Trends and Observations

Leisure Development Pulse showcases recently opened attractions worldwide, as well as those currently under construction. All of these attractions opened after the latest economic recession began. This is an encouraging sign and shows the continued strength of the global leisure industry.   

Theme Parks and Amusement Parks 

  • China is now the dominant country hosting major new theme parks and amusement parks. This includes the most expensive project (Shanghai Disneyland), which is currently under construction. The country is currently experiencing a theme park construction boom similar to that in the United States during the 1970s. A key factor is the growth of China’s middle class. 
  • Some areas worldwide now see major theme parks as a status symbol, similar to hosting a World’s Fair. This includes not only Shanghai Disneyland, but also the recently built Universal Studios Singapore. This type of theme park typically serves as a centerpiece of a much larger mixed-used project, which benefits from the popularity of the theme park. Other examples include E-DA Theme Park in Taiwan, LEGOLAND Malaysia, and the future Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China.
  • Development within the United States is currently focused on major expansions within existing theme parks, such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter area within Universal's Islands of Adventure. Redevelopment of past theme park locations is also occurring. An example is the new LEGOLAND Florida theme park, which is located where Cypress Gardens once operated. Smaller-sized examples include the AZoosment Park (replacing Santa’s Village) and Luna Park (within the former Astroland property). There are economic benefits from redeveloping a former location. 
  • Major theme parks (Rainbow MagicLand) and smaller-sized amusement parks (Bracalândia, Tayto Park, and Terra Park) continue to be developed in Europe.
  • Smaller-sized amusement parks are also being built in less-populated areas worldwide. Examples include Dream Land in Cambodia. There are many emerging markets worldwide where this level of leisure development could be supported.
  • Major indoor theme parks have recently opened. The largest is Ferrari World in the United Arab Emirates. Other examples are Trans Studio Bandung and Trans Studio Makassar, both located in Indonesia.
  • Although new theme parks and amusement parks typically emphasize thrill rides, some recent examples do not. These include Kingdom of Dreams in India, Hello Kitty's Kawaii Paradise in Japan, and Jurassic Forest in Canada. 
  • One of the most innovative new amusement parks is Morgan’s Wonderland in the USA. It is specifically designed to accommodate special needs children.