Kumming China's Kingdom Of The Dwarves: A Little Person Theme Park
At a time when society as a whole seems to be more focused on embracing vs exploiting the differences between individuals around the world, this business concept comes across as brash and insensitive. However, this controversial theme park has had proven success, and promises that promoting cultural sensitivity and respect is integral to their business model.
The theme park in question is called Dwarf Empire - and now that you're putting two and two together following my intro - yes, it is exactly what you think it is. Also known as "the Kingdom of the Dwarves", this tourist attraction is staffed almost exclusively by little people who meet the mandated 4-foot tall height limit.
Entering the Dwarf Empire, visitors are given the impression that this is a kind of commune or retreat for the little people of China. Particularly since they have a crowned king and queen, and by all appearances, are living in a medieval kingdom. Each of the staff members live onsite, and have their meals in small-sized dome buildings. Everything is designed to accomodate people that are small in stature. Despite all this, Dwarf Empire promises that the goal of the theme park is to offer entertainment.
They offer a theater-like experience, concession stands, an opportunity to explore cartoonish castles,and even provide education about little people. Those in the Western world interested in the joys, trials and tribulations, and general lives of the world's little people from watching shows like "Little People, Big World" and "The Little Couple" can expand their knowledge. Dwarf Empire provides tourists the opportunity to sit down and hear about the struggles of being a little person in China, and how working at the unique attraction is a rare employment opportunity that allows them to survive. During these educational experience, guides may also outline the poor transitions former staff members have experienced when trying to return to society outside The Empire - including the tendency to revert to their warrior training. Proving that life inside the Dwarf Empire is better than the available alternatives.
Like most theme parks, the cost of confections, in particular, aren't cheap for Dwarf Empire visitors. It also isn't a "traditional" theme park, per the North American definition. But, it definitely offers a unique cultural experience and it supports a "good cause". Or, it is a strictly exploitative business venture, but I'll let you be the judge of that!
Via: CNN Travel