We first heard of the plan to build a Universal Studios park in Beijing a month short of a year ago, but since then all has been quite on the subject. Back then some amazing concept art of the project was released, showing what the park could offer:
|© Universal Parks & Resorts|
Fast forward to now, and we understand why we haven't heard much - the final deal was just signed this week in New York, according to news sources. The new park will open in 2019 and be built jointly by Universal Parks & Resorts and Beijing Shouhuan, a Chinese state owned company.
It is now being said that the park seen above will be a part of a 300 acre phase one, also including a Universal-branded hotel, and a retail and dining area. Phase two could hold a second theme park, a water park and up to five more hotels.
I'm quite happy to hear this park is moving forward, as it could have one blockbuster ride lineup when it opens.
|© Universal Studios Japan|
That's a pretty huge amount of money to pay for one theme park, but then again Universal Studios Japan has seen massive attendance gains since the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in mid-2014. Along with all those extra visitors comes plenty of extra profit, and the park has plenty of space to do a second Potter themed area if they like. They're also in the middle of building a quite large B&M Flying roller coaster in the Jurassic Park section.
If Comcast gets in the door on this one I would expect a furious expansion pace, just like we're seeing in the U.S. parks, to come about sooner than later.