UK theme parks from another point of view!

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sweedish2009
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:27 am

Jammydodger wrote:
I want to get excited, but stuff like this has a habit of getting forgotten about, or conveniently dropping off the face of the earth.
I don't want to be too doom and gloom though because this is a wonderful development. If it does go ahead it'll be really interesting to see how it pans out, and whether we end up with another debt ridden Disneyland Paris style park, or if they manage to turn in a profit.


You would hope the parks investors/owners would take a long hard look at Disneyland Paris and learn from any mistakes Disney made.

I get what you mean, I really don't want to get overly excited in case this all goes tits up!
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:28 am

Plans have been announced for a movie-based theme park planned to open in Southern England by the end of the decade.
Under the guidance of London Resort Company Holdings, a Hollywood themed resort containing attractions based around Paramount Pictures licenses and will open in 2018.

The proposed 872-acre resort has been compared to Disneyland Paris in terms of attendance should it come to fruition. Along with a theme park (set to feature a wooden rollercoaster, arena and an advanced dark ride as headlining attractions), the development would also include Europe’s largest indoor waterpark, hotels, and a retail area comprising of restaurants, boutiques and a cinema. Along with new social benefits, the resort would provide 27,000 jobs for the local area.

The £2 billion Paramount Park super project is set to provide 27,000 jobs at the Hollywood style theme park planned for Ebbsfleet, North Kent and will be built from the ground up on land that is no longer used.

Insiders claim the plan could spell the start of a tourist boom with movie fans flocking to the 872 acre site near Dartford.

Planning chiefs are mulling over the park’s application and look set to give to green light the plans in the coming months.

If approved - the park will be twice as big as the Olympic park.

Project manager Tony Sefton told Sky’s Eamonn Holmes: “We haven’t seen anything like this in the UK before.

“Job-wise this is very exciting.

"The direct jobs in phase one is 27,000 and that will be full-time jobs when we open.

“We are planning to get the project open by 2018, that is the challenge, and we are three years into the journey.”

John Burden, leader of Gravesham council, said the move was “a very exciting opportunity for the area”.

The proposed site is 17 minutes from London by train.

The proposed development would create up to 27,000 jobs and transform an 872-acre brownfield site in the Swanscombe Peninsula in Kent.

The Swanscombe peninsula in Kent, where 150mph trains tear past cows munching on alkaline grass in contaminated soil, in the shadow of giant cranes and towers of shipping containers overlooking the Thames estuary, does not scream "Hollywood".

But if detailed and already rather advanced plans are approved, it will be here – next to Ebbsfleet International railway station – that Britain's first branded leisure resort will open at a cost of about £2bn in 2018.

A handful of parties, including the French cement manufacturer Lafarge, which owns the 872-acre site, have come together to form London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH).

The consortium has a licence from one of Hollywood's leading film studios, Paramount Pictures, to open a theme park and branded with Paramount movies such as Braveheart, Titanic or whatever hits it produces between now and 2018.

The resort, which could be reached from central London in just 17 minutes by high-speed rail link, would include Europe's largest indoor water park and biggest performing arts centre, a giant roller coaster, music venues, cinemas, hotels and restaurants. It would also create 27,000 jobs.

"This is not just another of the crazy schemes you see in the leisure industry – not just two days work by an artist," said Tony Sefton, the project leader for LRCH. "We have spent three years on this. We have every type of report, analysis and design you could imagine, we have long-term licence from Paramount, the first in the UK."

The next stage is to secure planning consent. "We are working very closely with local and regional authorities, and they are keen to get this approved," Mr Sefton said. He admitted that securing the £2bn needed to build the park would be a challenge but said the past three months had provided an incredible boost. "We are riding on the back of the Olympics and Paralympics," he added. "A lot of people saw that and now they want to invest in the UK."

Visitors to the site today might find reminders of the Olympics. A little wedge of flat, green countryside, poking into the Thames but surrounded by the ugly reality of heavy industry, seems eerily similar to Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony at London 2012.

Some locals are already enthusiastic about the park. "It would bring enormous benefits," said Morris Chater, 58, a cleaner at Ebbsfleet, who lives near the proposed site. Pointing towards a Eurostar train bound for Paris, he added: "You might have people from over there coming here, rather than people from here going over there. And this area needs jobs as well."

Local councillors have called the proposal a "tremendous economic growth opportunity for the region". But the plans are expected to meet opposition from environmentalists because of the potential damage to wildlife in the area.

Movie magic: the proposals

The resort would feature roller coasters, thrill rides and a giant water park, but its planners say a "wide audience" is important and it would need to be in action "almost 24 hours a day".

There would be areas for young mothers with children, and play areas open early in the morning, as well as shows and performances. The theatres would open in the evenings and the clubs and bars later on.

