Discover Universal Studios Beijing theme park’s zones and attractions, plus with useful tips and tricks in my complete guide to Universal Beijing Resort (UBR).
Universal Beijing Resort – Park Review
The newest and largest Universal Studios theme park in the world
Universal Studios Beijing shines with all the sparkle and polish of a new, world-class theme park, with its design distilled from other Universal parks around the globe. While retaining iconic elements of Universal Studios theme parks, the Beijing park has a few tricks of its own.
Jurassic World Isla Nublar – the latest iteration of a Jurassic Park zone
It feels like a better designed park with guest experience at the forefront – not just in the way that the smartphone app, digital payments and facial recognition are intuitively integrated. Beyond technology touches, the experience of walking through CityWalk, the park’s Grand Hotel and Entrance, and then finally stepping into Hollywood Boulevard was simply magnificent. Within the park, navigation is straightforward, with clear directions and ample space between each area, so each zone could better retain their identity.
Landmarks from neighbouring zones peek out at some viewpoints. Yes, I know some people don’t like this, but it’s a trick for wayfinding. Until the park embarks on its eventual renewal and expansion projects, the current layout and formulation at Universal Studios Beijing feels like the golden early years of Universal Studios Singapore: everything in its place.
Opened in late 2021, the park is still fairly “undiscovered” until the travel restrictions to Mainland China further eased in subsequent years. The overall resort’s land area is among the largest of all of Universal’s resorts, but the actual space used in its current phase is just but a fraction. This resort has a lot of room to expand: with a second theme park, more hotels, and even a smaller water park planned for future phases.
A theme park within a theme park
At this time, Universal Studios Beijing’s size (land area) is approximately double the size of Universal Studios Singapore, and about the same as Universal Studios Japan. However, that doesn’t mean that the park’s offerings are double, or on par with the other parks in Asia. Read on to find out why.
Park Map and Themed Zones
Universal Studios Beijing features 7 themed areas: Hollywood, Jurassic World Isla Nublar, Transformers Metrobase, Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and Minion Land. Then we have WaterWorld show in its mini zone, with a restaurant called Drifter’s Cantina.
The park’s themed zones and some of its must-see attractions marked in this map:
Unique to Beijing is a reimagined ‘Sci-Fi’ area themed to the world of Transformers, and an entire indoor village based on Kung Fu Panda, a mega Minion Land that includes a pier-side Super Silly Fun Land amusement park, and the world’s first Jurassic World Isla Nublar based on the recent film trilogy.
The Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness zone is entirely indoors
Attractions at Universal Studios Beijing
While there are a handful of unique attractions, Universal Studios Beijing has a long list of cloned rides. It’s puzzling, given that this is said to be the most expensive Universal Studios theme park, and one that was designed with a grand, ambitious vision. On the other hand, keeping a slate of successful attractions might offer a balance that better serves the resort’s key market of domestic tourists.
It’s also not a plain copy-and-paste situation, as the duplicated attractions are still modified with localisation, and may feature refinements, while retaining the core attraction experience.
The truly new rides and shows are few, but most of them are fantastic exclusives:
– Jurassic World Adventure
– Jurassic Flyers
– Untrainable (How To Train Your Dragon) show in the Universal Majestic Theater
– Kung Fu Panda Journey of The Dragon Warrior
– Loop-dee Doop-Dee
Some “copied” attractions that are rethemed:
– Decepticoaster (retheme of The Incredible Hulk coaster)
– Bumblebee Boogie (retheme of a typical teacups ride)
– Super Swirly (retheme of a typical dumbo ride)
– Lanterns of Legendary Legends (retheme of a gyro spinner ride)
– Carousel of Kung Fu Heroes (retheme of a carousel ride)
– Raptor Encounter (with a purpose-built Meet and Greet environment)
Streets of Minion Land in Beijing
Another list of cloned attractions, which are presented in a similar form as its original, but feature localisation and other enhancements:
– Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
– Flight of the Hippogriff
– Nighttime Magic at Hogwarts Castle
– Lights Camera Action!
– Transformers: Battle for the AllSpark
– Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
– SING on Tour
Transformers: The Ride is also titled Battle for the Allspark in Beijing, with a new Optimus Prime standing at its entrance
If you notice, there aren’t as many things to do as Universal Studios Japan (USJ), a similarly sized park by land area, but not by its ‘density’. A visit to USJ typically requires 2 days, or a day with Universal Express Pass to experience all of its offerings. In fact, by purely attraction count alone, it’s more in line with Universal Studios Singapore – for now (and if everything is open in Singapore).
At this time, it looks like one full day is all you need to experience Universal Studios Beijing, if you visit on a non-peak day and choose to skip attractions that you’ve already experienced in other Universal Studios theme parks.
The Universal Studios-themed Hotel at Universal Beijing Resort
Another ‘world first’ at this resort is the first-ever Universal Studios-themed hotel. This is also the first hotel to be integrated into the entrance of a Universal Studios theme park, similar to Tokyo DisneySea Hotel MiraCosta and the Disneyland Hotel in Paris.
Universal Beijing Resort – Park Guide, Tips and Tricks
When to Visit Universal Studios Beijing?
