The first ever Cartoon Network theme park in India is now in the pipeline, and it is coming up in the Sun City of Surat, Gujarat. One of the cleanest cities in India, Surat is a busy diamond and textile trade hub but has its share of tourist attractions, like the Dumas and Hajira beaches, the Dutch garden and cemetery and some important temples. But a newly forged business partnership will add a theme park to this mix. ALSO READ: Nehru Jayanti 2017: Places Associated with Jawaharlal Nehru to Visit on Children’s Day
The owner of the Cartoon Network brand, Turner International India, has entered a brand partnership with Rajgreen, a Gujarati real estate and hospitality group. The two will work together to build Amaazia, an amusement park built around Cartoon Network and its programs, in Surat. Amaazia will spread across 61,000 square meters and will be built for INR 450 crore. The estimated date of opening is sometime in the first three months of 2019. Rajgreen Group’s chairman Sanjay Movaliya has told Economic Times that it has already invested INR 300 crore.
Thailand and Dubai already have Cartoon Network themed amusement parks; there is the Cartoon Network Zone at IMG Worlds of Adventue in Dubai and the Cartoon Network Amazon Water Park in Pattaya. Amaazia will be the first of its kind in India, and should rope in plenty of kids and families, especially since there are very few such parks in the country right now. Adlabs Imagica, Essel World, Smaaash, Wonderla and KidZania are the big players at the moment.
Amaazia will have 20 water slides and 33 themed attractions, along with Cartoon Network themed live shows and meet-and-greet events with characters from Cartoon Network programs. Cartoon Network Enterprises estimates that the park will host around a million visitors within its first year. That’s a big number, but definitely an achievable one. Cartoon Network has been airing in India for more than two decades and was the first mainstream kids’ channel in the country.
So why Surat? Well, it may not be high on the list for travelers, but it is a fast-developing city. Movaliya says that the city is well on its way to becoming a metro by next year. Weather is pleasant and favorable throughout the year, and Surat is well-connected to other big cities like Ahmedabad and Mumbai, thanks to its status as a trade hub. Also, plenty of high-spending individuals frequent the city for business. With the Cartoon Network theme park, the hope is that they’ll bring their families with them too. NOW READ: Children’s Day 2017: Best Places to Visit with Kids on Nehru Jayanti
Under the greenlit plan, Amaazia will have four sections: a Cartoon Network themed park, a water park, a recreational area for the family and a retail shopping zone. Cartoon Network is not going to be running the park like Walt Disney and Universal. Instead, it will be commissioning its characters and its brand to Rajgreen, which will handle the operations.