Plans for London's proposed new theme park resort are just a couple of months away from submission for government approval, the resort's CEO said today.
PY Gerbeau, a former vice president of operations for Disneyland Paris who now is heading The London Resort, talked through some of those plans during the Blooloop V-Expo this morning. He focused on development outside the park's two planned theme park gates, which will open in phases.
"We hope to create new excitement and a new concept on how you interact between what is a top theme park with what's outside the pay line, which creates a destination," Gerbeau said.
"We really want to make sure there's almost as much as happening outside the gates as inside."
Gerbeau said the idea is to blur the line between the Main Street-type entrance plaza within the park with the CityWalk-style dining and shopping outside the gate, to give visitors a "taste" of the in-park experience even if they don't buy an admission ticket.
The resort's entrance will feature a transportation hub that encourages visitors to arrive by mass transit rather than private car. From there, visitors will walk through a covered plaza, flanked by a hotel and lined with restaurants, on their way to the parks. The as-yet-unnamed plaza's covering will be designed to look like a flock of birds in flight and will offer a music performance venue as well as Europe's best sports bar. (Though, to be fair, Gerbeau said "there wasn't much competition" for that honor.)
Gerbeau said that The London Resort will offer people who dine at the exterior plaza the opportunity to pre-book experiences on some of the theme park's top attractions, entering through a "back door," to entice more London area-residents to visit and give the resort a try. Also in the plaza will be a large esports colosseum, which will allow visitors the opportunity to play as they await their return times in the park's virtual queues, Gerbeau said.
At last year's Blooloop conference, the resort revealed its line-up of themed lands for its first theme park, which at one point in the development process was going to be branded to Paramount Studios. A second theme park is planned for a future phase. Once plans are submitted and approved, the resort and its first park will begin a two-and-a-half year build-out, Gerbeau said.
"We're obviously doing our best to deliver the zillions of documents required to satisfy all the inquiries that's going to follow for the next year or so. But then, we're existing. This thing is happening."
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