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Universal Studios Beijing

Theme Park Guy Rating: 0
Date Visited:
February 20, 2009 / June 19, 2014
Location: View on map
Universal Studios Beijing Photos

Construction Update June 19, 2014

The Universal Studios Beijing project has been in limbo for quite some time, following my last visit in 2009. But now it's back, with a bulldozer.

The visual similarities between the Disney Shanghai site and the Universal Beijing site in the early stages of construction – well, destruction – are staggering, with vanishing villages in which the winds of change blow through the thinning hair of old Chinese men on bicycles. This time it's not a 86-year old cartoon mouse that takes it all over, it's a 74-year old bird, a woodpecker on life support.

I always try to get into the heads and souls of the villagers vacating their familiar, old world, to make way for these glorious globalization extravaganzas. Unfortunately, I tend to get polite and entrepreneurial answers, since they suspect me to be part of the (relocation package) game. I wouldn't expect a guy with a silly roller coaster hat to be part of anything.

As evident from the photos, the site today looks almost identical to the Shanghai Disney site back in 2010, so the announced 2018 opening date may prove realistic.

The Universal Studios Beijing site in June 2014Charming countryside roadsMy Chinese-speaking friend Angela and our driverA wall in the middle of nowhereIn one year or two, you'll find the Universal site offices hereProvisional separating wallSeparating today from tomorrowNow entering future Universal Studios territorySoil being preparedRemaining village on siteDemolition in progressVanishing villageWoody Woodpecker merciless.Interior designSantorini in Greece? No, it's a former school on the Universal grounds.Woman on bicycleThe cyclist's shadowWall in the woods

Construction Update February 20, 2009

The plans for a Beijing Universal Studios theme park were announced just hours after I had already booked my flight to China. I instantly went to inspect the future site in the south-eastern suburbs of Beijing. Universal Studios Osaka, Seoul and now Beijing? It looks like there will be a (welcome) overdose of Jurassic Park rides in North East Asia.

The locals in the villages of the Tongzhou district (the proposed location of the park) were very warm-hearted and friendly but didn't have a clue what I and my local assistant were talking about.

Rural ChinaThe future Universal Studios Beijing site?SheepPylons in Beijing's suburbsDwellings on locationThe approximate location of Universal Studios BeijingDwelling number oneDwelling number twoDwelling number threeThe shadow of The Theme Park GuyI wonder if these people have heard about the Universal Studios projectLocal dwellingsFriendly, curious and warm villagerLocal villageVillage in Beijing's Tongzhou suburbBeautyFuture Universal Studios Beijing siteRural China isn't booming
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