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Chocolate fantasy park offers sweet entertainment
By Wing Tan

THE World Chocolate Wonderland, an international chocolate carnival, is reaching its delectable peak and after Sunday it will be just a sweet, or bittersweet, memory.

The wonderland theme park, which opened in mid-January with a chocolate fashion show, ends on February 24 at the East Asia Exhibition Hall.

This is the first year the chocolate carnival has been held in Shanghai and organizers plan to hold it every winter, making it a Shanghai tourism brand.

Visitors can venture into the chocolate jungle to visit the Chocolate Giant, watch the erupting chocolate volcano, win cocoa beams by playing "rock, paper, scissors" with chocolate castle guards, fight the wizard who tries to steal chocolates.

They can dance with a miniature chocolate Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe.

The wonderland is educational, as well. Visitors can learn about growing cocoa beans and making chocolate and roll up their sleeves to make chocolate muffins with the help of chocolate masters from Brazil.

Another highlight is the mini-theater performance of the musical drama "Chocolate Kingdom Adventures," starring actors from Cirque du Soleil, "Phantom of the Opera," "Mamma Mia!" and "Cats."

At the end of the wonderland journey, visitors can stop at the chocolate market and buy a wide range of imported chocolates and edible chocolate souvenirs.

This is the first year the World Chocolate Wonderland has been held in Shanghai.

"This year it is a total upgrade of our previous chocolate carnivals. Children can not only enjoy various chocolate sculptures but also play lots of interactive games with actors and actresses, making it a real magical journey," says Zheng Yaoting, the chocolate festival's initiator.

The carnival was held in Beijing's Bird's Nest in 2010 and has been staged in other Chinese cities.

Date: Through February 24, 10am-8pm

Venue: Shanghai East Asia Exhibition Hall, 666 Tianyaoqiao Rd

Admission: 100 yuan per person (free for children under 1 meter), 240 yuan for family package

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164