Chennai To Get India's Largest Roller Coaster; Key Details

Wonderla, one of India's largest theme park companies, anticipates that its upcoming Chennai property will strongly compete with its top-performing park in Bengaluru, owing to the inclusion of larger and more thrilling rides.
Wonderla, one of India's biggest theme park companies. (Representational Image)

Wonderla, one of India's biggest theme park companies. (Representational Image)

Photo : Times Now
Chennai: Wonderla, one of India's leading theme park companies, is gearing up to launch its new Chennai property, which is expected to rival its top-performing park in Bengaluru. The Chennai park, scheduled to open in the second quarter of FY26, promises larger and more thrilling rides, significantly boosting its appeal.
As per a Money Control report, Wonderla has increased its investment in the Chennai project from the initial Rs 150–160 crore to a revised total of Rs 515 crore. The cost was previously set at Rs 490 crore, but changes in the park and the addition of new attractions have pushed the budget slightly higher. Among the new attractions, the park will feature the largest roller coaster in India, comparable to those found in Disney and Universal parks, with an estimated cost of Rs 70–80 crore, according to Arun Chittilappilly, Managing Director of Wonderla.
Chittilappilly expects the Chennai park to closely compete with the Bengaluru property, which saw 12.7 lakh visitors and generated Rs 196.5 crore in revenue in FY24, up from Rs 169.8 crore in FY23.
The Chennai park has the potential to rival the Bengaluru park in size and popularity, potentially becoming Wonderla's largest and most visited location. Tamil Nadu has been requesting a Wonderla park for the past 20 years, making the timing for this development ideal, according to the managing director.
In addition to preparing for the Chennai launch, Wonderla is set to open a new resort in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, later this week. The resort is already fully booked for the opening weekend, and the company anticipates four lakh visitors in its first year, despite losing two months of the vacation season this year.
Wonderla is also exploring opportunities in Indore, Greater Noida, and Mohali, with plans to start a new project every year. "We are close to finalising one of these locations and will begin work soon," Chittilappilly noted.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, which led to full shutdowns and partial reopenings, Wonderla is now focused on enhancing its existing parks with bigger rides and newer attractions. In FY24, the company invested around Rs 20–30 crore in its existing parks. This includes a significant investment in Kochi Park, where a new ride with a 40-metre free fall drop is being installed, costing around Rs 15 crore. Additionally, a virtual reality ride in Bengaluru is under development, with an investment of nearly Rs 40 crore.

Imagicaa Expansion

Wonderla's competitor, Imagicaaworld Entertainment, is also expanding its portfolio, increasing its parks from three to seven by acquiring properties in Lonavala and Shirdi. The Shirdi property, Saiteerth Devotional Theme Park, focuses on religious themes. Imagicaaworld has extended the transaction closure for these acquisitions to June 30, 2024, from the earlier timeline of April 30, 2024.
Recently, Imagicaa added six new rides at its water park in Khopoli, with a total capital expenditure of Rs 12 crore. This expansion is expected to increase the park's daily footfall capacity by around 30 percent.

Bengaluru Resort Performance

Wonderla's Bengaluru resort performed strongly in the March quarter of FY24, recording an 18 percent revenue growth to Rs 4 crore, up from Rs 3.4 crore in the same period a year ago. Occupancy also increased to 51 percent from 48 percent. The company plans to invest around Rs 40 crore to add 40 more rooms, including cottages, glamping, and pods, to the resort.
However, the Bengaluru park saw a 13 percent decline in revenue to Rs 35.9 crore in Q4 FY24 from Rs 41.4 crore in Q4 FY23, with footfalls dropping by 10 percent to 2.4 lakh from 2.6 lakh during the same period. Chittilappilly attributed this decline to changes in students' exam schedules, election disruptions, and a heatwave in April. Despite these challenges, he remains optimistic, noting that May has shown growth in visitor numbers.
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