Window of the World, Shenzhen
Located in Shenzhen’s Overseas Chinese Town, the Window of the World amusement park is filled with replicas, built at ratios of 1:1, 1:5 or 1:15, of internationally renowned sites and structures – allowing patrons to feel as though they visited famous landmarks from nearly every corner of the planet. How else can you visit Angkor Wat, the Eiffel Tower, the Egyptian Pyramids and the Grand Canyon for a total price of US$22?
Smurf Theme Park, Chengdu
Everyone’s favorite blue-skinned friends will have a new home in a Chengdu theme park within the next three to five years. Chengdu Teda Sino-Europe Construction and Belgium-based merchandising company IMPS plan to invest roughly US$3.2 billion to build the amusement park, which is expected to receive around 10 million visitors each year – roughly on par with Chengdu’s longest-running attraction, the giant pandas.
Kingdom of the Little People, Kunming
Just 40 minutes from Kunming lies the Kingdom of the Little People, an amusement park with tiny dogs, tiny fruit trees, Dr Seuss-style architecture, a 230-foot-high performance hall in the shape of a giant prehistoric tree stump, and over 100 performers who stand under 130cm tall. The Kingdom provides its patrons with comedic, miniature versions of plays like “Swan Lake” and occasional hip-hop dance performances. Founder Chen Mingju said he wanted to make the park “like a fairy tale.”
Shanghai Disney Resort
Scheduled to open in 2016, Shanghai’s Disney Resort will cover 963 acres in the Pudong district, approximately three times the area of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. At an initial cost of RMB24.5 billion (US$3.7 billion), Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and the park’s majority owner, the Shanghai Shengdi Group, aim to build a whole new world of entertainment and adventure, including a park, two themed hotels, a retail, dining and entertainment venue, and an array of recreation facilities.
Dinosaur Park, Changzhou
Sometimes called the Jurassic Park of the East, the Changzhou Dinosaur Park has been around since April 2001. The park offers visitors roller-coasters, a science museum showcasing 36 skeleton fossils of dinosaurs (including the world’s most complete hadrosaur fossil) and parkland landscaped with a waterfall, forest, cliffs and caves – but not the dangerous real-life dinosaurs of its Hollywood namesake.
World Joyland, Changzhou
World Joyland, better known as China’s “World of Warcraft” knock-off amusement park, claims to be the world’s first video-game-themed park. The park, covering 600,000 square meters, is divided into two sections – “Terrain of Magic” and “Universe of Starship.” World Joyland is not licensed by Blizzard, the company which created both “World of Warcraft” and “Starcraft,” so the park is unable to use the actual names of games or their fictitious characters. Regardless, the park is filled with Warcraft- and Starcraft-themed rides and attractions, as well as its misspelled main attraction, a blue inverted roller-coaster named the “Sky Scrapper.”
Happy Magic Water Park, Beijing
Beijing’s Water Cube complex, originally used for the swimming and diving events of the 2008 Summer Olympics, has since been converted into Asia’s largest indoor water park. With slides, a wave pool, jellyfish hanging from the ceiling and a lazy river, the Happy Magic Water Park is now Beijing’s second-most visited tourist attraction after the Great Wall.