Universal Studios Beijing
|Location||Liyuanzhen, Tongzhou District, Beijing, China|
Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment|
Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment|
Universal Parks & Resorts
|Area||1,000 acres (400 ha)|
Universal Studios Beijing, or Universal Beijing Resort, is an upcoming Universal theme park in Beijing that will open around 2020. The park would become the fifth Universal Studios-branded theme park in the world, the 7th Universal-built park overall, and the third in Asia, after Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore.
The project was announced on October 13, 2014 with the plan to invest 20 billion RMB ($3.3 billion in U.S. dollars) into the new theme park and a groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 31, 2016. It will feature attractions themed primarily to Universal-owned movies, TV shows, animation, and music, as well as licensed properties from other companies (e.g., Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, Paramount Pictures, etc.)
It was reported back in March 2012 that Comcast/NBCUniversal officials were meeting with the city of Tianjin (China’s sixth largest city) to discuss a possible Universal park in the port city. Previously, there are said to have been many on and off again discussions for building a possible Universal theme park in China over the years going back to when Hong Kong Disneyland was first announced. On January 7, 2014, Shanghai Securities News reported that an application to begin construction on a Universal Studios park in the Tongzhou District of Beijing was filed, with work to begin in late 2014 on this $2 billion project. Demolition of existing structures had already begun, with a goal of opening the park in 2018. Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts predicted that they expected to take marketshare away from Walt Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products chains with their plans to invest in their Universal Studios theme parks. “We’re doubling down on theme parks" and said "We think that there is a lot of 'there' there in the theme-park business for many years to come and that we have a low market share — and only one way to go."
On October 13, 2014, Universal Parks & Resorts CEO Thomas L. Williams announced they signed a deal to build Universal Studios Beijing and is scheduled to open in 2019 instead. The overall investment in the theme park will be more than 20 billion RMB ($3.3 billion in U.S. dollars). It will be jointly owned by Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co., Ltd. (BSH Investment), a consortium of four state-owned companies, and Universal Parks & Resorts. Estimated at about 1,000 acre of Beijing property, it will include an assortment of attractions in the 300 acre theme park from other Universal theme parks as well as new attractions that reflects China’s cultural heritage. Outside the theme park, there will be a Universal CityWalk retail/dining zone as well as a themed Universal resort hotel.
On October 31, 2016, the park broke ground, while also announcing that the opening had been delayed from 2019 until 2020. The construction will create approximately 40,000 new jobs. According to Duan Qiang, Chairman of Beijing Tourism Group, one of the shareholders of Beijing Shouhuan, the first phase of the park will provide between 8,000 and 10,000 jobs. Around 1/3 of the attractions at the $3.3 billion park will be themed on Chinese culture and the first phase will occupy an area of 1.59 square kilometres in Tongzhou, including two hotels offering 1,200 to 1,400 rooms. One hotel will be reportedly be Universal-branded while the other will carry the NUO brand. More Chinese elements, such as fireworks and parades, are planned for phase two and three in the future.
No attractions were officially given when the project was first announced, although many speculated that they would include popular attractions from Universal-owned assets such as Jurassic World, King Kong, Despicable Me, Shrek, Madagascar, The Mummy, Waterworld, and The Fast and the Furious, as well as third party properties such as Harry Potter, Transformers, Men in Black, The Simpsons, Sesame Street, Peanuts, and those based on books from Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Although Marvel Entertainment has a theme park agreement with Universal since 1994, it is highly unlikely that Universal would incorporate attractions based on Marvel Comics characters in Beijing, as Marvel is officially owned by The Walt Disney Company (Universal's major theme park rival) since 2009, so no future Universal theme parks after Disney's acquisition could make Marvel attractions (the regional restrictions of Marvel properties by Disney only applies in the U.S. and Japan, as Universal owns the rights to several Marvel properties in its parks within these regions that predates Disney's purchase of Marvel).
On May 2, 2018, Fast & Furious: Supercharged became the first ride to be confirmed for this park. Six days later, it was also confirmed that one of the lands was would be themed to Harry Potter, while other attractions were confirmed to be themed to Transformers, Despicable Me, and Kung Fu Panda.
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