On Saturday, the company welcomed the first visitors to the new 34bn yuan park in Hefei which also has hotels and a shopping mall. The firm plans to build as many as 20 more such parks across China by 2020.
Dalian Wanda has been outspoken about its rivalry with US firm Walt Disney which opened its first theme park in mainland China in June. In May, Wanda launched its first theme park in Nanchang just weeks before Disney launched its Shanghai park.
Disney’s $5.5bn gamble in Shanghai is a behemoth of an entertainment complex. So far, Disney still has a significant lead in the key part of this equation – intellectual property. With Star Wars and Marvel’s array of characters to add to Mickey Mouse it has much to entice families.
Disney’s Shanghai park is its sixth theme park and its fourth outside the United States after Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong.