Go to contents

Korean cartoon character theme park enjoys popularity

Posted September. 24, 2015 21:25,   


Korea’s local cartoon characters “Pororo” and “Baby dinosaur Dooly” will become the main characters of small-sized theme parks. In case of Pororo, which created the “Po-president syndrome” after its debut in 2003, Iconix CEO Choi Jong-il, the cartoon’s copyright owner, established the “Pororo Park Co. Ltd.” and started theme park business. Starting with the first theme park in Dongtan of Gyeonggi Province in April 2011, Pororo Park has opened eight Pororo Parks including the latest one in COEX in Seoul that opened in November 2014. Since May 2014, the company has advanced into the Chinese market and now is operating four branches in Beijing, Chongqing, Daren and Guangzhou.

In an average area of 2000 square meters, Pororo Parks accommodate cafes, a play zone for kids and classrooms for learning. About 1.4 million visited local Pororo Parks in 2014 alone. The company will build a medium-sized theme park which brings together all popular local cartoon characters such as Pororo, the Little Bus Tayo and Magical Thousand Character Text in the area of 9,500 square meters in Jeju Island within this year.

As these cartoon characters are so loved by the public, the theme parks may have become a success. However, the success of small-sized theme parks can be attributed to the fact that the theme parks do their best to suit needs of children in a small area rather than becoming a big theme park.

“Places in the cartoon have been faithfully reproduced to the theme park. The same strategy has been applied to overseas branches. Principle is to boost popularity and recognition through the animation and cartoons and open a small-sized theme park,” said an official of Pororo Park.

“Dooly Museum,” the gist of the “Baby Dinosaur Dooly,” was opened in northern Seoul in July. Cartoonist Kim Soo-jeong had published “Baby Dinosaur Dooly” in cartoon magazine “Treasure Island” since 1983. The cartoon gained great popularity and gave a birth to a TV series and an animated movie. “Dooly Museum” was created through collaboration between the cartoonist who has the intellectual copyright of the characters and Dobong district office. The small-sized museum has a three-floor building and a basement, on the area of 4151 square meters. Consisting of museum areas and library areas, the museum houses a playground for kids, a cartoon character exhibit hall, a comic book library, and classrooms for learning programs. The district office started the establishment of the museum since 2007 and spent 20 billion won (approx. USD 16.92 million). Since its opening, the average number of visitors is 600 per day during vacation and 350 per day during semester. The district plans to turn the area surrounding the museum into a “Dooly Theme Park.”

“The Dobong district office plans to draw paintings of Dooly characters in the Ssangmun subway line No. 4 station and on the walls along the Uicheon Stream. With the museum, the nearby area will be a Dooly Theme Park,” said Lee Dong-jin, the head of the district office.