Bizarre

Chocolate theme park opens in Shanghai

Saturday, January 19, 2013

China's first chocolate-themed park and a special chocolate exhibition opened on Friday in Shanghai.

Eight pavilions at the Shanghai World Expo were rebuilt for the Chocolate Happy Land, covering over 30,000 square meters. The park has eight themed venues, featuring exhibition, performance, chocolate tasting and interactive activity of DIY.

On entering the Chocolate Happy Land, visitors are met by a strong sweet smell of chocolate. A 400-square-meter castle made of 160-ton chocolate stands in the theme park, where handbags, flower vases and even jewelry of chocolate are exhibited.

According to the organization, pressure tests will be carried out to check the temperature and humidity influences brought on the exhibits. At present, the theme park is in trial operation.

"It's quite real. I can't imagine that chocolate can make so many things. It widens my vision," said a visitor.

"It's quite fantastic. I never though they are all made of chocolate," said another visitor.

Also a special exhibition kicked off the same day at the East Asia Exhibition Hall. The 38-day exhibition which runs until Feb. 24 is showcasing plenty of chocolate sculptures as well as the history of the world's favorite sweet.

The well-known American movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" may have amazed many by building a chocolate factory in the movie, but in Shanghai, the event organizers have brought this imagination to real life.

After walking into a fairy tale book and past a hall of mirrors at the exhibition, visitors are treated to a number of delicate displays, all made from chocolate.

Noted chocolate makers from around the world have participated in the design and creation of the chocolate exhibits, which is believed to give a deluxe upgrade to this year's exhibition. There are also chocolate makers on site in the 4,500-square-meter exhibition center, creating show pieces as visitors watch, and teaching them a little about the history of chocolate.

Sabastian Rocha, a Mexican chocolate maker was making a chocolate sculpture little by little on site and introduced the history of how this kind of delicacy came into being. The Mayans were among the first people to consume cocoa beans, a trick humans learned from monkeys, said Sabastian. But they didn't eat chocolate, they used the beans to make drinks. And those beans played a huge role in Mayan life, from the creation story they told, to how they paid for goods and services.

Another spotlight in the chocolate exhibition is the interactive activities. The visitors do not only just get to observe the magnificent sweet exhibits, but also get to play games with them.

For example, visitors can weigh themselves on a chocolate-made equipment and then receive chocolate coins based on their weight. The coins can be used to play other games at the Chocolate Wonderland.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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