultural Tourism Development Co., Ltd (“Global Zhongjun”) to build and operate a LEGOLAND Resort in Sichuan Province in Western China. The resort is scheduled to open by 2023.

Under the terms of the agreement, Global Zhongjun will fund the construction of LEGOLAND Sichuan, as well as the required infrastructure and adjacent commercial developments, while Merlin will partner in the resort development and operate it under a management contract arrangement.

LEGOLAND Sichuan will be located within the Tianfu New Area in the city of Meishan, approximately 60km south of Chengdu city center. With good transport links by road and a future metro station planned for the area, LEGOLAND Sichuan will be within a two-hour catchment of 30 million residents. Chengdu and the surrounding region is also a popular tourist destination within Western China attracting millions of international and domestic visitors each year.

The resort will open with two fully-themed LEGOLAND Hotels, with an estimated capacity of 500 rooms. It will also have scope to incorporate further attractions in the future.

“There's no doubt that China represents a great opportunity for strong global brands. Having been active in China for over a decade, Merlin has gained critical insights into Chinese consumers and built a broad portfolio of Midway attractions within key cities. Leveraging this position, we're delighted to be able to announce the development of a LEGOLAND Park in Sichuan Province together with a strong partner in Global Zhongjun. It is an exciting prospect and a significant milestone in the expansion of the LEGOLAND estate in China. "

Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments
“Sichuan Province has a strong tradition of welcoming people from all over, which aligns closely to our values as a business. Within it, Chengdu, Meishan and the Tianfu New Area is developing at a rapid pace driven by investment, enterprise and, increasingly, its popularity as a tourist destination. Our partner is a leading developer of tourism in the region with a great track record in delivering scale projects, and we look forward to working with them and the local community to bring the LEGOLAND Resort experience to guests in Western China. ”

John Jakobsen, Chief New Openings Officer of Merlin Entertainments
Global Zhongjun is a joint venture between development companies Zhongjun Beijing and The Chengdu Global Century - Exhibition & Travel Group (“ETG”). The majority shareholder ETG focuses on investing in and operating exhibition centers, tourism resorts, branded hotels, urban commercial complexes, and health care facilities throughout China. It is one of Western China's largest tourism companies and boasts the New Century Global Center in Chengdu - the largest building in the world.

“LEGOLAND Sichuan Resort wants to be a significant tourist development in Tianfu New Area and the largest LEGOLAND in the world, subject to planning approvals. With its unique design, we aspire for it to be the role model for future new LEGOLAND parks. "

ETG

The LEGO Group has distributed products in China for more than 25 years. The company opened a regional hub office in Shanghai in 2014 and a manufacturing facility in Jiaxing in 2016. During the past year it has expanded its presence in the country and expects to have more than 140 stores in 35 cities by the end of 2019.
Merlin 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.

Subject to future announcements, LEGOLAND Sichuan will be Merlin's eleventh LEGOLAND Park following the announcement of LEGOLAND New York (scheduled to open 2020) and LEGOLAND Korea (scheduled to open 2022). Discussions continue regarding opening further LEGOLAND Resorts in China.
Source

Resort Overview

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Main overview

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Water Park concept art

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Plan View

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Blueprint View

Selected Concept Art

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Hotel

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The usuale Zierer Dragon Coaster model

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Water Park Entrance

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Water Park Slides

Possible Junior Inverted Coaster
The eagle eyed will have spotted this on the concept art at the top but it looks like theres a new for Legoland junior coaster. Very possibly a B&M model looking at the track, although we all know concept art isn't to be believed. But this is Merlin so who knows.
An argument for B&M though is the presence of a transfer track. As far as I can remember none of the vekoma SFC coasters so far have one? I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong.

