|Family Entertainment Center|
KidZania is a privately held Mexican chain of family entertainment centers currently operating in 16 locations allowing children to work in adult jobs and earn currency. KidZania has received more than 31 million guests around the world since its opening, making it one of the fastest growing global edutainment brands in the world.
Every KidZania is themed as a child-sized replica of a real city, including buildings, shops and theaters, as well as vehicles and pedestrians moving along its streets. In this city, children aged 4 through 14, work in branded activities from bottling Coca-Cola, working in a Crest-sponsored dentist office, working at a McDonalds restaurant, painting with Corporação Industrial do Norte, washing hands with P&G's Safeguard soap, and using airline tickets from American Airlines, Emirates and Saudia.
The children earn kidZos (KidZania's currency) while performing the tasks, and the money is kept in the KidZania bank for children to spend at the gift shop and on KidZania activities. Inside every KidZania facility around the world, children wear electronic bracelets that allow parents to keep track of their kids remotely.
The blending of marketing has led The Morning News to dub KidZania as "advertainment", stating "there is little that's pretend, and the play revolves around following instructions from the adult Zupervisors." Children also make up the governance of KidZania, with a 14-member group.
KidZania was created and developed by Mexican entrepreneur Xavier López Ancona, current KidZania CEO. The first KidZania opened in September 1999 in Santa Fe Shopping Mall in Mexico City, and was named La Ciudad de los Niños ("The City of the Children").
Corporate sponsors funded 55% of the initial investment.
In 2007, KidZania engaged veteran entertainment strategist and dealmaker Andrew Darrow as Executive Vice President to expand the operation.
The London KidZania, located at Westfield London, cost £20 million to build. In partnership with British Airways, it is operated by Joel Cadbury and Ollie Vigors through their Longshot Ltd company.
- KidZania Mexico City, opened in September 1999 as La Ciudad de los Niños, rebranded KidZania La Ciudad de los Niños
- KidZania Monterrey, opened in May 2006
- Kidzania Tokyo, opened in October 2006 (franchise)
- KidZania Jakarta, opened in November 2007 (franchise)
- Kidzania Koshien, opened in March 2009 (franchise)
- KidZania Lisbon, opened June 2009 (franchise)
- KidZania Dubai, opened January 2010 (franchise)
- KidZania Seoul, opened February 2010 (franchise)
- KidZania Kuala Lumpur, opened February 2012 (franchise)
- KidZania Santiago, opened May 2012 (franchise)
- KidZania Cuicuilco in Mexico City, opened June 2012
- KidZania Bangkok, opened March 2013 (franchise)
- KidZania Mumbai, opened April 2013 (franchise)
- KidZania Kuwait, opened June 2013 (franchise)
- KidZania Cairo, opened September 2013 (franchise)
- Kidzania Turkey, Istanbul, opened February 2014 (franchise)
- KidZania Jeddah, opened January 2015 (franchise)
- KidZania São Paulo, opened January 2015 (franchise)
- KidZania London, opened June 2015 (franchise)
- KidZania Manila, opened August 2015 (franchise)
- KidZania Singapore, will open in 2015
- KidZania Moscow, will open in 2015
- Kidzania Doha, Qatar, will open in 2015
- KidZania Delhi, India, will open in 2016
Awards and recognition
KidZania was voted the World's Top Family Entertainment Center by the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) and 2009 Global Leisure Operator of the Year.
From 2011 to 2014, KidZania has been recognized as one of The Best Mexican Companies (Las Mejores Empresas Mexicanas), a recognition sponsored by Banamex, Deloitte México and Tecnológico de Monterrey.
- Deri Smith, Mike (11 April 2011). "State of Play". The Morning News (online magazine). Retrieved 18 April 2011.
- Rubinstein, Dana (19 May 2011). "Playing Grown-Up at KidZania". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 20 May 2011.
- Nathaniel Parish Flannery, KidZania and a New Generation of Entrepreneurs in Mexico, Forbes, 7/18/2012
- Rebecca Mead, When I Grow Up: The theme-park chain where children pretend to be adults., The New Yorker, January 19, 2015
- Jude Webber, Lunch with the FT: Xavier López Ancona, Financial Times, August 1, 2014
- Jonathan Prynn, KidZania: New £20m ‘mini city’ inside Westfield mall will let children 'work' for treats, London Evening Standard, 16 July 2013
- Stuart Jeffries, KidZania: the mini-city where children are in charge, The Guardian, 26 October 2014
- Christopher Thompson, Longshot to back UK KidZania, Financial Times, February 26, 2012
- Official website
- An article about KidZania in the Japanese Metropolis magazine
- New Kidzania theme park to be developed - The Brunei Times
- Las Mejores Empresas Mexicanas (The Best Mexican Companies)