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No, Disney is Not Building a Park in the UK

The Swanscombe Peninsula is the proposed site of The London Resort.

Let's set the record straight and clear up the confusion over this alleged "Disneyland UK."

In the 80s, Disney was scouting for locations across Western Europe for the location of the future Euro Disneyland Resort. It would be their first step into Europe and their first international resort after Tokyo Disney Resort.

Potential locations across the UK were considered, with most of them being in England. Sadly, our hilly terrain and somewhat unpredictable weather caused any considerations of a British Disneyland to be axed. Disney instead settled on a site near Barcelona, Spain, before ultimately deciding on a spot in Chessy, France. Now known as Disneyland Paris, the park has been open since 1992

This, as far as we know, was the closest the UK has ever got to getting any form of a Disneyland Resort. That being said: there are no plans to build a Disneyland Resort anywhere in the UK. Why am I saying this?

The London Resort

The London Resort is the placeholder (hopefully) name for a theme park resort planned for Swanscombe, Kent. The resort is to include an “American-class” theme park, E-Sports Arena and a few hotels. The park itself will include licensed attractions from BBC, ITV, and Paramount Pictures.

When it was announced back in 2012, it was called Paramount Park Entertainment Resort, but Paramount dropped out of the project due to the uncertainty that it would not be built. However, they would eventually re-join the project in July 2019 but only as a licensor for attractions.

But How Does Disney Factor Into This?

Photoshop is my passion, you guys.

In short – they don’t – but let me explain…

Since the announcement of the resort in 2012, the British media have labelled the park “Disneyland UK”, mostly because the UK has no theme parks that reach the levels of Disney or Universal and will be our closest equivalent. This is fair in some respects, but the UK media have gotten so carried away with this nickname that I think even they have forgotten that the park isn’t actually a Disney park.

After Paramount dropped out in June 2017, we know that Universal Studios had at least some discussions over the possibility of joining the project. Still, Disney has never been a part of the discussion.

The London Resort has only just started to attempt to distance itself from this nickname that has been gifted to them because it has led to many, many, many, many, many people thinking that we are due to get an actual Disneyland park. But they should have probably distanced themselves when the media started slapping this title on them.

Clickbait Land UK

These clickbait headlines have garnered so much steam and attention that when you search for The London Resort on Google, you don’t have to scroll very far before Disney is mentioned at least once. While comparing the resort to Disneyland is okay, since we don’t really have any parks to compare it to, I think it’s unfair for media outlets to outright dupe readers into believing that the UK is getting an official Disney park by constantly calling it Disneyland London or Disneyland UK. Even if they mention it in the article itself, they should make it abundantly clear that the park has nothing to do with Disney, which many either vaguely state or neglect to do altogether.

2012 concept art for a Star Trek themed area in Paramount Park Entertainment Resort. Now, The London Resort.

And that’s that. I hope this has cleared any of the confusion that I’ve seen online for a while, and I’m sorry if this news is disappointing to you, but remember that Disneyland Paris is only 2 hours and 50 minutes away from London by train (and it’s direct!).

The London Resort is currently scheduled to open in 2026, but at this point, it seems unlikely that it will ever be built. I hope it does because Merlin Entertainment holds a theme park monopoly over the UK, and we need a breath of fresh air injected into the British theme park industry. Plus, a whole land possibly dedicated Star Trek – um – yes, please!

For more information on The London Resort click here.

And for any information on the one-and-only European Disneyland we do have, click here.

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