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Universal Beijing president shares exclusive updates at blooloop V-Expo

universal studios beijing

Universal Beijing Resort president and general manager Tom Mehrmann has revealed exclusive updates about the digital visitor journey and immersive lands at Universal Studios Beijing during the first ever blooloop V-Expo.

Universal Beijing Resort is scheduled to start trial operations next spring, before opening to the public as scheduled in May 2021.

“Our secret recipe is we take guests on extraordinary journeys into extraordinary places,” said Mehrmann. “We immerse them in incredible stories, stories that lift right out of the books of things like Harry Potter.

“We’re able to bring home some really wonderful themes and topics and intellectual properties in a very immersive way,” he added. “We do deliver these as a visceral experience.”

Mehrmann said Universal Beijing is “in a great location” and “extremely well positioned”, before discussing Universal CityWalk Beijing.

“We’re bringing some of the best brands of Universal that many of you know from Florida, as well as pairing them with some great tenants within the market.”

Universal Beijing Resort scheduled to launch 2021

tom mehrmannHe also spoke about the “unique themes” of the resort’s two hotels, Universal Studios Grand Hotel and NUO Resort Hotel, both opening in 2021.

Universal Studios Grand Hotel will be “themed around Universal and Hollywood intellectual properties”, while the NUO Resort Hotel “will be very specific to Chinese culture”.

In addition, Mehrmann teased the seven immersive lands of Universal Studios Beijing. Visitors will enter the park via Hollywood, which will be “a great mix of intellectual properties and iconic attractions”.

Transformers: Metrobase is “really an area celebrating the Transformers characters which have been in China since the 80s”. 

“I think it’s one of the most mature markets for the Transformers and they’re still very, very popular here,” he said. “And we’ve got a lot of your favourite attractions and some new ones built around the Transformers.”

As for Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness, Mehrmann said: “There will be rides, attractions, shows, there will also be a lot of great food in here.”

“I think we’ve outdone ourselves this time with this particular execution,” he said of Jurassic World Isla Nublar at Universal Studios Beijing.

“It’s really going to be fantastic with some brand new things you’ve never seen before in a Universal park, all playing out in Jurassic World, and framed by a great volcano that’s right on the edge of the lagoon.

“It’s going to be exciting, it’s going to be powerful,” he added. “And I think it’s going to again set the standard for what we do next.”

Another themed area is Waterworld, based on the movie and show at Universal. “It has been our most favourite show both by guest response and by attendance.

“And we want to do it again here in Beijing,” he said. “And we’re pretty excited. We’ve actually turned this into an area, which has a restaurant, a gathering space, as well as the show.”

He said the Wizarding World of Harry Potter “is magical, mystical”, while the team “has done a fabulous job” on Minion Park.

“It’s going to be exciting, it’s going to be powerful”

universal beijing resort

Mehrmann went on to say that Universal has “found an unbelievable partner in Beijing Tourism Group”, which is “allowing us to do some pretty phenomenal things here in Beijing, even with COVID“.

“We’ve been able to say on schedule, on budget, and essentially delivering what I think will be a superior quality park for everybody who comes to enjoy it.”

On the digital visitor journey, Mehrmann said guests will “experience something that has been well-thought-out, from pre-visit to post-visit”.

Ticketing will be done before visitors arrive, and all guests will be pre-registered. “They’ll also register their face through government ID or passport,” he said.

“Every detail has been considered in terms of how our guests will arrive, what they’ll see, what they’ll encounter, and how that experience will play out along the course of their day.

“Whether it’s the attractions, the admission experience, the team member experience.”

More theme parks and hotels coming to UBR

universal beijing resort

According to Mehrmann, UBR’s apps and navigational tools “will be the best you’ve seen” and “everything that we’re doing is meant to make it a superior guest experience”.

“So the attractions are going to be executed through Universal Parks and Resorts,” he added. “But it’s the software that’s going to drive the hardware.

“It’s the incredible team members that will drive the experience, create the memories for the guests, allow for the digital interface, then ultimately build loyalty for guests to come back again and again and again.”

Mehrmann is “very excited by what’s coming” and teased “more parks, more hotels in the future, and I’m sure we’ll be announcing those in due course”.

“But right now, it’s about getting phase one open and introducing Universal Beijing Resort to China and the world.”

Watch the full session at the blooloop V-Expo, running from October 13 to 15. The full session will be on demand from October 15.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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