Since 2020 became all about cancellations and closures, all eyes are on what will happen in London during 2021. Here’s one we weren’t expecting: next year, construction will begin on The London Resort, an enormous theme park and water resort on the banks of the Thames that will cover 535 acres of land (that’s the same area as 136 Wembley Stadiums). The London Resort will be located on the Swanscombe Peninsula near Dartford, a 17-minute train ride from St Pancras. It will be the largest-scale theme park constructed in Europe since the opening of Disneyland Paris in 1992. Which means London is getting its own Disneyland equivalent (sort of).
The focus seems to be on the park’s ‘next generation’ rides, which will be created in partnership with Paramount Pictures, the BBC and ITV Studios. An early rendering of the park’s layout shows plans for ambitious sections like The Jungle, an area filled with the ruins of a long-lost Mesoamerican civilisation, and a movie-themed area called The Studio, which promises big blockbuster thrills of ‘high octane car chases and high stakes espionage’. Then there’s Starport, a twenty-third-century sci-fi landing zone. And it wouldn’t be a resort without a big row of gift shops – they can be found in the High Street, a grand plaza that will lead visitors to shopping areas, restaurants, hotels and a large water park.
Given its enormous scale, the construction is expected to involve 30,000 people at a cost of approximately £3.5 billion. PY Gerbeau, CEO of London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) said, ‘We are creating one of the most exciting theme park projects in the world. The London Resort will be a next-generation theme park resort, a world-class destination that maximises a wide range of immersive, interactive technologies and experiences.’
It will eventually be a two-park resort, with the first part opening in 2024, the second in around 2029. Parents who are already exhausted at the thought of visiting: you have at least three years to prepare.
Don’t want to wait until 2024 for entertainment? Try this socially distanced outdoor cinema.
...or start planning a visit to the world’s first socially distanced immersive music venue.