Beijing Universal Studios set to open in 2019

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Shanghaiist (by Daniel Cunningham):

The completion date for the Universal Studios theme park being built in Beijing‘s Tongzhou district has been set for 2019. Beijing Universal Studios will be the Hollywood corporation’s biggest theme park yet at 2.02 million square meters, or 11 times bigger than the theme park in Singapore.

In total, since Beijing’s approval this time last year, the multi-billion dollar project will take around five years to complete. Stephen Spielberg is involved with the design process, which will incorporate some “Chinese elements” to appeal to both foreign and local punters.

Meanwhile, Disney is still set on opening its new resort and theme park in Shanghai during the “first half of 2016”, with a Six Flags amusement park due to be complete in Tianjin by 2018.

Nintendo-themed rides are coming to Universal Studios

Nintendo‘s diverse list of colorful characters and beloved games have been a staple of all our childhoods, with mainstays like Mario and Luigi, F-Zero or Zelda. Well, to the fancy of the current generation of kids and the kid-at-heart adults, Nintendo has announced today that they will be partnering up with Universal on new Nintendo rides in some of its theme parks. No details have been released yet, but “spectacular, dedicated experiences” are what’s expected to come.

Following the company’s recent lackluster game consoles (such as the Wii U), this provides them a great opportunity to stay relevant with fans of all ages. Let us know in the comments below what rides you’d like to see come to life, perhaps Luigi’s Mansion? Or Mario Kart?

Universal Studios to open theme park in Okinawa

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RocketNews 24:

For folks in the Kanto area, theme parks tend to mean Tokyo Disneyland, and for people in the Kansai area, they mean Universal Studios Japan, or USJ for short. But what about Okinawan residents? We suppose they could just fly to Osaka or Tokyo if they get bored with their beautiful beaches and old-lady idol groups, but they don’t have much actually in the prefecture.

However, it looks like things are going to change for theme-park-ride-starved Okinawans: It was revealed today that USJ is planning to open a second park on the tropical island!

Of course, things are still in the very early planning stages for USJ Number 2, and a location hasn’t even been decided yet. But there are a few details that have been released.

First, it looks like the theme park will be smaller in scale than USJ in Osaka–which seems sensible. Okinawa’s population is just over 1.4 million, while there are over 18.7 million people in the Osaka metro area–not to mention all the theme park lovers coming from farther out.

Unfortunately, that smaller scale will bring another downside for Harry Potter fans: The themes won’t include movies! Obviously, we don’t know what themes will be included, but Okinawans can always hope they change their mind.

▼And USJ Osaka just built a new Jurassic Park area too!

View image on Twitter

 

As for why USJ has chosen Okinawa, where you would think the beaches, castles, hiking, and diving would be enough to keep anyone busy, it seems that USJ is looking to expand. It turns out that they’re simply running out of room in Osaka and started looking elsewhere, including outside of Japan. In the end, they decided on Okinawa thanks to the government’s enthusiasm and offer of support. What exactly that support would be is unclear, though we imagine it’s easier to build a theme park when the locals actually want it built there!

Obviously, Okinawa has a much smaller population than the mainland, but they do see plenty of tourists. In 2013, for example, 6.4 millions tourists visited Okinawa, and while we’re sure beaches are great, we can only imagine beaches and roller coasters are an even bigger draw! And with plane tickets from Narita Airport in Tokyo to Okinawa coming in at just over 30,000 yen (a bit more than US$247), we can see this working out as a great destination for people who want to get away–but not too far away.

▼Even minions need a vacation sometimes!

View image on Twitter

But before you start strapping on your sandals and getting in line, we should point out that Glenn Gumpel, the CEO of USJ, emphasized that this was all still in the planning stage.

Attack on Titan’s Universal Studios Japan attraction opens

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RocketNews 24:

Universal Studios Japan is formally opening its new Attack on Titan attraction on Friday. “Attack on Titan The Real” is part of the Universal Cool Japan event (along with Evangelion, Resident Evil and Monster Hunter) which will run between January 23 and May 10. Musician and well-known Evangelion fan HYDE was among the celebrities who attended Thursday’s opening ceremony. The Mainichi Shinbun paper’s MaiDiGi filmed the opening:

 

The “Attack on Titan The Real” collaboration recreates the world of Hajime Isayama‘sAttack on Titan manga and anime. The attraction features a full-size, 15-meter (about 49-foot) Eren Titan — the first of its kind in the world, according to the theme park — as well as a 14-meter (46-foot) female Titan. Visitor can witness the Titans locked in fierce combat from the perspective of SurveyCorps members.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Universal Studios Japan reveals details of upcoming Attack on Titan attraction

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RocketNews 24:

Universal Studios Japan is about to be hit by an enemy of titanic proportions!

