Wanda Parks Takes On Disney In China and... | Inside Universal Forums
  • As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to impact everywhere, we understand our users will have a lot of questions about how it affects the theme parks. We are entering unprecedented waters, and honestly, the answer is either "yea, probably", or "Too early to tell". We just don't know specifics until the theme parks give us an answer. At this time, we're asking to please leave the COVID talk to the appropriate COVID threads, and if something officially and specifically is impacted by a closure, then we can discuss it further in the respective threads. Thank you!

Wanda Parks Takes On Disney In China and...

GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,832
Orlando
This was an interesting article I came across today about Wanda Parks and their aggressive counter moves against Disney in China and now they are building a park in Paris: One Man's Quest To Destroy Disney - The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) | Seeking Alpha

There was apparently some interest in SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment from Wanda during the sale from InBev. I wouldn't be surprised to see new overtures from them to either buy or build here in Orlando.

I also think that Universal might want to rethink building in China after reading this article.
 

Jon84

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Premium Member
Oct 17, 2013
1,096
The article points out that the parks will be Six Flags-esque and probably will only help Disney.

I think it's spot on, and Universal continue to invest in China.

And the Paris thing, there are already other Theme Parks in France, and indeed Germany, Spain etc that will be as close to DLP as any of these Wanda Parks to Shanghai.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
20,541
Orlando
Yeah... I highly doubt this man is gonna open 15 parks. Maybe get one open, he'll see how hard it is and possibly lose money on the venture.
 

GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,832
Orlando
The article points out that the parks will be Six Flags-esque and probably will only help Disney.

I think it's spot on, and Universal continue to invest in China.

And the Paris thing, there are already other Theme Parks in France, and indeed Germany, Spain etc that will be as close to DLP as any of these Wanda Parks to Shanghai.
The problem is the people writing the article don't know for sure what impact these parks may have on Disney and other western park operators coming into China. The idea Wanda Park Group is using it to appeal to the Chinese people with things specific to their own culture. That's something that ham handed western park operators may not be able to do well and appeal to the populace. It will be interesting to see what happens when they do build a park in Paris. If you haven't seen pictures, the Wanda parks are quite well themed, and while they may not be Disney level all around, they are impressive. Couple that with tickets being half the price of Disney's (and I will assume Universal's) and they may make a big dent in the anticipated attendance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Dog

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
18,670
Pittsburgh area
The problem is the people writing the article don't know for sure what impact these parks may have on Disney and other western park operators coming into China. The idea Wanda Park Group is using it to appeal to the Chinese people with things specific to their own culture. That's something that ham handed western park operators may not be able to do well and appeal to the populace. It will be interesting to see what happens when they do build a park in Paris. If you haven't seen pictures, the Wanda parks are quite well themed, and while they may not be Disney level all around, they are impressive. Couple that with tickets being half the price of Disney's (and I will assume Universal's) and they may make a big dent in the anticipated attendance.
Good points..... Example; The local Hong Kong park consistently outdraws Disney's Hong Kong Park.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GAcoaster

quinnmac000

Veteran Member
May 14, 2014
5,454
Seoul, Korea
One thing most people forget is Wanda owns Legendary which means they have IPs to use and some popular in the Middle Kingdom. Disney doesn't mean much to China like it does here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Dog

Jon84

Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Premium Member
Oct 17, 2013
1,096
Less analysis and more speculation and stating the obvious!

Not enough numbers to satisfy the analyst in me!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Dog

Stitch_101

Member
Feb 11, 2015
598
Destin
They've already got 5 Amusement Park Search Results and the man has BILLIONS ($34.2) of dollars. Ten more parks in the most populous country in the world is not a stretch.
Just pointing out that a few of those parks are listed as under construction and are not open yet, so technically they don't have 5 parks yet... But that's just me being nitpicky lol.

