Disney's biggest theme park competitor arrives on China market as Universal’s Parks & Resorts CEO, Tom Williams, announced officially yesterday Universal Beijing, a $3.3 billion theme park resort property to open in 2019. Universal Beijing property 1000 acres will include in a 300 acres theme park a selection of Universal Studios beloved rides and attractions as well as rides that will reflect China's cultural heritage, a Universal CityWalk entertainment zone and a Universal-themed resort hotel. It will be the third Universal park in Asia, joining the two others in Singapore and Osaka, Japan.
But unlike the Universal Studios Japan and Singapore which were a “Franchise” deal with a local partner - just like Disney did with Oriental Land for Tokyo Disneyland - this time Comcast NBC Universal is building and will be the co-owner of the Universal Beijing theme park resort with a chinese partner, Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co. Ltd., which was formed in 2013, making it the first “foreign-owned” theme park in the Chinese capital. Universal Beijing will be located in an eastern suburb of Beijing named Tongzhou, and Universal reports that the land for the park has already been purchased last March for $300 Million.
A first bird's eye view rendering of the park has been released...
...and although Universal hasn't announced yet which rides or attractions will be include in the park we can clearly see in the artwork that Universal Beijing will have some of Universal favorite rides, with a Jurassic Park land, Wizarding World of Harry Potter - with Hogwarts Castle, Diagon Alley, Hogwarst Express and the two Harry Potter E-ticket rides, Revenge of the Mummy, a Shrek "Far Far Away" land, Madagascar, Transformers 3D, a coaster looking like the Hulk one at IOA but that could be themed on Men in Black like what was envisioned for the Universal Dubai theme park that never was, as usual a Hollywood Avenue at the entrance, and a hotel located right over the park entrance, just like we have at DLP with the Disneyland Paris hotel.
Click on each picture below as i've found and indicated for you each ride and attractions - at least the ones recognizable - that will include Universal Beijing!
Although it's a great news for China's theme park fans it's a serious hit for Shanghaî Disneyland which of course expect guests coming from Beijing thanks to the high speed trains between the two cities. That said, the competition won't be like in Orlando as hundred of miles will separate the two theme parks, and probably guests that will visit one park will have the desire to discover the other one. But as we know, Universal has a lot of unbelievably thrilling E-ticket rides whether it is the Revenge of the Mummy, Tansformers 3D, the two Harry Potter E-tickets, etc... so Disney better have at Shanghaî Disneyland impressive rides too, as you can be sure that chinese guests will compare the two parks. One more thing: Disney and Universal will share in common to have each one a theme park in some of the most polluted cities in the world - specially Beijing but Shanghaî is not far behind - so prepare your anti-pollution masks, folks!
Anyway, a new and exciting battle will start in 2019 between Disney and Universal, this time in China and we can't wait to see what will happen!
Pictures: copyright Universal Beijing