Lonely Planet Writer

China's richest man opens the country's largest theme park and it's the first of many!

There’s a new, multi-billion theme park in China – but no, it’s not the Disney World Shanghai that’s set to open next month. Wanda City opened at the weekend in Nanchang, eight hours away from the Mouse’s latest house.

People visit the newly open theme park "Wanda City" in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi province on May 28, 2016. The Chinese conglomerate Wanda on May 28 opened its first theme park, with its billionaire boss declaring war on Disney weeks before the American entertainment giant launches a similar attraction in Shanghai. / AFP / STR / China OUT (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
People visit the newly open theme park “Wanda City” in Nanchang, east China’s Jiangxi province on May 28, 2016 (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The $3 billion development was built by Wanda Group, and boasts the “fastest, highest and longest roller coaster” in the country, according to its owners. The “city” includes an outdoor amusement park, an indoor theme park, a shopping centre with cinemas and restaurants, hotels and the globe’s biggest ocean park. The theme park alone covers 80 hectares, and will host parades and stage shows as well as boasting thrilling rides.

People visit an aquarium at the newly open theme park "Wanda City" in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi province on May 28, 2016. The Chinese conglomerate Wanda on May 28 opened its first theme park, with its billionaire boss declaring war on Disney weeks before the American entertainment giant launches a similar attraction in Shanghai. / AFP / STR / China OUT (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
People visit an aquarium at the newly open theme park “Wanda City” in Nanchang, east China’s Jiangxi province on May 28, 2016 (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

However this development is just the first of many for the group; its billionaire owner Wang Jianlin expects to have 15 Wanda Cities in China, and several overseas, in the next five years. And he’s not afraid to take on Mickey – he recently told Chinese state television that Disney’s foray into the country would crumble under more competitive pricing from his group.

People visit the newly open theme park "Wanda City" in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi province on May 28, 2016. The Chinese conglomerate Wanda on May 28 opened its first theme park, with its billionaire boss declaring war on Disney weeks before the American entertainment giant launches a similar attraction in Shanghai. / AFP / STR / China OUT (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
People visit the newly open theme park “Wanda City” in Nanchang, east China’s Jiangxi province on May 28, 2016 (STR/AFP/Getty Images)