AttractionsBusy times as new Beijing theme park opens and Japan plans for 2024 expansion.

A Universal Studios state of play

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Pandemic or not, people want to play, as evident from the 100,000 tickets sold for the first day Universal Studios Beijing opened to the public.
Pandemic or not, people want to play, as evident from the 100,000 tickets sold for the first day Universal Studios Beijing opened to the public.

Pandemic or not, people want to play — with tickets to the newly opened Universal Studios Beijing sold out in 30 minutes, and a new zone coming to Japan's theme park in 2024.

The Beijing theme park opened last month after a 20-year wait, marking Universal's largest and its fifth globally.

All 10,000 tickets for the opening in a 14 September pre-sale sold out in three minutes, while 100,000 tickets for 20 September — the first day the park opened to the public — sold out within 30 minutes, according to Fliggy, Alibaba Group's online travel booking platform.

In terms of ticket sales, Beijing-based visitors made up 40% for the first opening month, while Tianjin and Shanghai are the second and third largest sources to visit the park, according to travel website qunar.com.

Prices range from 418 yuan (US$65) to 748 yuan. However, they can only be purchased via a Universal Beijing Resort official app, Alibaba Mini Program or WeChat.

The resort will be an important tourism driver for Beijing, which does not have a big branded theme park to compete with the Disney resorts in nearby Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, come 2024, Universal Studios Japan in Osaka will be opening a 70% expanded Super Nintendo World, some seven months after it debuted earlier in March.

Park visitors can expect a world-first Donkey Kong-themed area, which will feature a roller coaster, interactive experiences, merchandise and food themed around the popular 1981 arcade game.

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