Well, the distance between HK and Shanghai is like San Francisco to Seattle, so there is plenty of distance. HK has about 5 million people, and Shanghai about 15. Both get their fair share of tourists, so it should be a good deal for both.
I don't know if thrill parks are the ticket though... yet. The Chinese people aren't nearly as wild as the Japanese, so they may not have an immediately liking for gigacoasters and rocket coasters. Maybe they can start with something subtle, and work from there.
I wouldn't say at all that the Japanese are wild. They build some of the most intense looking rides, but I think their real interest in the rides stop there.
Australia being one of their favorite holiday destinations (particularly our winter, their summer), it is fair to say I've seen plentyof Japanese at the theme parks here (most days would have easily a thousand or so).
A day at Warner Bros. Movie world, for a tour group, consists of a slow walk through the park, taking pictures and videos of everything. They then tend to head over to Looney Tunes land, and take a spin on the River Ride, which is an indoor boat ride, with a 3 metre drop at the end. They then head back into Main Street and into the Police Academy Stunt Show, at 11:15. Following this, they go to the Wild West Falls (formerly Wild Wild West), hang around the observation area for about half an hour. Occasionally a few may dare to take the flume for a spin (usually with ponchos). Then over to the Lethal Weapon observation area to watch it. Some groups have lunch in the park, and stick around for the street parade before leaving, others just leave to have lunch outside of the park.
They simply love the big rides, but not for the riding. They seem to adore just watching the rides, and seeing expressions on riders faces and whatnot (as do I, but not before I'm totally bored with the ride).
That's not to say at all that all Japanese are afraid of the rides; I'm sure all the Japanese thrill seekers are making use of what's at home before coming here to be disappointed. ;)
I guess this also explains why Disney and Universal are moving in on these countries. You've got people who prefer seeing things as opposed to doing things. Open a park with great theming, great shows, some tame rides, and a wild one here and there to just 'fill the gaps', and you've got a park that has the potential to easily pull in a few million per annum.
These parks, too, are pretty well English-speaking compatible. Disney were after a few thousand Australians to work at Disneyland and DisneySea, mostly as performers, ops and management, before they opened. So obviously, you're going to be able to heavily market them in western countries.
So what if the best coaster in Australia is a second hand Arrow?
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