Tom Mehrmann, the president and general manager of Universal Beijing Resort, revealed several updates about the immersive lands and digital visitor experience at Universal Studios Beijing during Blooloop V-Expo – the world’s first online conference and exhibition for the global visitor attractions industry.
Universal Beijing Resort is scheduled to begin trial operations next spring before opening to the public in May 2021 with several all-new attractions along with the best Universal rides, shows, and attractions from around the world and specially-created experiences designed to reflect China’s cultural heritage.
“Our secret recipe is we take guests on extraordinary journeys into extraordinary places,” Mehrmann said. “We’re able to bring home some really wonderful themes and topics and intellectual properties in a very immersive way [and] we immerse them in incredible stories […] like Harry Potter.”
Universal Studios Beijing Theme Park
Mehrmann said that guests will enter Universal Studios Beijing via Hollywood, which he said will be “a great mix of intellectual properties and iconic attractions.” He also gave details about the Transformers: Metrobase, Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness, Waterworld, Wizarding World of Harry Potter,and Jurassic World Isla Nublar immersive lands.
The Transformers characters have been in China since the ’80s, and so Mehrmann said Transformers: Metrobase will be an area that celebrates that iconic franchise.
“I think it’s one of the most mature markets for the Transformers, and they’re still very, very popular here,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of your favorite attractions and some new ones built around the Transformers.”
Mehrmann said Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness will include rides, attractions, shows, and a lot of great food. As expected, he promises The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will be just as magical and mystical as its counterparts.
Another of the Universal Studios Beijing’s themed areas is Waterworld, which is based on the movie and the popular show at Universal Studios Hollywood, Japan, and Singapore.
“It has been our most favorite show both by guest response and by attendance [and] we want to do it again here in Beijing,” he said. “We’ve actually turned this into an area, which has a restaurant and a gathering space as well as the show. We’re pretty excited.”
But the land that Mehrmann was most excited about is Jurassic World Isla Nublar.
“I think we’ve outdone ourselves this time with this particular execution,” he said.“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, and I think it’s going to again set the standard for what we do next.”
Digital Visitor Journey
Through the digital visitor journey, Mehrmann explained, guests will “experience something that has been well-thought-out from pre-visit to post-visit.”
The digital visitor experience begins with ticketing and pre-registration, which will be done before guests arrive. Guests will also register their faces through government ID or passport, Mehrmann said. He also noted that Universal Beijing Resort’s apps and navigational tools will be the best guests have seen.
According to Mehrmann, Universal has considered every detail of the guest experience, including how guests will arrive, what they’ll see, what they’ll encounter, and how that experience will play out throughout their day.
“Everything that we’re doing is meant to make it a superior guest experience,” he said. “The attractions are going to be executed through Universal Parks and Resorts, but 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.”
Universal CityWalk Beijing
For Universal CityWalk Beijing, Mehrmann noted that the shopping and dining district will pair tenants from within the Beijing market with some of the best brands that many guests know from Florida.
According to the Universal Beijing Resort website, those will include the largest Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen of any Universal theme park worldwide as well as Red Oven Pizza Bakery and The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar that will both make their first-ever debut outside of the U.S.
Universal Beijing Resort Hotels
Mehrmann noted the resort’s two hotels —the 800-room Universal Studios Grand Hotel and the 400-room NUO Resort Hotel— will both open in 2021 and will have “unique themes.” The Universal Studios Grand Hotel, the first-ever Universal-themed resort hotel, will highlight Universal and Hollywood intellectual properties, while the first Nuo-branded resort hotel of Beijing Tourism Group will be very specific to Chinese culture.
Mehrmann said that Universal’s partnership with Beijing Tourism Group has allowed them to stay on schedule and on budget to deliver what he expects will be a superior quality park for everybody who comes to enjoy it. He also teased more parks and more hotels in the future, but for now, he said, “it’s about getting phase one open and introducing Universal Beijing Resort to China and the world.”
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