A park that features comic performances by people with dwarfism! Welcome to The Kingdom of the Little People.
Today we gonna bring you to one of the world’s weirdest parks. The little people in Yunnan China has been accused of making light of dwarfism. The park is almost entirely staffed by dwarfs with employees required to be less than 130 centimetres tall. It opened in 2009. More than 100 dwarfs work at the park and perform songs and dances to entertain the visitors (mostly tourists). Most of the dwarfs live at the park in specially modified dormitories, a drab concrete boarding house that are designed to offer better accessibility. However during the performances the actors have to pretend to instead live in small mushroom shaped houses and lost in a Vaudevillian nightmare.
Where is it located?
The Kingdom of the Little People is located outside of Kunming, the capital of southwestern China’s Yunnan province. Since opening in 2009, the theme park has been staffed exclusively by about 100 performers under 130 cm (4ft 3in) tall, most of whom have congenital conditions causing dwarfism. You may get there either from Kunming South Station or Changshui International Airport.
“I chose to come here because everyone here is the same. I feel like it’s a big family,” he said. He believes there is a future for him in the park. Some people find love here and get married. We have two married couples, each with two children, plus four or five couples. I met my girlfriend here”.Li Jia explained that he saw The kingdom of the little as a safe haven for CNN.
Kingdom of little people got lots of criticism
Organizations such as The little people of America have condemned as little more than a “human zoo” which isolates the handicapped from the rest of the society. In response to the criticism the park has faced , its supporters argue that it provides employment to the people who would otherwise struggle to find work.
The $14 million theme park’s founder – super rich real estate investor Chen Mingjing also points to how all staff members are provided with free English lessons, which help them interact with foreign visitors. Many employees have also said that they enjoy living with other short people and feel less lonely at the park.
The employees are paid around $300-350 per month depending on their experience, with lodging and meals provided by the park, which is about equivalent to a full-time wage in an average factory.
The performances often feature a “Dwarf King”. The king, who is only 1 metre (3.3 ft) tall, often wears a gold silk cape and rides a three-wheeled motorcycle during performances.
The employees often act out Qigong, scenes from fairy tales, or ballets such as Swan Lake. They also occasionally perform hip-hop dances.
The performers pretend to live in mushroom-like huts and act as if they’re members of a fiefdom lost in a Vaudevillian nightmare. Performers of short stature don tutus and put on a tongue-in-cheek version of Swan Lake. “Shaolin monks” put on a faux combat performance.Time.com:
Featured on TV
The American television channel, Vice, started partly by director Spike Jonze, filmed a piece for their show, Vice Essentials, at the Kingdom of the Little People in 2015. In their short documentary they interviewed some of the staff and were taken on a tour of the park, including the dorms and behind the scenes places that visitors aren’t normally privy to, according to YunnaExploration.com
English Name: The Kingdom of the Little People in Kunming / Window on China (Theme Park)
Best Time to Visit: All year
Visiting Time: 1 Day
Admission fee: 80 Yuan
Opening Time: 8:00-19:00
Location: Located near the city of Kunming, the capital of the Chinese province of Yunnan
Walking into Dwarf Empire feels like entering a fairytale world of mushroom-shaped houses with whimsical, crooked chimneys. Performers wear fairy tale costumes of every stripe, some brandishing swords and shields.Ripleys.com