• Wanda's Wang Jianlin unveils first of 15 theme parks that could compete with Shanghai Disneyland.

Wanda's Wang Jianlin unveils first of 15 theme parks that could compete with Shanghai Disneyland. (Photo : Getty Images)

China’s richest man Wang Jianlin unveils Dalian Wanda Group Co.’s Wanda City on Saturday as the first step toward overthrowing Walt Disney Co. from being the biggest tourism operator in the world.

Bloomberg said that the Wanda Cultural Tourism City, a massive tourism complex spanning 2 square kilometers located in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, was created for the sole purpose of launching an all-out theme park war against Disney, whose first theme park is set to open in June.

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Several reports about the project, the remaining 14 theme parks Wanda plans to establish in the country, and three more abroad, revealed how Wang felt about a Western-based company ruling tourism in China.

Wanda City and Other Theme Parks

According to Shangaiist, the construction of Wanda City costs $3 billion.

It features rides, shopping centers and an aquarium, all made for the entertainment and satisfaction of Chinese tourists.

Bloomberg said that there would also be a movie park in the complex as well as hotels and other commodities the tourists might need to enjoy their stay.

After Wanda City, Wang and his firm plans to build 14 more theme parks in China, including the next one to be situated in Hefei City, Anhui Province.

The company told Bloomberg that the second theme park is set to be unveiled in September and would be followed by others that would be built in key cities in China, including Qingdao in the Shandong Province, Wuxi in Jiangsu Province, and Guangzhou in Guangdong Province.

Tickets for each Wanda City are priced 198 yuan on low peak days and 248 yuan during weekends and holidays where traffic is higher, a significantly lower amount compared to Shanghai Disneyland's 370 yuan and 499 yuan, respectively.

Competing with Disneyland

Wanda's theme park projects are known to be targeted at dethroning Disney as the world's biggest tourism company simply because of Wang's statements a week ago that expressed his resentment at how China craves for imports from the West.

"Chinese culture led in the world's for 2,000 years, but since the last 300 years, because of our lagging development and the invasion of foreign cultures, we have more or less lacked confidence in our own culture," Shanghaiist quoted him as saying.

He added that Wanda's goal is to become "a model for Chinese private enterprise" by establishing a global brand not only in theme parks but also in the movie industry.

Citing a CCTV interview, Shanghaiist further noted Wang's disdain for Disney's entry in China, saying: "They [Disney] shouldn't have entered China. We have a [saying]: one tiger is no match for a pack of wolves. Shanghai has one Disney, while Wanda, across the nation, will open 15 to 20. Disneyland is fully built on American culture. We place importance on local culture."