My thoughts on a new theme park in the UK are as follows:
It would need to be set-up by an existing big business, not necessarily a company already in the entertainments sector, but a business with enough clout to gain sway with local government, open up franchise opportunities and have capital available.
It would need to be able to compete with the Merlin parks, but aspire to more than that. Thrillseekers all over Europe travel to Eurodisney, Port Aventura and Europa Park, but at present, the current UK parks don't have that level of pulling power. For a big investment theme park / resort to truly work, providing incentive for tourists to travel overseas for a weekend at your park would be massive. On site hotels would be essential in making this work.
It would have to offer something different and unique. I'd like to see a well themed, varied ride line-up housed underneath Eden Project style bio-domes. But much, much bigger. One of the biggest issues with UK parks is the restrictions on opening due to British weather, so look in to the option of housing some or all of the park indoors, opening up opportunities for 365 day a year operations. Again, it helps make the business more viable, it would also help reduce noise pollution, which is a common theme park issue.
As much as people seem to hate them, I think 1 or 2 IPs are essential from a business perspective. Being able to utilise branding from popular films or TV shows is a huge crowd puller. However, it would need to be properly balanced against original themes and ideas.
And finally, in terms of location, I'm going to be completely unbiased and again approach this with my business head on and suggest the outskirts of Milton Keynes. Why MK? It's cental, it's right off the M1 allowing easy access from London, the South and the North. It has a train line running direct to London and other major cities (again, essential from a tourism perspective as you could attract customers from Europe via the Eurostar. Brussels to major UK theme park in under 3 hours would surely be appealing...). Most importantly, MK appears to have a council who seem to be quite up pushing the boundaries a bit. Considering it's a flat, grey mish-mash of villages brought together by an endless collection of roundabouts, there's actually some quite interesting stuff going on. A HUGE shopping village and an ice rink for example, they built a whole new stadium to convert Wimbledon to MK Dons and they even have an indoor ski-slope housed inside a giant pyramid!
I think I've probably thought about this too much...
Last edited by ponder
on Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.