The popular theme park located in Osaka has finally revealed details regarding one of their most anticipated attractions ever, set to be open to the public from January 23 till May 10 of next year. Feast your eyes on all of the epicness that awaits in Attack on Titan: THE REAL! 

For many, the highlight of this attraction will be a 15-meter (49 ft) tall proportionally accurate figure of protagonist Eren in his Titan form battling a 14-meter (46 ft) tall version of the Female Titan. There will also be a model reproduction of the “Titan that ate Eren’s mother.” Take our advice and start practicing your best “about to be eaten by a Titan face” so you’re ready to take amazing photos as soon as you get there:

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In addition, Universal Studios Japan has utilized their superior technological tools to create incredibly lifelike “Clone-oid” figurines of fan-favorite characters Levi, Mikasa, and Armin.

▼That’s not CGI, folks–they’re real, touchable 3-D models!

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Next on the list is a special “Walkthrough Attraction” detailing the capture of the Female Titan under the leadership of the Survey Corps’ Armin. We don’t have any details as to what exactly that attraction entails, but it seems like it will be an opportunity to fully immerse yourself in a critical scene from the world of Attack on Titan.

▼An advertisement hinting at the Walkthrough Attraction

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After a few hours of taking in the sights, you’ll probably be ravenous–but never fear, because Universal Studios Japan has got your back with their limited-time lineup ofAttack on Titan-themed nibbles! Here we see a typical meal issued to the Survey Corps members (leaders get some extra bacon and tea-flavored bread), the black tea consumed by the Survey Corps, and a slightly terrifying mousse in the form of the Colossal Titan, which you can even cut with a miniature blade:

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And that’s not all–don’t forget about the souvenirs! Currently announced are the following goods for sale: the green Survey Corps cloak, a 3-D Maneuver Gear-stylized bracelet, and Levi’s Basement Key Pendant:

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Attack on Titan: THE REAL is actually one of four upcoming theme attractions at Universal Studios Japan based on mega-popular anime, manga, and video games. The other three are EVANGELION: THE REAL 4DBIOHAZARD: THE ESCAPE, and MONSTER HUNTER: THE REAL, all of which promise to be just as exciting as the Titan area. All four of them additionally fall under the park’s 2015 Universal Cool Japan campaign.

The following map illustrates the planned layout of the park with each of the individual themed areas:

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With so many exciting attractions to visit early next year, we guess we can’t slack off in the next few weeks as originally planned–We’ll need every last yen to buy tickets and keep going back for more!

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Harry Potter Theme Park to Open in Osaka in Late 2014

 

Harry Potter Theme Park to Open in Osaka in Late 2014
Hogwarts Castle beginning to take shape at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

Universal Studios Japan has announced that it will open “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” in late 2014. The sprawling attraction is modeled after the original Wizarding World that opened to the public within the Universal Orlando Resort in 2010, in the United States.

The Osaka attraction, which will feature replicas of Hogwarts Castle and Hogsmeade Village in the only official Harry Potter theme park outside the U.S., will see Universal Studios Japan partner with Warner Bros. and Universal Parks & Resorts, with funding coming from several private investors including Goldman Sachs. Total construction costs are estimated to run in the region of 45 billion yen ($440 million).

As the completion date draws nearer, the scaffolding surrounding the nascent Hogwarts Castle has started to come down, revealing the sight of impressive spires to delighted fans who have been posting pictures on Twitter.

Outside the U.S., Japan is the largest market worldwide for the Harry Potter series. The films alone have grossed nearly $900 million at the box office and attracted more than 78 million moviegoers.

J.K. Rowling, author of the original book series said, “I was delighted to experience and enjoy the attention to detail, creativity, and superb craft that went into the first Wizarding World in Orlando. I am equally delighted that the same level of expertise and enjoyment will translate to the new park in Japan.”

Elsewhere, trains on the JR Sakurajima line — which will provide a direct link to the theme park when it opens — have been running Harry Potter-themed ads on their sides since February to drum up advance interest in the Osaka attraction.

Check out this link:

Harry Potter Theme Park to Open in Osaka in Late 2014

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‘Fast & Furious’ Releases A Tribute Video to Paul Walker

Universal Studios has released a touching montage video for Paul Walker filled with scenes and clips of the Fast & Furious actor who died this past weekend in an unfortunate car accident.

A coinciding message from the family was released with the video:

Paul Walker’s family appreciates the outpouring of love and goodwill from his many fans and friends. They have asked, in lieu of flowers or other gifts, that donations please be made to Paul’s charity Reach Out Worldwide (ROWW). Donations can easily be made through their website at http://www.ROWW.org/.

Production for Fast & Furious 7 has indefinitely been put on hold.