The consortium's licensing deal with Paramount Pictures means that Paramount movies would feature heavily and be crucial to the park's long-term success. Titanic, Braveheart, the Transformers series and the remake of The Italian Job were all made by the US studio. The release of new Paramount blockbusters will allow the resort to permanently re-brand and reinvent itself – a practice already perfected by Disney and Universal Studios theme parks.

A similar resort is due to open Spain in 2015. The Paramount park in Murcia will feature a Titanic Experience and rides based on Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and War Of The Worlds.
Last edited by stu1980 on Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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nickhutson
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:24 pm

Yeah... I'll believe this when I see it.

The Paramount parks were pretty dreadful.  If anything we'll get a Scooby Doo cardboard cut-out Sally dark ride and a Star Trek Vekoma SLC. 

However bad the Paramount parks were, what makes going to the US parks so pleasant are a couple of things:

1) Weather
2) Customer Service
3) Extremely long opening hours.

Our weather will be dreadful, the staff will be... well... not American and the opening hours will, of course, consist of the attractions closing at 6pm in the summer. 

I do welcome this news story - and it'll be very exciting IF it happens (not when).
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altontowerskid
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:27 pm

Another thing that is worrying, during the Sky News interview with Tony Sefton (Project Manager) his words were that the LRCH are "looking for keen investors in this project." This is also mentioned in many of the press articles.

If the LRCH are still looking for investors and haven't found the source of the funds as of yet, I doubt they will find anyone. Think of this project from a non-enthusiastic fan boy point-of-view and it has the possibility to have huge issues.

BUT if the investment does come, the weather does not rule out a world-class resort, staff will have to be chosen carefully and ensure the right attitudes are set, and there's no reason why a resort like this couldn't have longer opening hours, at least closing at 9pm would mean missing the M25 rush hour :D
 
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nickhutson
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:11 pm

What's also worrying is the article goes from mentioning it'll have one rollercoaster, to later on mentioning it'll have rollercoasters
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:47 pm

altontowerskid wrote:
Another thing that is worrying, during the Sky News interview with Tony Sefton (Project Manager) his words were that the LRCH are "looking for keen investors in this project." This is also mentioned in many of the press articles.

If the LRCH are still looking for investors and haven't found the source of the funds as of yet, I doubt they will find anyone. Think of this project from a non-enthusiastic fan boy point-of-view and it has the possibility to have huge issues.

BUT if the investment does come, the weather does not rule out a world-class resort, staff will have to be chosen carefully and ensure the right attitudes are set, and there's no reason why a resort like this couldn't have longer opening hours, at least closing at 9pm would mean missing the M25 rush hour :D

The M25 Will be a problem, it's always busy near dart ford and having a theme park next to it won't help. It will get gridlocked for ages I think. You would need about3 miles between the car park and the junction to stop constant standstills.
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:36 pm

You'll be able to reach the park by turning off a few miles before the dartford crossing (A2 goes right by it), that should hopefully mean you avoid the queues. The location should be pretty great. Close to Bluewater and good transport links.

Things that make me question it:

The crescent shape for the theme park. That's a lot of walking they expect people to do.

Not enough funding currently.

Wasn't there a plan a decade or so back to build a Universal theme park around dartford that fell through because of environmental issues?
 
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:47 am

More info here from the states http://m.deadline.com/2012/10/paramount ... peninsula/

A Paramount-branded theme park will be built in the Thames Estuary near London under plans unveiled today. The $3.2B plan for the Swanscombe Peninsula, less than 30 minutes from the capital, will create 27,000 jobs and regenerate the 872-acre site, a former cement works which is twice the size of the nearby Olympic Park. Speaking to Deadline, a source familiar with the deal said it was the latest in a series of licensing arrangements Paramount has engaged in. They include a similar Paramount park in Spain, and a Star Trek-themed resort in Jordan. “This is not an investment situation and Paramount is not developing the project in a true sense,” the source said. “Paramount’s partners will lead the way, and the company will consult on their plans.” The deal includes Paramount’s highly valuable movie properties. Rides and attractions are likely to be themed around IPs like Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and Transformers, though the form they will take has yet to be set in stone. The company was “going through the creative process of arriving at the most compelling attractions”.
Overall plans include a water park, hotels and restaurants, and cinema and music venues. It’s the second attraction from a Hollywood studio to open in London, after the successful launch of the Making of Harry Potter attraction at Warner Bros. Studios in Watford earlier this year. But unlike the Warner Bros. base, there will be no attached film production facilities.
The project’s licensee, London Resort Company Holdings, aims to open the park in 2018. “Over the next 12-18 months we will be progressing the planning application,” said Tony Sefton, the project’s leader, “while embarking on a wide-reaching programme of community consultation, [and] securing further commercial agreements with third parties. Our vision is to create a world-class entertainment destination, the first of its kind in the UK.” It will be an easier development than the Olympic Park, he said, thanks to better conditions on the site. “We are going to learn from the amazing Olympics and the games-makers.”

http://m.deadline.com/2012/10/paramount ... peninsula/
Last edited by DJ_Ben_DJB on Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:43 pm

the 2B ($3.2B) price tag is close to the price of Disney sea
 
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Stern John
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:27 pm

Can't help getting excited about this, it will be awesome if it happens!
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:59 pm

i would hate to see what will happens to Chessinton if this gets approved, they will have to start investing more into the park, intact it might be a good thing!
 
