The strategic partnership that will explore how technology can create the ultimate theme park experience of the future.

Merlin Entertainments and Tencent today officially launched the first stage of a strategic partnership that will explore how technology can create the ultimate theme park experience of the future. The announcement, which builds on Merlin’s desire to deliver exceptionally tailored digital experiences for guests of its more than 140 attractions and theme parks, was made at the Tencent Global Digital Ecosystem Summit.

The agreement builds on Merlin’s desire to deliver exceptionally tailored digital experiences for its guests worldwide. The partnership, which will initially focus on the upcoming LEGOLAND® Resorts in Shenzhen, Shanghai, and eventually Sichuan, aims to shape the digital future of theme parks in China by providing guests with the very latest in personalised, seamless, and immersive park experiences.

By harnessing Tencent’s competitive technology and big data capabilities, the LEGOLAND® Resorts in China will feature an enhanced digital guest journey and customised service that will elevate park operations.  The partnership will explore innovative technologies such as avatar interaction to enrich the guest experience whilst also offering smart marketing with insights into Chinese tourists' consumer behavior.

A LEGOLAND® Resort is the ultimate LEGO® theme park and hotel destination offering a wide variety of interactive rides, exciting shows and entertainment attractions for children aged 2-12 and their families to play, ride, climb, build and learn together. The LEGOLAND® Resorts in China will leverage Tencent’s competitive technology and big data capabilities to enhance the digital guest journey with customised service that will elevate park operations. 

China is the second largest themed entertainment market in the world and its impressive growth is set to continue. As experts in location-based attractions and with 13 other Chinese attractions including four LEGOLAND® Discovery Centres, five Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Centres, The Dungeons, and Peppa Pig World of Play, Merlin has a deep understanding of Chinese consumer needs and is at the forefront of emerging trends, including immersive experiences with brands families love, learning through play, and the metaverse.

As a global tech giant and leading enterprise, Tencent has outstanding digital innovation capabilities and expertise. Together, Merlin and Tencent share a common vision of creating amazing adventures for families and leveraging technology to enhance the guest experience, which makes this partnership a natural fit.

“Merlin Entertainments has proudly entertained and inspired millions of guests in our attractions throughout China for almost 20 years. As we look forward and continue to invest and grow our presence in the Chinese market, we are thrilled to announce a strategic partnership with Tencent in anticipation and excitement of the launch of the biggest and most innovative LEGOLAND® Resorts in the world. Tencent, the leading digital media company, is the perfect partner to define extraordinary guest experiences through technology and data and we will collaborate to reimagine how to make more memories, bring more happiness and spread more joy to more families together. From avatar interactions to immersive shows, we look forward to introducing LEGO enthusiasts, families and theme park guests to a next-generation digital experience at our new resorts in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Sichuan, as well as the potential for additional attractions.”

Scott O'Neil, CEO of Merlin Entertainments

“The decision to build LEGOLAND® Resorts in Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Sichuan is testament to our confidence in China's economic potential. Together with the partnership with Tencent, we aim to create a family-friendly digital guest experience that is tailored to the needs and preferences of Chinese families. LEGOLAND® Resorts in China will leverage groundbreaking technologies to create a seamless, personalised, smart, and innovative digital guest journey from pre-visit, during-visit and post-visit for our guests. Whether it is in attractions, hotels, restaurants and retail shops, we are excited to offer our guests an immersive online to offline experience to enjoy their time with family.”

Siegfried Boerst, Managing Director of LEGOLAND® Resorts in China

“As a leading technology company with deep digital innovation expertise and extensive user service experience, it is one of Tencent's major goals to help elevate various industries through digital technology. We hope that this exciting partnership with LEGOLAND® Resorts will maximise Tencent's strengths in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, big data and other areas to refresh visitor services and create more satisfying experiences for visitors."

Dowson Tong, Tencent’s Senior Executive Vice President and CEO of Tencent Cloud and Smart Industries Group

“Tencent has been working in the Culture and Tourism industry for many years, and we have accumulated a wealth of digital solutions and service experience in the field of theme parks. In recent years, Tencent has been exploring new solutions for guest services with the emergence of technologies such as Immersive Convergence and AIGC. Through this partnership with LEGOLAND® Resort in China, Tencent will be able to implement more exciting technologies into real-life scenarios, and we are looking forward to working closely together.”

Fang Tengfei, Vice President of Tencent Cloud and General Manager of Tencent Culture and Tourism Sector

In this long-term partnership, Merlin Entertainments will work with Tencent to continue to explore further opportunities – both in its three LEGOLAND® Resorts in China and across its other Chinese attractions – with a focus on transformation of onsite interaction and joint marketing campaigns that deepen digitalisation and achieve more shared goals.