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Concept art with very B&M looking track

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Overview from concept art

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Blueprint snippet

Possible Launched Junior Coaster
A second possible unique coaster is visable on the art too. Although a little more ambiguous. Its certainly launched but looking closely at the blueprint view it appears to have very wide trains possibly wing style. Could this be a 2nd installation of B&M's launched junior wing coaster similar to Chessington just not a shuttle? Possibly, Maybe, Maybe Not?

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Overview

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Plan View

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Blueprint View

Peppa Pig World
The announcement for this came a little later and can be seen here, not much info yet though.

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Current Construction
Well its underway and they say 2023 opening but they will need to get a move on
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peep

CF Legend
This certainly looks more ambitious compared to the other copy and paste parks! Very interesting that both of those family coasters look like B&M track, would be wild if this also had a small launched wing coaster like Chessie.

I wonder if the Peppa Pig park will be a clone of what they're building in Florida? I can't say I've looked into that too much but with that being quite a recent announcement it might be why this one got announced much later than the Lego parks?

Agree with Hixee about the minifigure holding the track, very cool if that happens. I also like the look of the giant minifigure in the water park.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
I’ll admit that the invert looks quite unmistakably like B&M track, but I think the second coaster is possibly a little too far away to tell; I almost think it could plausibly be Vekoma track as well, from what I’m seeing? The second coaster certainly doesn’t look unmistakably like a B&M to me (other manufacturers like Vekoma also seem plausible for the second based on the track I’m seeing), and it also doesn’t look to be a shuttle coaster, in my opinion.

Also bear in mind that Merlin aren’t known for being the most accurate when it comes to track types in promotional images (based on promo images, Nemesis & Galactica would both be Vekomas!). I’ll admit that the prospect of Legoland and B&M working together does intrigue me, however…

Not meaning to burst any bubbles here, but that’s my take on those images!

Regardless of who’s building the coasters, though, it’s really nice to see a more unique, possibly slightly more thrilling Legoland park in the works!
EDIT: After a closer look, I take back my earlier statement; the second launch coaster track definitely looks like B&M track. Interesting… could B&M be entering the family market as a means to boost business and future-proof the company somewhat?

As for the trains, however; they look about as wide as regular 4-across B&M trains to me, and certainly less wide than those of a wing coaster. I’m not personally seeing a wing coaster based on those trains; maybe it’s B&M’s take on a family launch coaster? I’m willing to be proven wrong, however…
 

Matt N

CF Legend
I might be missing something here, but won’t the Dragon’s Apprentice coaster in the Legoland park likely be very similar to Daddy Pig’s Roller Coaster in the Peppa Pig park? (If it’s anything like Florida’s Peppa Pig park, that is)
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
All looks very interesting and promising.
Regarding the park not being a copy and paste like many other Legoland parks, I can offer some further insight there....

Merlin have, as many know, been in China for quite a while now, and their attractions out there have had varying degrees of success. They've had successes and failures with introducing new brands to the country, and have learnt (sometimes the hard way) that simply copying and pasting won't work in China. I don't know how successful it's been (although I'm certainly under the impression it hasn't failed), but the process that went into opening the Shanghai Dungeon will have given them a lot of positives to work with.

For those unaware, the Shanghai Dungeon is very different to all the other Dungeon attractions. It avoids any reference to blood or gore, and I think they very much changed the script to avoid relying on any humour which can be seen as humiliating (eg: the Courtroom scene). Don't know if anyone here has done it and can give any further details?
Anyway, the point here is that they took a risk and carefully tailored one of their brands to a very different market, and it worked.

Merlin have long known that a copy and pasted Legoland won't work in China. They looked very closely at how Disney Shanghai has panned out, and what they can learn from that. I think one of the reasons why it's taken so long for this next step to come about it because they've been meticulous in getting everything bang on with this, from location to design. That's unlike other Legolands, where the only major hurdle to overcome is location.

I really look forward to seeing the final product. Obviously the different rides on offer and the concept art are exciting in their own right, but this could end up - along with Billund, and possibly Windsor - feeling like one of the more unique Legoland parks out there.
 
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