Massive New Disneyland-Style Park Delay Confirmed, Now Opening 2025

in Theme Parks

Guests riding Carousel

Credit: Disney

Over the years, rumors of a “UK Disneyland” began to ripple through the public, and now almost 10 years on since the project was first announced, the London Resort has set a 2025 opening after yet more delays to the planning process.

The company took to social media to announce a slew of updates on the anticipated, yet controversial, new Resort coming to the south of England, United Kingdom.

disneyland resort sleeping beauty castle
Credit: Disney

Disney Parks worldwide have continued to entertain Guests for decades. Walt Disney opened the first Disneyland in Anaheim, California in 1955, with the inaugural Park going on to become the expanding Resort it is today with Disneyland Park, Downtown Disney, and Disney California Adventure Park. Then Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary AKA The World’s Most Magical Celebration, bringing even more Guests from all over the world to experience Disney magic in spades. Over the years since Orlando’s Magic Kingdom Park debuted, it has been joined by EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and the water parks — Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.

walt disney world railroad
Credit: Disney

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As expansion into new territories continued, Disney was able to tap into international markets with Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disney Resort. And while many Guests travel far and wide to visit the Disney Parks worldwide, especially UK Guests visiting the Central Florida theme park destination, the excitement of a UK-based Disneyland ignited when it was first announced.

What is the London Resort?

The London Resort was announced in 2012 but has been subject to many delays following the extensive planning and future construction of the alleged £3.5 billion (approx. $4.8 billion) project. The Park is set to feature multiple attractions including a water park and live music venues, and, at first, had a rather impressive connection to another brand — Paramount Pictures. While it has been dubbed “UK Disneyland”, the official name of the theme park was originally London Paramount Entertainment Resort. The project is helmed by Pierre-Yves Gerbeau (PY Gerbeau) who was part of the Disney family, joining Disneyland Paris — then, Euro Disney — in 1991 before rising to Vice President of Park Operations and Attractions in 1997.

Aerial shot of the London Resort
Credit: The London Resort (Screenshot ITM)

The two companies, however, parted ways and thus the London Resort was born. Slated for a Swanscombe, Kent location, the project has encountered numerous issues and most recently has submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) which will stretch out the process. The London Resort Holdings Company (LRHC) which is behind the expensive “UK Disneyland” asked for an additional four months at the end of 2021 after Natural England decided to name part of the space the Resort was hoping to occupy as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Around the same time, the London Resort quietly announced its hopeful 2024 opening would not be going ahead and instead a 2025 launch has been penciled in. Taking to Twitter, the company said:

2021 to-do list is work in progress… Update DCO documents, Revise opening date to 2025, Partner with dynamic and visionary IP brands, Continue designing cutting edge unique experiences, Appreciate all the support, Beware ‘hic sunt dracones’ (among other things) … Bring on 2022.

With it came the new concept art of a Game of Thrones-style Red Keep castle attraction complete with a fire-breathing dragon a la Gringotts Bank at Universal’s Islands of Adventure’s Wizarding World. As the tweet suggests, the company is continuing to work with “dynamic” IP, or Intellectual Properties, but it is not confirmed, despite its similarities, that Game of Thrones is at all involved. You can read about their vision here. It is interesting to see the London Resort utilizing a castle as a landmark. As we know, all of the Disney Park destinations have some interaction of a castle. Whether it’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, Cinderella Castle, or the Castle of Magical Dreams, a castle is a staple of Disney Resorts worldwide.

It will be interesting to see if, when the London Resort does reach completion, it stands up to its Disneyland source material. Or, will visitors be left disappointed and decide to continue flocking to the other Disney Parks, namely Walt Disney World to meet their favorite Disney characters, instead. Even if the new Disney Genie service is causing controversy.

Would you visit this “Disneyland” Park in England? Let us know in the comments down below!

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