Universal Studios Beijing is designed to handle very high attendance, with wide open spaces and expansive (and very extendible) queue areas to accommodate massive crowds. Avoid all major holiday periods, school vacations, and weekends.
Visiting on a weekday (specifically, Tuesdays to Thursdays) during off-peak seasons should allow you to complete all of the park’s unique attractions, with some time to experience the ‘cloned’ offerings. During my visit, Universal Express was not required at all, as waiting time peaked at 45 minutes for just one attraction – Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. Other attractions are mostly a walk-on, and the theatre shows still had seats even when I walked in at the last minute.
As a relatively new park, Universal Studios Beijing is still building its line-up of seasonal events. So far, these events are compartmentalised within the Hollywood zone, with decorations and experiences such as Meet and Greets happening around Hollywood Boulevard.
The large open area at the Universal Music Plaza Stage (cloned from Universal Studios Florida) offers space for more programmes, such as the Christmas village and stage show during the ‘Winter Holiday’ event.
In 2023, the park ran its first-ever ‘Scares @ Universal’ Halloween event without the Halloween Horror Nights branding, which included roaming scare actors around Hollywood, and an outdoor maze called Freaky Farm at the Plaza Stage area. It was widely considered to be a trial event before Beijing potentially embarks on full-scale Halloween Horror Nights in the future.
Universal Studios Beijing Park Tickets
Like most major attractions in Mainland China, park tickets are tied to an identity document. For tourists, your passport is your park ticket. You will need to scan your passport at the park turnstile to enter the park. At the same time, the turnstile will capture and verify your face data – this is to facilitate re-entry if you choose to leave the park early and return again, or are using a Multi-Day park ticket.
It’s great to see that a wide variety of park tickets are offered at this time, including annual passes. You can pick from a 0.5 day (admission from 2PM), 1.0 day, 1.5 days, 2 days within a week, or even sometimes multiple visits within a season.
Whether you are buying park tickets via the Universal Beijing App or from an authorised travel agent such as Klook, you will need to input an identity document/ passport number for every ticket you wish to purchase. This also means the park tickets are strictly non-transferrable. If you require changes to your tickets due to unforeseen incidents, approach the Guest Services office at the Universal Studios Beijing entrance for assistance.
|Universal Studios Beijing Park Ticket
|Starting Price* (SGD)
Valid for admission from 2:00PM
Book via Klook »
Valid for admission when the park is open
Book via Klook »
Valid for admission from 2:00PM for the first day, and when the park is open for the next day
Book via Klook »
|2-Day Flex Admission
Valid for any two days within a 7 day period (i.e. second visit within the next 6 days after initial visit)
Book via Klook »
*Prices have been rounded up, and may vary due to currency exchange or ongoing promotions.
How intense are the rides in UBR and what are the height requirements?
The most intense ride in the park is Decepticoaster, a high-speed launched roller coaster with 7 inversions. Other attractions are not as intense, but may include effects and movement that may not be suitable for all riders. For example, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey uses a moving motion arm that tilts in various directions. The sudden movements in the Transformers, Jurassic World and Minion rides may also be jarring and too intense for some.
As with most modern theme parks nowadays, some attractions use a lot of projection effects, so do take note if motion sickness is a concern, especially for the following rides which feature dramatic and jarring movement:
– Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
– Jurassic World Adventure
– Transformers: Battle for the AllSpark
– Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
There are also height requirements for these attractions.
Kung Fu Panda Journey of the Dragon Warrior: Riders must be at least 80cm tall
Loop-dee Doop-dee: Riders must be between 92-190cm tall
Flight of the Hippogriff: Riders must be at least 99cm tall
Jurassic Flyers: Riders must be at least 100cm tall
Despicable Me Minion Mayhem: Riders must be at least 102cm tall^
Jurassic World Adventure: Riders must be at least 102cm tall
Transformers: Battle for the AllSpark: Riders must be at least 102cm tall
Decepticoaster: Riders must be at least 132cm tall
For all attractions, children below 122cm must be accompanied with an adult.
^Guests below 102cm tall can experience this attraction from the stationary seats.
How much of the park is in Chinese and Mandarin?
The attractions, shows, and preshows are all delivered in Mandarin, with only a handful of safety videos subtitled in English. There are exceptions in places such as the Wizarding World’s shows like the Ollivanders show, which features an interesting, yet bizarre bilingual experience, like in USJ.
Huan ying lai dao Ollivanders… (???)
Most, if not all team members speak only Mandarin. Some may understand simple English, but it would be a lot easier if you or someone in your group could at least speak basic Mandarin. It’s a bit different compared to USJ, where most team members appear to be more helpful in bridging language barriers – maybe because the Beijing park does not receive as many foreigners as the Japan park at this time.
Otherwise, you should still be able to enjoy the park as signage, digital notices and menus will also be displayed in English. The park’s smartphone App also has an English option.
Weathered by the weather
Severe weather can impact park operations and may affect your experience at the Resort. This can include snow, sandstorm, air pollution, etc that can cause outdoor rides and programmes to be suspended.
