Theme park fans around the UK are set to shake in their boots with excitement as the latest park set to be built in the UK has been announced. Universal Studios – one of the top attractions in Florida USA, has confirmed that it has purchased land in Bedford and is looking at options around building a park in England.
Universal Studios Orlando is home to some of the top spots in the theme park world including the Wizarding World of Harry Potter including Dragon Alley, Hogwarts and Gringotts Bank while the Hollywood park in California also has a Wizarding world. Orlando also has lands dedicated to the Minions, Dr Seuss, SpongeBob, the Simpsons and Shrek.
A spokesperson for the company behind Universal Studios said: "We recently acquired land in Bedford and are at the early stages of exploring its feasibility for a potential park and resort at this site. It will be many months before we are ready to make a decision to proceed and we look forward to engaging with all relevant stakeholders and the local community.
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"We are always looking at new locations around the world, including in Europe, and the UK is an attractive place for a potential project. The UK has a large population, creative industries, strong tourism, and transportation infrastructure with close proximity to other parts of Europe."
Universal Kids Resort is currently under construction in Texas, with plans to open its doors in 2026. Showing that the Universal roster is growing at a rapid pace. The land purchased covers almost 500 acres sitting around a 15 minute drive from Bedford and close to a railway station. A resort would be accessible from London Luton airport and just 45minutes away from London.
It will likely take a number of years before plans are approved, designs drawn up and building completed. But, if the park did go ahead Universal Studios would have a park right here in Europe to compete with the likes of Thorpe Park, LEGOland Windsor and Alton Towers. Apparently the domain names universalstudiosgreatbritain.com and universalgreatbritain.com, as well as .co.uk extensions, were registered by NBCUniversal – eek!
It’s thought that an English park appeals to the company due to the high population density of the country and its accessibility for mainland Europeans who can catch a cheap flight, drive or get the Eurostar into London and on to Bedford.
Orlando Park Stop, which shared the news of the land purchase, has suggested that the park might have lands dedicated to British icons like Paddington Bear and James Bond. Universal distributed No Time To Diet, the last 007 film, so it could well be the case. There is also a rumour that the company may have the theme park rights to Lord of the Rings, suggests Sky News, but this is not confirmed.
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