UNIVERSAL STUDIOS KOREA
Universal Studios Theme Parks
Proposed New Park
Status - In Limbo
Park News - (5/14/13) A report from South Korea mentions three possible future theme park projects may be in the works again… Legoland Korea to open in 2015, a possible revival of Universal Studios Korea (2016?) and the second Ferrari World park that could open by 2016. Could be see this project return to an active status, or has too much time passed already?
(10/12/12) A video all about the proposed Universal Studios Korea project can be found below. I’m not quite sure of what is going on with the project, which I believe was intended to open in 2016, but there is something posted in this news article that seems to sounds like a possible four year delay may be required, possibly pushing things back to 2020. Again… the rough English translation is very hard to make sense of, so I’m only guessing here.
(5/16/12) Disney and More takes a look at the artwork for Universal Studios Korea and gives their own thoughts about what may be in the park’s final design.
(5/14/12) The Theme Park Guy has some new concept artwork (on page 1 and 2) for the proposed Universal Studios Korea park to share this week. Fun to note that they seem to be looking at placing Universal 360 style floating projection globes into the park’s central lake in the concept art. You can also spot a number of well known Universal attraction here, such as a Jurassic Park flume ride, a couple of outdoor coasters, a WaterWorld stunt show, and I’m guessing that the big ride building on one side may be a Revenge of the Mummy attraction as well. It’s hard to make out too many details about the outside coasters, because while the locations seem to remain the same, the layouts of the rides change from pictures to picture. For example, one picture shows pair of dueling coasters, while the other side of the park has what appears to be a clone of the Incredible Hulk coasters from Islands of Adventure. So expect to see a lot more changes and development before construction begins.
(1/30/12) According to Screamscape sources Universal Creative may have been given the green light to move forward and prepare for construction to begin on Universal Studios Korea. According to the rumor mill the new Comcast management calling the shots has been impressed with how Universal Singapore has been received and is hot to get the Korea park project on the firing line ASAP. (I would imagine that if possible, they would like to get it open before Shanghai Disneyland is ready…)
Much like Singapore, look for the project to feature a full scale CitiWalk area with retail and restaurants, and in a new twist, it may feature resort hotels that will be built directly into the CitiWalk as well.
On a possibly related note, I received an interesting rumor that could connect some of the failed Dubail park’s intended assets to the new Korea park project. As we have seen previously, it seems that some of the intended rides for the various parks once announced for Dubai were actually produced by the manufacturers, and in some cases even delivered to locations in Dubai to await construction. The canceling (or indefinite hold status) of the big Dubai projects led to some quick discount sales opportunities for some of these rides to go to new parks elsewhere.
Now for the Universal twist on this angle: another Screamscape source claims to have seen a transfer request from Universal to have B&M coaster pieces transferred from Dubai for a new project. To date, I don’t think anyone has spotted any B&M coaster pieces in Dubai that I know of, but chances are they were kept safely inside giant storage containers somewhere, safely out of view. Doing back over the Universal Dubailand project, the park was to have a clone of Dueling Dragons with a King Kong / Skull Island theme and trains themed as giant bats. If you take a look at the artwork released for the proposed Universal Korea park and you’ll see what looks like the exact same ride proposed for Korea as well. Now, this is all just really long-term rumor milling, and my own way of connecting the dots from several different projects, but it does pose an interesting “What if…” scenario worth keeping in mind if the Korea project does indeed get itself back on track.
(6/9/11) According to this report at Coaster-Net, the Universal Studios Korea park project has been delayed and the land for the park is said to have not even been purchased yet, even though construction was to have begun this year.
(12/7/10) According to Theme Park Tourist, the proposed Universal Studios Korea project is back on track and hopes to open by 2014. The project is being developed by Universal Parks & Resorts with the Lotte Group of South Korea, and will be located near Seoul in Hwaseong City. If all goes as planned, construction could begin sometime in 2011 on the resort which will include a water park, resort hotels, retail and dining areas, a golf course and more.
(1/26/10) A nice piece of aerial artwork showing off the new Universal Studios Korea park can be seen near the end of this update posted to Disney & More.
(1/19/10) According to this news story the plans to build Universal Studios Korea are still moving ahead after a slight delay due to the world economy problems over the past couple of years. The new timeline is set to have a ground breaking in early 2011 and to open the new theme park by 2014. The overall resort will include the Universal Studios theme park, a CityWalk retail area, a water park, golf course, hotels and more. To make sure someone with local ties and knowledge of the business is on board, the Lotte Group (owners of the successful Lotte World theme park resort) now has a 26.7% ownership stake in the project, and is the resorts largest shareholder.
(12/9/09) In search of Universal Studios Korea, The Theme Park Guy takes a look around to try and find the site of where the park will get built. Construction is rumored to begin as early as mid 2010.
(5/25/09) All new concept artwork showing off the new Paramount Movie Park and Universal Studios park opening in South Korea has been posted to the DisneyandMore Blog. There really is only one piece of artwork showing off the layout of the Universal park, but I can already see drawings of what looks like another large coaster next to the lake with a tube enclosed lift hill, much like the Hulk, but the layout is different. Way in the back corner you can see a tiny Jurassic Park flume ride building, with a wateworld style stunt show in the upper right side. Below that is what looks like a copy of Dueling Dragons and below that is a large attraction building that gives me the impression it could be another Revenge of the Mummy, but it’s hard to call the ball on that one. Still this is all basic early concept art and may not represent what the final park may look like in the end, but they’re starting off good.
(3/29/09) Continuing his quest to track down the latest big theme park projects under construction around the world, The Theme Park Guy hit up South Korea to check in on the Universal Studios Korea project. Of course there was nothing to be seen at all… not even a construction wall. Just a large flat open piece of land where the park could be built, but there are some nice photos of all this open nothing-ness to see for his trouble. I found in interesting that he noted that the park’s proposed location took a three hour drive from the nearest airport to get to… though with a few new bridges in place, he estimates that this drive time could be cut down to put the project less than a half-hour away from the Paramount Movie Park and proposed MGM Studio Park projects.
(11/27/07) According to CNN Money, the new Universal Studios South Korea project will end up costing $3.1 billion by the time it opens in 2012. A location has apparently been picked in Hwaseong in Gyeonggi Province about 20 miles from Seoul.
(11/2/07) According to this news story the new Universal Studios Korea park will feature several unique attractions that tie into Korean films when it opens in 2012. This is being as a way to distinguish the park as a unique attraction with different offerings than what you will find at Universal Studios Japan. The final location for the park has not yet been chosen but USK Property Holdings (who has the exclusive rights to operate the park) announced that Korea Development Bank and Shinhan Bank have joined the consortium of companies that also include POSCO Engineering & Construction and Korea Investment & Securities to build the park.
(5/23/07) In the middle of a story about the just announced Universal Studios park planned for South Korea, there is a brief mention about how the planned MGM Studios park in South Korea was aborted when land prices spiked in the area where they wanted to build it. This is the first news I’ve heard about the MGM park being dead, in fact last I heard things were ramping up under the veil of secrecy.
(5/22/07) According to the Reuters, Universal Parks and Resorts have signed a deal with a South Korea company to build a Universal Studios theme park and resort in the country. According to Thomas L. Williams, chairman and Chief Exec of Universal Parks & Resorts, “Korea has grown into an attractive market in many necessary and critical aspects for a theme park and resort development in terms of income, population, consumer interest and growth of the entertainment industry.” So far this year, this is the third new international Universal Studios theme park project announced after Singapore and Dubai. The plan is to open the new park by 2012.