If, when walking around Sudirman, you suddenly come across an eight-year-old chasing down fugitive, don't worry, you're not halucinating. You have simply reached a new world: KidZania.
At the very antipode of the enchanting land of Disney, KidZania is an indoor theme park where children go and spend the day not only to have fun, but also to..work!
This innovative and unique family entertainment facility is a child-sized replica of a real city, with its buildings, streets, shops, vehicles, and pedestrians and where it is always (artificially) night time.
In the tiny town of 7500 square meters, you'll find neither fun fair whirligigs nor ghost trains, but rather a fire department, a hospital, a supermarket, a theatre, a TV studio , a chocolate factory, an archeological site, an F1 race track and even an airport.
With more than 60 pavilions containing over a hundred job stations, KidZania truly offers children a peek at what life is like in the adult world. Not only do kids learn to value work, they also discover the value of money, since the park has its own economy.
When they enter KidZania, the mini grown ups must head to the bank and open a personal account, cash a check in the local currency, Kidzos, and get a debit card they can later use at one of the four ATMs around the park.
Once they have successfully completed a job, they get paid a salary in Kidzos, which cannot be exchanged for real money. Then, they may eirther choose to go back to the bank and save their coins, to grow interest, or spend it by playing a new role: the customer.
Thus, if you pass by the supermarket, you might witness a 10 year-old retailer attending to a 12-year-old shopper. Likewise, at the hospital for instance, a child can be a doctor and earn a wage or be a patient and pay to get medical care. And to make the whole scene even more authentic, the supposedly sick young boy or girl arrives at the emergency room in an ambulance and wheelchair.
The little darlings who wish to "serve and protect" by becoming police officers are given various clues that lead them through the streets of KidZania in search of an espaced convict, played by a staff member. Once they have finally caught the prisoner, they bring him to court where the judge is ... another child, of course. KidZania is not only replicates a town in the physical sense, but also economically and socially.
Children run the whole metropolis. Parents are not allowed to accompany their children in KidZania, but can observe the goings-on through glass windows and take pictures, or relax in the parents lounge and food courts. Nevertheless, security is of paramount importance.
All the visitors are required to wear a bracelet with a unique number that works like an ID chip, and which can only be removed with a specific system by authorized personnel. Children can be easily located if they get lost in the pavilions and there is no way for them to exit the park on their own.
So what else could make this mini utopia look even more realistic? having actual brands sponsoring workshops, perhaps? KidZania with its high educational aim, is also a great opportunity for brands to interact directly with very young consumers . Kids do not just learn how to pilot an ordinary plane; they actually become temporary "employees" of Air Asia.
Similarly, the Beauty Salon belongs to Pond's & Sunsilk (Unilever), th PhotoLab to Sony, the Car Retailer to Honda, the Gas Station to Pertamina, the Bank to BCA, the Radio Station to JKZR and the Ice Cream Factory to Wall's. In total, 32 sponsors have already signed up. Working hand in hand with children is a chance for advertisers to learn about future consumers' expectations and desires thanks to insights and feedbacks they get on their products and services. Such experience allows them to develop the potential loyalty of a target starting at a very young age.
The concept of the park was born in 1996 under the name La Ciudad de Los Ninos, founded in Mexico by a local entrepreneur Xaview Lopez Ancona. The first KidZania was opened in 1999 in the Santa Fe Shopping Mall in mexico City. Ancona waited until 2006 to open the second on in his country, in the city of Monterrey, before finally exporting his clever idea to Tokyo the same year. Jakarta is the fourth city to become part of the mini nation.
For the moment, KidZania Jakarta is only open to school groups but it should be accessible to the public around mid-November. it is located on the sixth floor of Pacific Place Shopping Mall, Jl. Jend. Sudirman Kav 52-53, SCBD, Complex