If you ever found yourself wishing upon a star that the happiest place on earth would somehow come to the UK, then this just may be your lucky day! 30,000 people and a multi-billion pound investment will soon transfer seven million square meters of land, on the banks of the Thames, into one of the largest, immersive experience centres in the world, affectionately known to theme park junkies as, “UK’s Disneyland.”

The Gist

The world’s finest theme park engineers and designers will fuse with the best of British and International brands to create a resort of global appeal, just 17 minutes from central London. A bespoke entertainment district, including the provision of 3,500 hotel rooms, will be devoted to a full suite of hospitality experiences, providing a plethora of recreation and dining options for all ages.

When complete, The London Resort will be three times larger than any other park in the UK. Two theme parks and a resort water park will be set over 535 acres. That is the equivalent of 136 Wembley Stadiums!

But, no matter the size and scope, it is the ingenuity behind this theme park that will take it to a whole new level. Brands from across literature, television, music, film and entertainment, are being hand-picked to create unique experiences never seen before.

As their well-tuned marketing propaganda has encouraged, “The London Resort will be more than a resort. It will be imagination unleashed.”

The Stats

  • Location: Swanscombe, Kent, England
  • Owner: London Resort Company Holdings
  • Operated by: London Resort Company Holdings
  • Opening: 2024 (proposed)
  • Previous Names: Paramount Kent, Paramount Pictures Theme Park
  • Operating Season: Year-round
  • Area: 872 acres (353 ha)
  • Website: http://londonresort.info/
  • Status: Under Construction


At the 2012 launch, it was announced that the complex would feature Europe’s largest indoor water park, theatres, live music venues, attractions, cinemas, restaurants, event space and hotels. Allied to the project would be a training academy for the entertainment and hospitality sectors, a new country park, a large science and education visitor complex and “the biggest performing arts centre in Europe”.

With an initial completion date announced for 2019, the park and related enterprises were expected to employ 27,000 people.

Plans have since been reviewed and revised, the London Resort announced their intention to open in 2024.

The park was initially planned in partnership with Paramount Pictures and would have been known as the London Paramount Entertainment Resort, with the park’s theme having an emphasis on Britain and Kent, as well as Paramount films and entertainment properties. The team at the Resort subsequently agreed with Paramount to separate and the project became known as the London Resort. However, in June 2019, London Resort gained the necessary licenses to still have rides based on Paramount Pictures' films.

The London Resort has made ongoing progress towards the proposal of a formal planning application since the very beginning. If approved, it is anticipated that construction could begin immediately, assisting in meeting their goal of a 2024 grand debut.

In May 2014, the project received a significant boost, garnering special status as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. In other words, this allows the London Resort Company Holdings to apply directly to the Secretary of State for planning permission, as opposed to the typical route through the local authority.

Who’s In Charge Here?

The London Resort is led by Chief Executive PY Gerbeau and the Board is chaired by Steve Norris. There is also an advisory board, an executive management team and a team of senior professional consultants combining experience in leisure, entertainment, construction and real estate.

The Senior Team: PY Gerbeau, Steve Norris Advisory Board: Paul Huberman, Alan Crane, Alistair Dixon


There are several reasons why The London Resort should wish to win over locals and further gain their support. However, there are just as many, if not more, reasons why locals should clamour to the likes of a tourist trap set in their own backyards. According to The London Resort’s Website, the project will create the following benefits and opportunities:

  • CATALYST FOR REGENERATION – The project will be a catalyst for regeneration in the area including the delivery of the Ebbsfleet Garden City
  • INCREASE IN LOCAL SPEND – There will be an increase in economic activity in the local area, leading to an associated increase in local spend
  • THOUSANDS OF JOBS – There will be thousands of direct and indirect jobs created in the wider economy; collectively, we estimate that the Project will generate around 30,000 skilled or semi-skilled jobs (which is approximately 25,000 Full-Time Equivalents)
  • CONSTRUCTION JOBS – There will also be significant job creation associated with construction activity
  • NEW INFRASTRUCTURE – Improvements will be made to the roads, ensuring that new infrastructure is in place to serve the Entertainment Resort, including a new dedicated access route from the A2
  • REGENERATION OF A BROWNFIELD SITE – The project will regenerate what is largely a brownfield site, isolated by its previous industrial uses, back into a vibrant focus for the region
  • POTENTIAL OF THE RIVER THAMES – It will harness the potential of the River Thames and new routes will be created to make it attractive for people to walk, cycle or bus to and around the site
  • GREEN NETWORKS – A green network will include areas of environmental enhancement and wildlife habitat creation beside the River Thames.


You’ve heard the old real estate adage, “location, location, location.” However, when it comes to building theme parks, you just may want to consider “transportation, transposition, transportation.” After all, what good is a theme park if no one can access it? Luckily, The London Resort has learned a thing or two from its predecessors.

