Universal Studios announced on Monday that it will be opening its first theme park in China’s capital city – Beijing, in September.
According to a statement and video posted on the Chinese social media site WeChat, the theme park will be opened on 20th September.
It had been under construction since 2016 and received strong backing from Beijing authorities. This included the extension of one of the city’s main subway lines to the site.
The resort features a pair of hotels along with rides, shows, restaurants and exhibits. It would complement Universal’s other two Asian parks in Japan and Singapore.
The Harry Potter, Jurassic Park and Kung Fu Panda film franchises feature profoundly, along with the Minions from the Despicable Me movies.
Beijing already attracts a lot of tourism because of its magical historical sites.
Although coronavirus pandemic condensed a rapidly growing demand for domestic travel and tourism, new cases of local transmission have been falling, feeding optimism in the tourism sector.
On Wednesday the visitors got a sneak peek at Universal Studios’ first theme park in China. There was a soft opening, drawing queues from dawn in the capital city.
The Park hosts ride inspired by blockbuster film franchises including Harry Potter and Jurassic World and are part of a larger Universal-themed resort that includes two hotels and a shopping street.
Liu Muhan, a 26-year-old university lecturer who dressed up in a witch costume for the occasion, said she was looking forward to the Harry Potter-themed area and felt lucky to get in.
“I’ve been a hardcore Harry Potter fan for more than 20 years,” Liu told AFP. “I’ve wanted to come here for a long time.”
A trial was held on Wednesday which comprised of visitors holding special corporate invitations.
Universal Studios theme park promises water shows and close encounters with an animatronic dinosaur. Moreover, facial recognition cameras would allow visitors to open storage lockers, pay for meals and join express queues for rides without physical tickets.
The city has since opened a dedicated subway station for the park.
The Park is expected to see a surge of visitors during the upcoming week-long National Day holidays in October, as constrained tourism demand from a summer spoiled by Covid-19 lockdowns spills into autumn.
Visitors on Wednesday were required to declare they were not experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms and had to go through temperature cameras to enter.