During my December 2023 visit, overnight snowfall delayed park opening as team members were still clearing the iced streets for safety reasons. Entertainment offerings such as WaterWorld and some outdoor shows were canceled. In place of Universal on Parade, a mass Meet and Greet was held at Hollywood Boulevard. All three outdoor coasters – Decepticoaster, Jurassic Flyers, and Flight of the Hippogriff were closed, although Jurassic Flyers eventually opened later.
Outdoor attractions may remain closed during the winter season even if it’s clear and sunny out. If the weather is too cold, it may cause the ride to not function safely and as designed, and also lead to further issues with its components.
Facial Recognition around the park
Facial recognition is used heavily in the park – the moment you step in, your face data is captured at the park entrance for validation. If you have purchased Universal Express Passes, your face data will also be used to validate your Express Pass at the attraction.
The same technology is used for lockers at Universal Beijing Resort, which greatly enhances the process of storing and retrieving your belongings, and also reduces crowding at the lockers. It’s quick and fast, almost like unlocking an iPhone with Face ID, and is so much better compared to other locker systems used in Universal Studios Singapore and Universal Studios Japan.
Are there fireworks at Universal Studios Beijing?
Mysteriously, for a major theme park in China, there is no fireworks show in the park’s regular programming. At this time, only a nighttime projection show – Nighttime Magic at Hogwarts Castle – is available at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter area. From Jan 2024, the park has started testing the addition of fireworks to the castle show.
Is there a parade at Universal Studios Beijing?
The Universal on Parade show takes place once a day in the afternoon, starting from Hollywood (near park entrance) and will go through Jurassic World Isla Nublar and Minion Land.
More photos and information about Universal on Parade will be featured in a separate article.
What’s Universal CityWalk Beijing?
Universal CityWalk Beijing is Universal Beijing Resort’s retail and entertainment district located outside Universal Studios Beijing, and connects the theme park to the resort’s transport hub. The iconic Universal Globe, with a refreshed design, is also at Universal CityWalk Beijing.
One key highlight here is The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen – one of the only three Emporiums worldwide and the first in Asia. Around the CityWalk, you can also enjoy other dining and shopping venues along the bustling, dazzling street. You can even catch the latest blockbusters at the Universal CityWalk Cinema here – after all, the resort is all about the movies.
The massive Universal Studios Store offers an extensive collection of park merchandise, along with another Minion “pop-up” store just across the street, giving you a second chance to grab souvenirs that you’ve missed after you’ve left the park.
Security screening is be conducted for all guests visiting Universal Studios Beijing theme park and Universal CityWalk Beijing. This happens once you arrive at the CityWalk area from the transport hub or Metro station. For guests staying at Resort Hotels, the security screening is held at the Hotel Guest entrance and is required whether you are heading to the theme park or Universal CityWalk.
Do note that beyond the typical items prohibited in theme parks, selfie sticks and tripods are also not allowed at Universal Studios Beijing. The park also does not allow bags larger than 56x36x23cm into the park, along with folding chair/ stools. For more information, please refer to this page.
Glass bottles are also not allowed in the park for safety reasons. However you can bring in plastic bottles, and refill them for free at the water dispensers outside most restrooms in the park.
Payments in the park
It’s a cashless world in China. There are cash registers in the store, but almost all the time QR payments are being used.
Before traveling to China, I highly recommend setting up WeChat Pay and Alipay Apps. As of 2023, both support linking foreign debit and credit cards for near-native QR payments in China. Then in the park, team members can swiftly, and happily 扫 (“sao”, or scan) your payment QR code.
Depending on your card issuer however, there may be spending limits or other issues that may cause transactions to unexpectedly fail. Do also bring the physical cards and some cash along as backup.
Universal Beijing smartphone App
The Universal Beijing Resort App (Universal BJ App) is a one-stop App that functions as a digital Park Guide and Map; and also a Store that allows you to purchase park tickets, packages, additional services, book hotel stays, and more, with just a few taps. That is, if you’re a local.
As of 2022, it appears that the mobile phone SMS verification is no longer working properly for most overseas mobile numbers, locking out many tourists from setting up an account. Fortunately, logging into the App is not required for most situations, and without an account you can still use the Map feature in the app to navigate and check attraction wait times.
Free Wi-Fi at Universal Beijing Resort
There is complimentary Wi-Fi under the SSID ‘UNIVERSAL’. This free internet access is firewalled, restricting access to websites and services that are typically not available in Mainland China, including Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. However the network does support the use of VPN to access these blocked websites and services. Your experience may vary, thus I suggest using a service that is not restricted (e.g. WeChat) for crucial communication needs.
In order to activate the free Wi-Fi service, you will need to use SMS verification for each device, thus sharing one number would not be feasible. You can however use publicly available virtual phone numbers to do this – I was able to use a virtual SMS number website to do so for my spare devices. Once activated, the Wi-Fi access automatically reconnected for the next few days without a need to verify again.
The Universal Beijing Resort Grand Tour on DEJIKI.COM
Stay tuned for more articles and coverage on Universal Studios Beijing. Meanwhile, let me know if you have more questions about Universal Beijing Resort and its attractions.