KidZania is the brainchild of Xavier López Ancona, a Mexican entrepreneur who has always possessed a passion for entertaining and educating children. Founded in 1996 by López Ancona and a group of fellow Mexican businessmen, KidZania has already entertained and engaged nearly 20 million people in eight locations around the world.
Initially known as La Ciudad de los Niños, KidZania's first location opened in Santa Fe, Mexico (a suburb of Mexico City) in September 1999. In its first year, it exceeded all expectations, attracting nearly 800,000 visitors and, to date, some 10 million children have visited this flagship location. The second KidZania opened in 2006 in Monterrey, Mexico. The third KidZania was the company's first international location in Tokyo, which also opened in 2006. This location consistently draws sellout crowds.Unlike the wholly owned and privately held Mexican locations, KidZania Tokyo launched the company's extension into global franchising which is fueling explosive international growth. KidZania Jakarta opened in November 2007 with record-breaking attendance. In 2009, KidZania opened in Osaka and Lisbon and in 2010 locations opened in Dubai and Seoul.
New locations are being built or in development all over the world. KidZania will also launch a derivative concept in Cuicuilco, Mexico City, in early 2012. The first U.S. location is scheduled to open in 2014.KidZania is headquartered in Mexico City and is privately held. The company currently employs more than 2,000 associates and continues to rapidly expand.