U to bow theme park in Osaka Saturday

Some attractions tailored for Japan

Universal Studios Japan, the second major theme park to open in Asia, bows Saturday in Osaka. Top execs from Vivendi Universal are expected to attend the weekend ceremonies.

Universal Studios Japan is a joint effort by a consortium including the city of Osaka and locally based companies. The theme park will serve as the anchor element in the redevelopment of Osaka’s western waterfront section.

In addition to the most popular rides from its two domestic U.S. motion picture theme parks, Universal has created attractions specially tailored for Japan, including a “Snoopy Studios,” with creative input from late “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz.

“I think this park is flat-out one of the most beautiful and well-designed theme parks anywhere,” said Tom Williams, chairman and CEO of the Universal Studios Recreation Group. “Japan has a huge hunger for Hollywood product, which is exactly what we bring to life.”

Some 35 million people live in the immediate Osaka region and another 24 million visit the area annually.

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