New details have been released for Universal Beijing Resort’s entertainment center—Universal CityWalk Beijing—set to open in 2021, along with the Universal Studios Beijing theme park, the Universal Studios Grand Hotel, and the NUO Resort Hotel. CityWalk, like Universal’s many other resorts around the world, will be located at the main entrance of the theme park. It will connect with the parking facilities and subway entrances.
The CityWalk center will bring a “unique entertainment experience” and provide a “comprehensive and diverse range of entertainment, food, and shopping,” according to the resort’s announcement. These experiences aim to enhance guests’ visit “with a vibrant and highly interactive atmosphere, giving them the freedom to explore endless possibilities.”
“As the starting point of every guest’s [Universal Beijing Resort] journey, CityWalk provides their first glimpse of the beyond-imagination experience they can expect at [the resort],” said Tom Mehrmann, President and General Manager of Universal Beijing Resort. “However, CityWalk is also designed to stand as a destination in its own right, as a new high-quality recreation and entertainment option for residents and tourists in Beijing.”
Universal CityWalk Beijing will feature 25 venues, including 15 food and beverage locations serving Western and Asian cuisines, 8 shopping locations, a multiplex cinema, and 11 retail and food & beverage carts. Universal is aiming to provide a unique, fresh experience to local guests, and in order to achieve that goal, CityWalk’s debut will focus on five highlights:
Highlight 1: New brands, first stores, and flagship stores
Beijing’s CityWalk center will feature familiar brands from Universal Orlando, such as Red Oven Pizza Bakery, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, and The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. Beijing’s Toothsome location, situated at the end of CityWalk, will be the largest of all. Peet’s Coffee, originating in Berkley, California, will call CityWalk Beijing home with the largest location in Asia. A collection of new brands will also debut, including Cutie Cones Ice Cream, Southeast Asian-style Neon Street Hawkers, and CityWalk Wubei Craft Food and Beer. Additionally, flagship stores, such as Kakao Friends, the beloved Korean cartoon characters, will debut.
Highlight 2: First resort destination IMAX theater in China
Located at the center of CityWalk will be Universal CityWalk Cinema, a state-of-the-art movie theater that will feature the largest commercial IMAX Laser theater in Beijing. The cinema will include 11 theaters and 2,000 seats and will be designed to host VIP events and premieres.
Highlight 3: Interactive experiences and high-quality services
Universal CityWalk Beijing will provide “diverse interactive experiences and high-quality services” to further enhance guests’ visits at the center. Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, for example, will utilize an enchanting steampunk atmosphere and characters who interact with guests throughout the restaurant. The Cowfish will allow guests to connect their phones with a smart app to draw images on the big screen of the waiting area. Peet’s Coffee will feature a bakery, retail area, and hand-pour experience zone, allowing guests to “enjoy a unique coffee experience in an unmatched setting.” CityWalk Wubei Craft Food and Beer will feature live music at night. Moreover, CityWalk will regularly host musicians and performers on the streets and seasonal entertainment programs at the riverfront park.
Highlight 4: Innovative upgrades of Chinese brands
CityWalk will feature “innovative upgrades of numerous Chinese brands familiar to local consumers.” For example, Grandma’s House, a popular eatery, will be reimagined into “Grandma’s Travel Home.” Local well-established brands with new concept stores will also join the lineup of venues at CityWalk. Universal Beijing hopes that the local brands will give a strong boost to their wider market presence while providing another unique experience brought by cultural fusion.
Highlight 5: CityWalk’s design blends traditional Chinese and modern design
CityWalk Beijing’s overall design will blend traditional Chinese and cutting-edge modern design, “drawing on Chinese culture and Asian aesthetics to present a fantastic destination for excitement and exploration.” CityWalk will feature exotic elements and modern, bright, and celebratory motifs, as well as numerous structures in a Chinese style. The architectural styles and atmosphere will gradually evolve as guests approach the theme park gates. According to Universal Beijing’s announcement, “red and gold colors run through the entire CityWalk before finally meeting the iconic globe of Universal Beijing Resort at the plaza in front of the main entrance of the park, forming an image calling to mind two dragons embracing a pearl.”
Universal CityWalk Beijing will serve as a new center of Beijing’s nightlife. Long operating hours will help to “ensure the best services are always available for both early-bird tourists and nightlife fans,” stated the resort’s news release.