Disney is about to get a little competition from over on the other side of the pond. Paramount is planning to open a theme park called Paramount London Entertainment Resort. Much like its Disney-branded U.S. counterparts, Paramount London will feature rides and attractions, food, beverages, retail outlets, theater performances and several on-site hotels.
Park Nicknamed ‘U.K. Disneyland’
Paramount’s planners are pulling no punches in comparing their planned theme park with Disney’s. In fact, insiders call the project the “U.K. Disneyland.” The plan for the 872-acre park includes attractions and shows based on productions from the BBC and Aardman Animations.
The estimated cost of the project is £3.5 billion ($4.5 billion USD). The park will be located in Swanscombe Peninsula, North Kent, which is about an hour’s drive from London. Park planners hope to have the majority of attractions and shows ready to go by 2021. By 2022, the full resort should be ready for guests to enjoy.
Paramount hopes the park and resort will draw 40,000 visitors per day. By comparison, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park brought in nearly 56,000 people per day in 2015.
Of course, Disney already has a theme park in Europe—Disneyland Paris, which opened in 25 years ago in 1992.
What Visitors Might See
Promotional art from Paramount looks incredible, to say the least. A variety of drawings preview what visitors may expect to see when they visit in the future.
This image features an attraction called Paramount Port Bay, which looks like a boat-lover’s dream. A large sailboat and floating taxi feature prominently in the design.
Like Disney parks, Paramount London resort will have themed areas around the park. Guests can enjoy family-friendly attractions along with “adventurous thrill-seeking” rides.
Look at the blimp-like ride in this picture! This could certainly be the highlight of a day at an amusement park.
What else have designers dreamed up for Paramount London? Here’s just a small sample of anticipated experiences:
- A theatre with regular “West End Quality” shows
- Indoor event space to host conferences and exhibitions, but also with potential for musical and sporting events
- A range of hotels
- An art-house style cinema and nightclubs
- Food, beverage and retail outlets
- One of the largest indoor water parks in Europe
- A range of connectivity improvements, including public footpaths and cycle routes along the River Thames and enhancements to the existing jetty on the river to facilitate access by boat
Should Disney Be Worried?
Is Disney worried about the upcoming competition? The company has made no official comment about the project. However, local residents believe Paramount London might make a good alternative to the “House of Mouse.”
“It’s a really exciting plan,” Crayford dad Pivis Cho-Aianga told Kent Online. “I’m a father of four and I’ve always thought of going to Disneyland Paris but that’s quite exciting, but if they built something nearer we’d have a chance to experience something like that.”
See other local people’s views on the new resort in the video below.