KidZania, leading global brand of interactive education and entertainment centers for kids, announced its 1st U.S. location will open at Stonebriar Center in Frisco, Texas in Fall 2019.

KidZania is making a big entrance to the U.S., starting with its 1st U.S. location at Stonebriar Center in Fricso TX this Fall 2019. As reported by Global Amusements & Play, “Locations will open in Chicago and New York in 2020 and Los Angeles in 2021. The U.S. locations will build on KidZania’s global footprint of 27 locations in 21 countries since its establishment in 1999.”

“At KidZania, kids have an opportunity to role-play [in] more than 100 professions within an 80,000 square foot indoor city designed just for them,” says Greg Stevens, CEO of KidZania USA. “The KidZania experience allows kids to learn about the world of work while building real-life skills like financial literacy, teamwork and problem-solving. We look forward to bringing this innovative learning experience to children, families, and educators throughout the U.S.”

KidZania:  “The KidZania model is built around kid-size cities that allow them to role-play in realistic simulations like fighting fires, piloting airplanes, acting in plays, designing robots, performing surgery, going on secret missions and more. Each KidZania is tailored to the city in which it is located, complete with buildings, paved streets, vehicles and an economy fueled by a currency called kidZos.”

“Research has shown that when children are actively involved in the learning process, their focus increases; they exercise a higher level of problem-solving skills; they have a more impactful learning experience overall, and they are better equipped to build life skills.”

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“Role-play is a critical part of childhood development and KidZania bridges the gap between schools and the outside world. KidZania provides a unique experience-based environment where kids become active participants in their learning process by putting theory into practice while gaining new knowledge and skills,” says Dr. Ger Graus, Global Director of Education at KidZania.

“KidZania stays on the cutting edge of innovative learning by partnering with consumer brands to incorporate them into the city’s architecture and activities. The collaboration with industry partners creates ultra-realistic situations and careers to better prepare kids for the real world. Together, this helps empower, inspire and support learning for kids. Some of KidZania’s nearly 1,000 global industry partners include British Airways, Netflix, Microsoft, Honda, Johnson & Johnson, Sony, Kellogg’s and Nintendo.

Stevens adds, “In the U.S., we’re onboarding industry partners and identifying new local champions because that is what makes the immersive learning experiences real and meaningful.”

KidZania President, Xavier Lopez Ancona and Frank ‘the Crank’ Seninsky meet at KidZania Mexico City during the 2016 IAAPA Latin America Conference

 

Here is a link to an article I wrote in March 2018 that featured KidZania titled:

Edutainment = Education (Disguised) + Entertainment (Fun) for Family Entertainment Centers

What this could mean?  I was very fortunate to get to spend almost a full day with the ‘Governor of Kidzania’ (in the US we would call that position the COO) and two other Directors at the Mexico City KidZania, the largest in the chain.  What I learned is that the average child (ages 4-14) experience an average of 4 to 5 of the 100 job attraction experiences during a single visit.  Therefore, the repeat visitation frequency is high but still unrealistic that one child will get to visit and experience all of the 100 attractions. 

The financial model of having each company pay for the buildout of their small space certainly is a win-win for both KidZania and for each of those companies who get great market exposure. On the other hand, each company is expected to hire its own staff to teach the kids and parents all about what is like to work in one of their professions. Labor is expensive in the U.S. and each of the store attractions at each KidZania can be ranked as to popularity. Those in the Top 10 get the most visits.  Those in the Bottom 10 get the least. I noticed a huge difference between their tiers in Mexico City so I can assume that the same will occur in the U.S.

I discussed this in detail with KidZania and also went through what parents in the U.S. expect that are quite different than in other countries.  After 3 years of planning, I feel confident that KidZania has planned well for its U.S. debut. Our out-of-home (OOH) leisure entertainment industry is looking forward to seeing and tracking the results this Fall in Frisco, TX.