Japan’s Hello Kitty Theme Park Opens in China
By Alvin Ybanez On January 3, 2015
ReutersThe Hello Kitty theme park is the first of its kind to open outside Japan.
Japanese company Sanrio, who created Hello Kitty in 1974, partnered with California-based entertainment design firm Hettema Group for the construction of the theme park, which is China’s first large-scale amusement facility to open in 2015.
According to the Hettema Group, the new park is designed to be “a very special home-away-from-home for Hello Kitty and all her friends.”
“Hello Kitty Park is both a festive playland and a natural park, where children learn about the environment through imaginative, hands-on activity,” the design firm wrote in a statement on their website.
The park, which is expected to attract a million visitors per year, cost approximately 1.9 billion yuan ($320 million) to build and covers a total of 150 acres.
It is split up into six distinct zones with five areas representing the elements of wood, earth, fire, metal and water, and a world festival area that will host holidays and cultural celebrations such as the Lunar New Year.
The park also features several interactive activities that follow the Hello Kitty theme as well as from other characters under the Sanrio franchise.
Sanrio also owns another Hello Kitty-themed park named Harmony Land, which is located in Kyushu prefecture in Japan.
Known for its bright, white face and large red bow, Hello Kitty catapulted into worldwide fame in the mid-1970s and now adorns everything from children’s backpacks and stationary to cars and passenger planes. The character also ignited social media circles recently when an LA Times article published in Aug. 2014 stated that Hello Kitty is not a cat but a human girl, to which a Sanrio spokesman later confirmed in an AFP interview on that same month.