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Universal Studios is Coming to Beijing in 2019
Date:2014-10-17   Views:1255

It has been in the works for some time now, but the official announcement came on Monday. After over a decade of negotiation, Universal Parks & Resorts and the Chinese government have finally settled on a plan to open a 300-acre theme park in Beijing. The park, which will cost an estimated $3.3 billion to complete, has a tentative opening of 2019. It will be one of the first major US-owned theme parks in China. Disney and DreamWorks are opening new parks in Shanghai, which are scheduled for completion in 2016.

China is arguably the fastest-growing entertainment market in the world. While the country currently has limited options for theme parks, residents and tourists have been flocking to them in the last few years. Trends show that Chinese consumers are spending more on entertainment. A recent study by research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers indicates that China’s media and entertainment market is poised to explode, nearly doubling in worth to $148 billion by 2015.

Universal Parks & Resorts will partner with Chinese firm Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Company on park development and construction. The team drafted an agreement to complete the park nearly a year ago, and brokered the land deal this past March. The official announcement about park plans for Beijing came from the Universal team earlier this week after the Chinese government provided final approvals.

While details of Universal’s Beijing theme park are limited, officials have shared some insights into features and attractions that will be included. The new park will feature a Universal CityWalk area, similar to the ones found outside the Orlando and Hollywood parks, where guests can shop and explore a variety of restaurants and entertainment venues. There will also be a Universal-themed hotel on the property, but plans for the new resort have not been released.

Information about specific park attractions is limited as well, but Tom Williams, CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts, provided some hints in a recent interview. He indicated that the park would include a mix of Chinese cultural inspiration as well as popular movie-themed attractions.

Williams discussed the importance of paying homage to Beijing’s storied history, saying that, “We will work together with Beijing Shouhuan to create experiences based on China’s best-loved stories and centuries-long rich cultural heritage.”

Other park attractions will be related to some of Universal’s most popular films, though plans haven’t been released just yet. Despite the lack of official details, theme park experts are speculating that themed attractions related to the Harry Potter, Despicable Me and Transformers blockbusters will be integrated into the new park. Both movie series were immensely popular among global audiences.

With China’s entertainment market poised for growth in the coming years, the new Universal Studios Park in Beijing will likely be a huge draw for local residents and tourists alike. After several years of rumors and speculation, it’s finally official. Universal Beijing will open in 2019. We’ll follow park progress and readers updated as further details emerge.

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