Dalian Wanda Group Co., China’s biggest private property developer, opened its first Wanda City theme park in Nanchang, the capital of the southeastern Jiangxi province, Saturday. The 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) theme park, the first of the 15 the company has planned, opened three weeks before its direct rival Walt Disney Co. opens its first theme park in mainland China, in Shanghai.
Wanda hopes to displace Disney as the world’s largest tourism operator, and the Wanda City in Nanchang is the first step in that direction. Spread over 200 hectares, it houses an $800 million theme park, bamboo forests, an indoor shopping mall with cinemas, restaurants, numerous hotels and the world’s largest ocean park.
The theme is distinctly Chinese and Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin — China’s richest man — said at the opening ceremony: “Chinese culture led in the world for 2,000 years, but since the last 300 years, because of our lagging development and the invasion of foreign cultures, we have more or less lacked confidence in our own culture. We want to be a model for Chinese private enterprise, and we want to establish a global brand for Chinese firms.”.. see more