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:41 am

^ Chessington is showing great signs of recovery, they are applying for planning permission for a hotel extension along with a new show. The park is obviously successful at the moment, and I can't wait to see how next year pans out with 'Zufari' opening. Chessington is also easy to access from London so it should not suffer too badly if this resort does open.

I find these proposals incredibly exciting, this is what the UK has been needing for such a long time! As a film nerd this is definitely a dream come true, let's hope they have have enough money to make this resort a reality.
 
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:43 am

As a fairly local member to the proposed park i thought i should help those who don't know the area understand a few issues that i think should be cleared up.

First of all Transport:
I could not think of a better transport hub, especially for public transport. How many guys have used the domestic service for HS1?

HS1 (train) is less than 17 minutes for central London. St. Pancras is a stones throw away from Euston (WCML) & Kings Cross and services for Ebbsfleet are about every 15 minutes! During the Olympics I used the service to go to south on the line, it took me precisely 0 minutes of queuing from the Olympic park after athletics! The station at Ebbsfleet is designed to take large quantities of people both for domestic and international travelers. A perfect way of maximizing tourism potential. If Harry potter studio tour is anything to go by what's 17 minutes on a high speed train?

Bluewater is Europe's largest shopping center and has over 60 buses an hour to the shopping park (about 8 minutes from Ebbsfleet) A shuttle bus to the park would not cause any problems as the local roads are and have been designed for buses. (many dual carriage ways with third bus lane)

Cars - Again I have never seen major problems with parking at Bluewater (just off the A2). The shopping center has an Annual footfall of 27 million! 13,000 Parking spaces provide space and with a proper traffic management system there has never been a backlog on the M25 or A2. Leaving the center at peak times has caused a few minor problems but as the park is more of a resort the flow will hopefully be more controlled and gradual. Just for your info Bluewater has built a huge indoor exhibition space and is increasing in size (as announced in August 2012) by 20% (Total jobs 31,900). So they must be confident.

Also as announced this week they are planning on creating a second river crossing (cars) (bonkers if you ask me). In my opinion this park will truly be the public transport them park.

The Weather:
It looks as if alot of the park will be undercover. I also want to point out that this part of Kent is also the driest spot in the whole of mainland UK. With alot less rainfall than the towers! The area regally suffers serious droughts so i would like to see water harvesting being used!

See here:
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/ ... pavge.html

Anyway an interesting development and i look forward to following it!
 
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:17 pm

http://www.thethemeparkguy.com/board/pa ... ark-spain/

4 months after the groundbreaking ceremony signalling the start of construction... The only thing which has been built at the Spanish Paramount park is the concrete block laid at that ceremony.

Hardly looks promising.
 
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Re: Proposed Paramount Park in Kent

Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:48 am

http://www.paramount-park-murcia.co.uk/#/news/4549661480

I belive this was part of a publicity stunt to show that construction is up and runing.

You've got to remember the park won't open till 2015. So give it some time and i'm sure costuction will speed up!

Please aprove the Kent park Local councils!
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New Paramount theme park in the UK. Coasters you'd like to see there?

Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:50 pm

What do you think?  :?
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Re: New Paramount theme park in the UK. Coasters you'd like to see there?

Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:48 am

Defiantly a good inverted coaster from B&M. A Intamin high inversion coaster (like colossus).
thats all i could think about now
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Re: New Paramount theme park in the UK. Coasters you'd like to see there?

Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:41 am

Indoor coasters are often a bit rubbish (with a few exceptions) so how about raising the bar with something spectacular undercover.  And they'd get bonus points if they can theme it to something other than space!
 
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Re: New Paramount theme park in the UK. Coasters you'd like to see there?

Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:26 am

Intamin Blitz or Mega Lite please.
 
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Re: New Paramount theme park in the UK. Coasters you'd like to see there?

Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:40 am

Some cool unique coasters.

Spinning inverted (the tech for its been advertised but I don't think anyone's built one yet).

That family coaster which is like an exagerated wing coaster where the arms spin around the track (but the cars freely swing so they always remain upright)
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