  • 17 minutes by train from St Pancras
  • Eurostar links to Paris (2 hrs. 5 mins) and Brussels (1hr 50 mins)
  • Potential for Crossrail extension
  • Close to M25, M2 and A2
  • Potential for river taxis and clipper services

Employment Opportunities Abound

The London Resort boasts job opportunities for locals as well as the wider employment market. Their website lists a myriad of full-time and part-time jobs expected to include:

  • Over 9,000 jobs (including approximately 6,500 Full-Time Equivalents) at the Entertainment Resort
  • A further 2,300 jobs (including approximately 1,800 Full-Time Equivalents) in the Entertainment Resort hotels
  • Potential for approximately 21,000 indirect jobs (including approximately 16,000 Full-Time Equivalents) through the supply chain and growth from spending in the local area
  • Peak on-site construction employment of up to 6,300 jobs during the construction period

In addition, a key component to the success will be the important role local, regional and national suppliers will play in the process. The London Resort website claims that they will be “holding events to give potential suppliers the opportunity to find out more about our services and product requirements.”

Mixed Reactions

The project had received both positive and negative responses within Kent, calling into question the commitment of some of the development partners, namely landowner Lafarge Tarmac, builder Brookfield Construction and property company Development Securities. In December 2012, the project secured the services of Chris Townsend, as its commercial director. Townsend performed the same role for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games on behalf of the London 2012 Summer Olympics and is charged with attracting investors for debt and equity funding.

Healthy Competition

With predicted visitor figures of 15 million people per year, the new theme park will present steep significant competition for the current UK theme park and tourist attractions, including Merlin’s southern theme park resorts: Thorpe Park Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort and Legoland Windsor Resort. While this may seem concerning to some, let us not forget the healthy competition that has fallen at the respective feet of both Disney and Universal. Competition keeps everyone on their toes, allowing fans to benefit as they make every attempt to “outdo” each other.

Weather the Weather

Now, we know what you’re thinking… theme parks fare well in a warm and sunny climate. However, don’t forget just how rainy a summer’s day in the theme park capital of the world (Orlando, FL) can be. Regardless, plans reveal that there is nothing to worry about, as 70% of the theme park’s attractions will be located under some form of shelter, allowing guests to steer clear of the UK’s temperamental weather.

Plans Revealed

On June 9th, 2020, excitement permeated the air as The London Resort Company held a public conference regarding the £3.5 billion theme park in an effort to gain local input on the extraordinary plans.

“We obviously can’t hold a public consultation in the normal way – but we will make sure we reach out to local residents and businesses as well as the wider community and stakeholders,” stated French businessman and Chief Executive of London Resort Company Holdings, Pierre-Yves Gerbeau.

Chief Executive of the project PY Gerbeau said: “This is a significant step in transforming an amazing and ambitious dream into reality.

“We are talking to the Government about how we will be using digital technology, websites, video conferences and online Question and Answer Sessions.”

The London Resort Company plans to create a two-park resort. It is believed that the first gate will open in 2024, while the second gate will follow five years post, finally welcoming guests in 2029.

The London Resort promises to be one of the ‘largest construction projects across Europe’. In fact, not since Disneyland Paris (1992) has there been a theme park of this magnitude built from scratch in Europe. When complete, it will be three times larger than any other park in the UK.

However, in the words of Master Yoda, “size matters not.” Or, at least not as much as the quality of the overall experience. Lucky for us fans, they seemingly have those bases covered as well.

“We are creating a first-class theme park. A destination that maximizes all the new, immersive and interactive technologies and experiences in the world.”

Gerbeau has also pledged that the park will be “one of the most sustainable theme parks on the planet.” Though plans regarding exactly how the park intends to back up this mission have yet to be revealed, it will be awfully fun to watch them duke it out with Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park over at Walt Disney World.

Meet The Lands

As you can see above, the plans reveal how the resort will be split into seven themed regions: The Jungle, The Woods, The Kingdom, The Studio, The Isles, Starport and High Street. Each of these themed areas will be referred to as lands. Not a foreign concept for those of us familiar with Disney’s theme parks. Let’s get to know them a little better, shall we?

Visitors will enter through a grand plaza, where they will find themselves greeted by a wide array of shops, restaurants and hotels. All of this will effortlessly lead visitors through to an area described as The High Street.

Next, adventure enthusiasts will find themselves in a land full of punch and panache. The Studios, reminiscent of a warehouse business park, will be set with “the exhilarating thrills of big, blockbuster features.” Undoubtedly, these attractions will pull from Paramount Studios’ IP, films, and shows from the BBC and ITV.

On the north side, visitors will uncover an area described by The London Resort Company as where the “young-at-heart will be invited to step through the pages of a storybook.” The fairytale-laden land is affectionately named, The Woods.

If you are an admirer of history and magic or find yourself mesmerized by the likes of castles and swords, as well as dragons, sorcery and mythical Arthurian legends, you may find yourself drawn to an immersive land soon to be known as The Kingdom.

Additional sections include The Isles, home to the park’s most thrilling rides, as well as The Jungle, premeditated to be an overrun wildly curious and mystical land geared towards guests who have a soft spot for exploration.

Finally, the sixth land, Starport, will focus on creating a futuristic land, peppered perfectly with a plethora of rides.

Waiting In The Wings

The BBC, ITV and Paramount Pictures (though slightly removed from the project since 2019) are all attached to the proposal, with the intention of showcasing Hollywood and British culture.

BBC Worldwide productions that are expected to be featured in the theme park are Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Top Gear Rides and attractions will also be based on the ITV children’s programs Thunderbirds Are Go and Robozuna. Other rides and attractions that are expected will be based on Paramount blockbusters such as Mission: Impossible, The Italian Job, and A Quiet Place.

Aardman Animations and the British Film Institute were attached but later pulled out of the project.