|Family Entertainment Center|
KidZania is a privately held Mexican chain of family entertainment centers currently operating in 24 locations worldwide, allowing children to work in adult jobs and earn currency. KidZania has received more than 31 million visitors 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 McDonald's 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's 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 the Mexican entrepreneur Xavier López Ancona, the 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 hired entertainment strategist Andrew Darrow as executive vice president to expand the operation. Cammie Dunaway joined in late 2010 as the chief marketing officer.
The mascots of KidZania are called the Rightz Keepers. They represent the rights that all KidZania patrons have, and together, they share an extra sixth right, the Right to Be.
- Urbano (Right to Know): A 9-year-old, green-haired kid who is ingenious, inquisitive, and adventurous. He is interested in conducting experiments and making inventions.
- Vita (Right to Care): Urbano's younger sister, a kind and thoughtful blue-haired girl who loves all living things.
- Bache (Right to Play): Urbano and Vita's blue pet dog. He loves to play, and will eat anything. His dream is to make sure every kid in the world is as happy as he is.
- Beebop (Right to Create): Urbano's 10-year-old best friend. He is a huge fan of music and is very artistic. He has orange hair, and wears a yellow shirt and headphones.
- Chika (Right to Share): The fashionista of KidZania, a sociable and cheerful pink-haired girl who wears fake cat ears. She gets her inspiration from her favorite anime and manga characters.
- 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 Moscow, opened in 28 January 2016 in largest Europe shopping mall - Aviapark (franchise)
- KidZania Busan, South Korea, opened in April 2016. This is the second KidZania in South Korea.
- KidZania Singapore, opened April 12, 2016 (franchise)
- KidZania Delhi NCR, in Noida India, opened in May 2016
- Kidzania Doha, Qatar, is scheduled to open in 2018
- KidZania Johannesburg, is scheduled to open in 2018
- KidZania Toronto, is scheduled to open in 2019
- KidZania Abu Dhabi, is scheduled to open in 2018
- KidZania Guadalajara, is scheduled to open in 2018
- KidZania Paris, is scheduled to open in 2018
- KidZania Surabaya, is scheduled to open in 2020
- KidZania Chicago, opening in 2018 at Oakbrook Shopping Center
- KidZania Dallas, opening in mid-2019 at Frisco, Texas.
- KidZania East Rutherford, opening in 2017 at American Dream Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey
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 2015, KidZania has been recognized as one of The Best Mexican Companies (Las Mejores Empresas Mexicanas), a recognition promoted 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
- "KidZania London Harnesses the Power of Role-Play & Fun Learning in 19th Global Location | KidZania Journal". Kzjournal.kidzania.com. 2015-06-25. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
- "Kidzania Manila Homepage". Kidzania.com. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
- "Kidzania Moscow Homepage". kidzania.ru. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
- "Former Nintendo and Yahoo Executive Recruited to KidZania as U.S. President, Global Marketing Head". Prweb.com. 2010-10-04. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
- "Empresas Reconocidas - Las Mejores Empresas Mexicanas". Mejoresempresasmexicanas.com. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
- 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)