Next year, Chinese children will have a more authentic Christmas experience than ever before, thanks to two Finnish companies which have just signed a contract to supply a 10 square kilometre reconstruction of Santa’s Lapland workshop to the capital of Sichuan province.
The companies, both specialists in "Christmas experience design", are SantaPark and Lappset Group, both based in Lapland. Yesterday, they both signed a partnership with two Chinese companies to construct the mega theme park in Chengdu. Work is scheduled to be complete by May 2016.
The Chinese partners are theme park operator Chengdu Floraland Tourism Investment and Chengdu Pureland Investment.
Deng Xing, general manager of Chengdu Floraland, said it was "a great honour" to be the first in China to cooperate with the Finnish companies.
"We are confident and capable to have this great project as a successful sample of the cultural co-operation between China and Finland. In our opinion, this is not only an entertainment park, but also a great bridge of Sino-Finn friendship."
Ilkka Lankinen, the chief executive of SantaPark, commented: "By combining our proven SantaPark Concept together with Lappset’s solid experience of designing and making themed attractions, we have made an exceptional concept and a completely new way of thinking, and we are proud to establish the first SantaPark theme park in China that will bring families and friends together in an active learning and magical Christmas atmosphere."
SantaPark’s Finnish theme park is located in Rovaniemi, inside the Arctic Circle. It features Professor Elf’s Elf School, which teaches ancient elf secrets, Mrs Claus’s gingerbread bakery, a sleigh ride through the Elves’ toy factory, and cocktails in ice glasses served in "the refreshing below-freezing temperature" of the ice bar.