In what is perhaps the most significant news to hit our fair city since the opening of Disneyland last year, it’s been announced that a Hello Kitty theme park is coming soon to downtown Shanghai.
The indoor theme park will span three stories inside a mall on East Nanjing Road, the Shanghai-based Shimao Group said at a press conference on Wednesday. Shimao is in charge of building and operating the park after acquiring the licensing rights from Japan’s Sanrio, which created the Hello Kitty character back in 1974 and has since groomed it into an international icon worth billions of dollars each year.
Shimao says that it will invest almost 200 million yuan ($29 million) into the theme park, which is planned to open in October 2018. According to the company’s plans, the park will incorporate elements of Shanghai into its design including showcasing three different eras in the city’s history — most notably the Shanghai of the 1920s and 1930s.
“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,” Shimao Vice President Eddie Yang proclaimed, according to Shanghai Daily.
Yang also added that the park will likely limit visitors to a maximum of 3,000 per day, so you will likely need to book ahead if you want to gain entrance.
Shanghai is quickly becoming the place to visit for Hello Kitty fans. Just last year, China’s first official Hello Kitty restaurant opened on Nanjing Road, offering some basic western-style food, seasoned with a strong kick of Hello Kitty branding.
But if October 2018 is too long for you to wait, then you can always head to Anji in nearby Zhejiang province to visit China’s first outdoor Hello Kitty theme park. We hear it is quite the experience.
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