On my own note, the economic growth in China has slowed considerably to almost stagnant levels and the value of the yuan is expected to drop even more before the end of the year. And the steps the government is taking to address it are for the most part counter productive. Add to that the fact that China has been trying to pivot from a manufacturing economy to a partly service based economy (more similar to that of the USA) and you have another big issue. The poverty disparities between urban and rural areas is still a problem, and the aging workforce thanks to their (until recently) one child law is making it difficult for them to cultivate such a service based economy. The last ten-fifteen years has seen a huge boom in amusement parks in China. However, upkeep on a lot of them has been terrible, partly because of the over saturation of them in the market and partly because of the poor placement of some of them. This isn't looking to change at all, and for me that's why I think it would be best for Universal to bow out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jon84

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
18,670
Pittsburgh area
Just pointing out that a few of those parks are listed as under construction and are not open yet, so technically they don't have 5 parks yet... But that's just me being nitpicky lol.

On my own note, the economic growth in China has slowed considerably to almost stagnant levels and the value of the yuan is expected to drop even more before the end of the year. And the steps the government is taking to address it are for the most part counter productive. Add to that the fact that China has been trying to pivot from a manufacturing economy to a partly service based economy (more similar to that of the USA) and you have another big issue. The poverty disparities between urban and rural areas is still a problem, and the aging workforce thanks to their (until recently) one child law is making it difficult for them to cultivate such a service based economy. The last ten-fifteen years has seen a huge boom in amusement parks in China. However, upkeep on a lot of them has been terrible, partly because of the over saturation of them in the market and partly because of the poor placement of some of them. This isn't looking to change at all, and for me that's why I think it would be best for Universal to bow out.
All great points & it shows you have a good understanding of the reality of the Chinese economy.
 
Jul 27, 2014
480
Hulk's Queue
Is it wrong to say that it's a burden for the West (Western Culture) to build theme parks in China? The actions of guests at Shanghai's opening felt like a mild form of civil disobedience to me.
 

zg44

Member
Jun 5, 2017
944
In $9.3B Deal, Wanda Selling Hotels, Theme Parks To China’s Sunac | Deadline
Wanda out of the business?

Sounds like debt is way too high on Wanda's balance sheet and attendance at the parks isn't good enough.

Note that Disney Shanghai is overperforming expectations.

What it means? Good news for Universal Beijing because premium/high end theme parks will do well while the mass market operators are facing too much overbuilding.

The theme parks that will thrive in China will be the ones on the extreme ends: either the highest quality like Disney Shanghai or Universal Beijing or Chimelong Ocean kingdom; or the regional parks that know their space like FantaWild or Six Flags.

Wanda was sort of caught in the middle like SeaWorld in the US.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
18,670
Pittsburgh area
In $9.3B Deal, Wanda Selling Hotels, Theme Parks To China’s Sunac | Deadline
Wanda out of the business?

Sounds like debt is way too high on Wanda's balance sheet and attendance at the parks isn't good enough.

Note that Disney Shanghai is overperforming expectations.

What it means? Good news for Universal Beijing because premium/high end theme parks will do well while the mass market operators are facing too much overbuilding.

The theme parks that will thrive in China will be the ones on the extreme ends: either the highest quality like Disney Shanghai or Universal Beijing or Chimelong Ocean kingdom; or the regional parks that know their space like FantaWild or Six Flags.

Wanda was sort of caught in the middle like SeaWorld in the US.
So much for all that bragging from the Wanda executives on how they were going to crush the competition. Just all corporate B.S. :lol:
 
  • Like
Reactions: zg44 and Andysol

zg44

Member
Jun 5, 2017
944
So much for all that bragging from the Wanda executives on how they were going to crush the competition. Just all corporate B.S. :lol:
Yep.

It was all nonsense that they could somehow defeat Disneyland Shanghai (and in a few years Universal Beijing) with a group of small regional resorts charging a half the price.

The "national resort" model (with top IPs and immersion in a major tourist city/highly populated region) will be the most successful just like in the US.

DL Shanghai hitting 11m in first year shows that and Universal Beijing should be able to do the same.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Dog