MANILA, Philippines. BusinessMirror. March 10, 2014. (English) by Roderick L. Abad. –Interactive children’s city theme park KidZania expects to host more than 600,000 visitors annually once it opens at Bonifacio Global City early next year.
Combining education and entertainment, Play Innovations President and Chief Executive Officer Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas told the BusinessMirror that the P1-billion interactive kid-sized city will cater to youngsters, from age 4 to 14, with over 100 role-playing activities in various establishments set up within its two-level area.
“We want to give children a chance to discover the areas of interests and their different talents. Because children who love what they do will do it well and they will become better citizens. If you look at the theme line of KidZania, it’s ‘Get Ready for a Better World.’ And our vision is really to inspire children and empower them to believe that they can contribute toward making a better world. And it starts by building better communities,” the executive said.
KidZania Manila is the first of its kind kid’s edutainment concept park in the country, in addition to 15 locations in 12 countries worldwide.
To enter this indoor play center, kids will check in at the arrival counter of KidZania International Airport where they will be welcomed by an aircraft of Cebu Pacific—the exclusive flag-carrier partner of Play Innovations to bring aviation-themed activities within the city ruled out by kiddos.
Inside the 9,000-square-meter KidZania Manila, the visitors have their own money called kidzos. They can use it to spend in different places such as department store, tiangge and restaurants, among others.
Once they run out of kidzos, they can work as a pilot or a flight attendant in the Aviation Academy of Cebu Pacific. They can also play the roles of members of the cabin crew or passengers.
Also in KidZania are various establishments, including a hospital, university, television station, acting academy and dance studio.
“We’re also planning a marine research vessel because the Philippines is an archipelago. We have a farm house store to teach them how their food is produced,” Pangilinan-Arenas added.
Following the Department of Tourism’s accreditation to KidZania Manila as a tourist destination, she said they are also seeking endorsement from the Department of Education (DepEd).
Play Innovations—a subsidiary of ABS-CBN Corp.—is working with curriculum consultants to make sure that all activities within the play center support theoretical academic principles.
“Because it’s going to complement the K-to-12 program of the DepEd, all of the activities in KidZania have scripts, designed along with educators and child psychologists because we really want it to be an educational theme park,” she explained.
Pangilinan-Arenas revealed that they will start moving in this month to design the interiors in preparation for the opening of the interactive play city early 2015.