Universal doubles budget for Beijing theme park

Universal Parks and Resorts and its partners in China are to double the budget for Universal Studios Beijing following the success of Shanghai Disney Resort.

Universal Studios Beijing was announced in 2014 with an original budget of $3.26bn for a 147-hectare resort. That budget will now be doubled to $6.5bn with the extra money going to expanding retail and entertainment space, improving planned attractions and building new lands.

A source told the Wall Street Journal that one of the lands will be themed on Harry Potter while other attractions will be based on the Transformers, Minions and King Fu Panda.

The decision to increase the investment was made after Universal Parks and Resorts and its partner, Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co, saw the success of Disney’s park in Shanghai. More than 11 million people visited the Disney park in 2017, its first full year open.

Disney Shanghai Resort cost more than $5.5bn to build and it opened its first expansion, Toy Story Land, at the end of April this year.

Universal now expects its Beijing park to draw 10 million visitors in its first year, the source told the WSJ, an increase of 3 million from initial projections.

At the grand opening of Fast and Furious – Supercharged at Universal Studios Florida, executives said that a version of the ride would be part of Universal Studios Beijing. It is the first confirmed attraction for the Beijing park.

Alongside the theme park, there will also be a Universal CityWalk entertainment complex. Guest accommodation will be provided by two hotels, including the first-ever Universal-themed hotel.

Universal Parks and Resorts is a division of NBCUniversal and has a 30% stake in the Beijing park with the other 70% belonging to Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co.

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