Monday, October 8, 2012

Paramount Park Unveil £2B U.K Theme Park Project To Rival Disneyland Paris

When we think about Disney theme parks biggest competitor we generally think about Universal Studios. And it's true that in the U.S and Asia they definitely are Disney competitors. But in Europe it's different. Although there is great theme parks like Alton Towers in the U.K or Europa Park in Germany, Disneyland Paris doesn't have a real competitor like WDW have in Orlando. But this might change in six years from now as Paramount Parks announced yesterday a £2Bn project which will be build in the U.K, not far from London. The proposed project would create up to 27,000 jobs and transform an 872-acre brownfield site in the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent. Have a look below at the first unveiled picture of the project.

The £2bn park is set to be built on the site of what was once Europe's largest cement works and the project is led by a consortium including French cement firm Lafarge, Britain's Development Securities and Canadian constructor Brookfield Multiplex. The trio has set up London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) to bring a Paramount Pictures park to fruition and they said that LRCH "has signed a licensing deal with Paramount for the Hollywood studio's first UK theme park on the 872-acre site". The "world-class" venue "will feature Europe’s largest indoor water park, theatres, live music venues, attractions, cinemas, restaurants, event space and hotels and, if given the green light, will be twice the size of Olympic Park in East London". Below, an aerial view of the site as it looks right now.

LRCH who has signed an agreement with Paramount Licensing Inc giving them, as i've said, exclusive UK licensing for a Paramount entertainment resort is also in negotiations with a range of major British brands to sign licensing agreements. Tony Sefton, project leader for the development company London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), said the plans were Britain’s biggest post-Olympic project and will take six years to build: "Our vision is to create a world-class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK,' he said. We are at the start of a long journey, but have been encouraged by the support and buy-in we have had to date. We are particularly pleased with the appetite we are seeing from investors, who consider this a compelling investment proposition. Over the next 12-18 months we will be progressing the planning application, while embarking on a wide-reaching programme of community consultation, while securing further commercial agreements with third parties. Our timetable for delivery, including the planning application process and construction timetable, is geared towards completion and opening in 2018."

As we know another Paramount theme park is set to open in Murcia, Spain, in 2015 and company chiefs predict it will draw in three million visitors to the area every year. One of the main attractions in the pipeline is Titanic 4D, which will use state-of-the-art special effects to give guests a taste of the iconic vessel. Meanwhile a 4D Mission: Impossible ride will take visitors through action scenes in a military-style vehicle. paramount Studios also has others licenses from popular movie that might make great theme park rides.

Now, and that's may be the most important: the site will be at 17 min from London by train. Half of the time than it takes to parisians to go from central Paris to DLP. U.K guests coming from London generally comes with the Eurostar train and need two and a half hours to come to DLP. Sure, Disneyland Paris is a unique experience but when you have a new theme park and entertainment center built by one of Hollywood most legendary studio at 17min only from London, you don't need to be a genius to understand that it will surely have an effect on DLP U.K guests attendance.

However, if this Paramount project really happen this might be a good news for DLP fans as Disneyland Paris will surely counter attack. So far, this Paramount project is envisioned for 2018 and if the project really happen i'm ready to bet that DLP will unveil new attractions if not a major E-Ticket ride for 2018, just to make sure that U.K guests will be back at DLP that year. So far, DLP has been lucky and didn't had any big competitor like WDW have in Orlando with Universal. And in the same time it has been DLP's curse. If a Universal Studios had open in Melun at 30 min from DLP as it was envisioned in the early 90's before Universal cancelled their plans, the WDC - Disney, not only Disneyland Paris - would have done earlier what they're trying to do now, i.e to help Disneyland Paris to get out once and for all of DLP insane debt problem, and, hopefully, creating soon new rides an attractions.

 Pictures: copyright Paramount Studios, LRCH, Swins


Anonymous said...

It will also be interesting to see the effect of on Central Florida’s tourism since most british come to Orlando because its so much cheaper than going to DLP. Could be interesting

Shawn said...

The previous poster makes an interesting point. Will it have an impact or are most of our neighbors across the pond looking to get away?

Anonymous said...

Not the first time that a US film based theme park was to be built. In the 1990's they nearly built Universal City ala Universal studios. It never came to pass .

J said...

UK - Scotland here. I have never been to DLP. but have spent holidays in Florida large portion of that time at WDW suspect this is the same many others from the UK. Everything is in English, weather is spectacular so much bigger WDW has DLP and so so much more and then there is Universal and sea-world to factor in. Disney is not going to lose the UK buck any-time soon.

The biggest mistake Disney made with DLP was to underestimate europes hatred of the French and the French's hatred of anything not French.

This park will pan I imagine the best way to market this to investors and customers is as a london - las vegas

Owen said...

Does this mean they could use the likes of Indiana Jones and Dreamworks titles in the park? And will this affect Disney and Universal attractions?

Anonymous said...

Great news. But UK mainstream visitors want roller coasters not simulators all the time. Look at our most successful parks run by Merlin and you'll see what I mean.

I am totally excited and pro development of this project and DLP.

I was just a little disappointed by the plan that it only appears to have one coaster on it. It also looks like a very tight space should the venture prove popular there isn't much land to develop upon.

jyothi said...


andrew beard said...

Bad idea I think as said people these days want high octane speed thrills and I really don't think the site looks that big at the end of the day I think people would still go to Orlando however saying that this country does need a pick me up and does need to have employment for those who are unemployed

Uk holidays said...

Andrew but still people like this.