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BBC theme parks planned for China A


major attraction dedicated to the BBC Earth brand, a Top Gear World and other IP-led experiences including a family entertainment centre and a waterpark are in development for sites across China by a new Hong Kong-


based company called Pinnacle International Enterprises. Directors of the ambitious firm include Australian-born park developer and operator Alan Mahony, who previous credits include China's Chimelong Water Park and Beijing Happy Magic Watercube, Ramayana Water Park in Thailand, Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia and Warner Bros Movie World in Australia; former BBC Worldwide and Walt Disney executive Maggie Wong, who was also responsible for developing CBeebies English Learning Centre and In the Night Garden Edutainment Centre in Shanghai; and Karin Lau who serves as managing director and is a veteran in real estate development with successful projects such as the much-acclaimed Shanghai Xintiandi tourist destination. Amongst other partnerships, Pinnacle will act as BBC Worldwide's exclusive


development partner for BBC Earth and Top Gear attractions, both fixed and pop-up. The world's first major BBC Earth attraction, which Pinnacle will develop, build and operate, will fuse entertainment and education to create an attraction format that Mahony says will be “a real eye opener.” Both this and the Top Gear attraction, which will be part of a new resort planned for Hainan off the southern coast of China. Already a popular holiday destination, the Hainan island cluster is set to welcome a number of new tourism developments over the coming years, including Kerzner International's Atlantis Sanya resort opening later this year. “Hainan already welcomes over 40 million tourists a year, there are lots of hotels, a


new third airport for the island but almost no attractions,” notes Mahony. “Chinese people are not used to spending all day on the beach either, so we see real potential


here for some international standard experiences with a unique Asian touch.” Zeitgeist Design and Production of California is currently working on design


development concepts for both BBC branded experiences, with the exact nature of Top Gear attraction still to be decided, although it is expected to be loosely based on a FEC format that will celebrate the hit motoring show from the BBC. Together the two projects represent an investment of RMB10 billon


($1.5bn/€1.4bn) and are expected to open by 2020 as part of a wider resort in Wencheng (in the northeast of Hainan) which will feature three theme parks, a waterpark, 11 museums and 26 hotels. More projects from Pinnacle elsewhere in China will be announced in due course.


Universal confirms


new Nintendo lands Some of the most loved Nintendo characters and worlds are set to jump out of the computer screen and into the theme park when Universal unveils three new realms over the coming years at its properties in the USA and Japan. Guests at Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando (park to be


confirmed) and Universal Studios Japan are promised themed environments filled with “iconic Nintendo excitement, gameplay, heroes and villains. Imagine the fun of stepping into a larger-than-life Nintendo adventure. Gigantic Piranha Plants spring to life. Question blocks, power-ups and more surround you. And Mario and all his friends are there to pull you into a brand-new world. There will be something for everyone – regardless of their age or gaming experience level.” Already confirmed is the name of the land planned for Universal Studios Japan: Super Nintendo World. Concept art shows an entirely Mario- themed land with Bowser’s Castle, Princess Peach’s castle, a mushroom house and a multi-level Mario-style environment. Opening of the ¥50 billion ($450m/,€425m) land is anticipated for 2020. Details of the developments in Orlando and Hollywood will emerge in due course.


Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto at Universal Studios Setpoint partners


with Simtec The US ride manufacturer Simtec, which has been somewhat quiet of late, is hoping for new opportunities after signing a strategic partnership with Simtec Systems of Germany. Setpoint, with its focus on rollercoasters, show action equipment and custom engineering of ride systems, will


act as Simtec s project partner for North America. In return Simtec, focusing on customised simulator systems,


flying theatres and dark rides, will act as Setpoint s sales agent for Asia, Europe and the Middle East. “We see a lot of potential for our simulator systems, especially for our HexaFlite


flying theatre product, in the American market,” explains Simtec CEO, Bernd Kaufmann. “It is easier to access this with a strong partner like Setpoint. It is planned that Setpoint will not only act as Simtec s sales partner, but also will


take over parts of the manufacturing and after sales services for potential new projects in North America. Pictured above is a flying theatre at Wanda Movie Park in China..


10 JANUARY 2017


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