Masha and the Bear take centre stage at Leolandia for 2017

Expanded area for preschool stars and their fans planned for major theme park.

In 2016 Masha and the Bear were the guests of honour. In 2017 they will have a major role. Maurizio Distefano Licensing, which manages licensing for the brand in Italy and Switzerland, has announced that Italy’s enormously popular Leolandia theme park will expand its successful Masha and the Bear area for the 2017 season, with many new features.

Admirers of the little Masha and her friend Bear will now have an even bigger area in which to meet their heroes in person, be photographed with them, watch the shows and have fun in the setting of the amusement park of choice for most Italian families.

With its six themed areas and 40 attractions for all ages, including a rich entertainment offering and themed areas like The World of Animals and Minitalia (a miniature Italy), Leolandia is the largest theme park in the northwest of the country and the fastest growing in Italy.

Last year saw a record season for the park, with a strong increase in attendance and a highly successful focus on a specific target audience: Italian families with small children. The combination of Leolandia and Masha and Bear was a key part of this drive. The television series loved by a vast Italian preschool audience has proved exceptionally popular in a theme park setting; it will be an even more important feature of Leolandia’s attractions in 2017.

This initiative further expands the reach of the Masha and the Bear brand, whose growing popularity at Leolandia, and in licensing and promotion generally, reflects the outstanding results achieved throughout 2016 in Italy by the television series, which reached viewing peaks of 6.8% per episode.

This success has already inspired a 26-episode spin-off series, Masha Tales, which launched on Rai YoYo in March, a box office record-breaking movie, Masha and the Bear: Friends Forever, (grossing € 4.34 million in just 19 days) and a long-running theatrical tour — Masha and the Bear Live Show — which has reached all of Italy’s major cities. The show has also built a strong online presence on PCs, tablets and mobile devices thanks to on-demand streaming on Chili and Infinity, the YouTube platform and the official Masha Facebook page.

Maurizio Distefano, President, MD Licensing, said: “I am delighted with the fantastic relationship we have established with Leolandia and the great achievements of the Masha and the Bear brand in the last year — and I am thrilled that the brand will be even better represented this year. Leolandia is the top amusement park for Italian families and this renewed partnership sets the stage for a memorable 2017 — for both Leolandia and Masha and the Bear“.