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Park Profile Wanda Xishaungbanna International Resort’s spectacular arrival plaza


Following hot on the heels of the indoor Wanda Movie Park that opened earlier this year in Wuhan, the Dalian Wanda Group has


debuted its first full-scale theme park and entertainment resort in Xishuangbanna, Jinghong City. Park World takes a look at the


development, which forms part of a much larger new large regional destination including hotels, a


cultural theatre, commercial centre, hospital and a “tourism town”


T


he Wanda Xishuangbanna International Resort features both a theme park and waterpark, designed by Forrec. The 63-hectare development, which opened on September 26, is divided into four distinct zones that express the lush, topical diversity of the Yunnan province: Butterfly Land, Jungle Adventure, Tea Horse Road and Fisherman’s Bay. The waterpark, which operates as separate gated attraction, feels almost like an oversized botanical garden – inspired by the region’s incredibly rich flora. The arrival plaza also functions as a non-gated entertainment space, designed for events such as the local and very popular water-splashing Festival of Dai. “The opportunity to do something culturally unique was


central to our approach to creating the two parks’ masterplans, concept designs and detail designs,” explains Forrec president and CEO Gordon Dorrett. “We worked


hand-in-hand with the Wanda Group to embrace the colours, culture and natural wonders of Xishuangbanna.” Forrec’s designers were inspired by the multicultural


character of Yunnan province, which is influenced by Thai, Vietnamese, Laos and Chinese heritage, has its own Dai dialect, and is an area of true natural beauty.


Wandering around Wanda Guests start their journey by following a broad winding path carved through a bamboo forest. A clearing in the forest opens up to the large arrival plaza, where tall animal sculptures are surrounded by grand waterfalls. Large elephants sculpted from the natural rock protrude from the walls of water, concealing gates that lead into the two parks.


In Butterfly Land, the colour and magic of the tropical


forest is everywhere, in vibrant patterns, textures and architecture. Visitors journey through the natural vegetation under the shade of giant butterfly wings, webs and cocoons. Each of the land’s attractions, including giant butterfly and caterpillar rides, delivers a different experience of flight. At Fishermen’s Bay, traditional stilt-houses crowd the


riverbank and project over the water as assorted fishing gear and images of fish and aquatic animals decorate the town. Wanda guests make their way through the village on boardwalks and piers and can enjoy a selection of water rides and attractions. There’s a selection of waterfront eateries, including a famous local seafood restaurant. Tea Horse Road celebrates a time at the beginning of the


Tang Dynasty, when this thoroughfare of commerce was the main link between China and Tibet. Beginning only a few


22 OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2015


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