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New plans for a massive Universal theme park in the UK have been revealed

New plans for a massive Universal theme park in the UK have been revealed

New plans for a massive Universal theme park in the UK have been revealed including potential hotels, entertainment district and train station.

Last year, theme park fans were thrilled when Universal Studios unveiled plans for a massive 500-acre theme park in Bedford.

Universal Studios has posted a new proposal online, including a map of the parkCredit: Universal
Bedford was chosen as a potential location due to its excellent transport links to London and EuropeCredit: Universal

The rumors surfaced after Universal's owners, Comcast and NBC, registered the domain names UniversalStudiosGreatBritain.com and UniversalGreatBritain.com.

The domains were registered in September 2023, obviously here.

In December, Universal confirmed to Sun Online Travel that it had acquired land in Bedford and was exploring the possibility of building a park in the home county.

Bedford was chosen as a potential location because of its excellent transport links to London and Europe, with more than half of the UK's population located within a two-hour flight.

In addition, the town is seen as having potential due to its proximity to Luton Airport.

The location would put any new theme park less than half an hour from Gulliver's Land and less than an hour from Warner Brothers Studios in Watford.

Latest global proposal

Although the theme park giants are still in the very early planning stages of the project, Universal Studios has posted a new proposal online.

The new proposal includes several maps of what the theme park might look like, if plans are given the green light.

Inside Alton Towers, the UK's largest theme park

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According to the 16-page document, the new site could include features such as a hotel, a retail, dining and entertainment district as well as a lake area, a restoration area and a landscaped area.

The landscaping aims to reduce the resort's “visual impact” on the surrounding area.

As stated in the proposal, the height of rides, attractions and buildings in the theme park will be capped.

“The maximum height of any component will be 115 metres, while the highest floor that can be occupied in any building will be limited to 75 metres,” they wrote.

Specific rides and attractions will be confirmed at a later stage, with the theme park adding: “We recognize the tremendous excitement that our theme parks and developments bring, but it is too early to know the potential for signature attractions and experiences.”

The proposal suggests the Bedford-based theme park could have its own Citywalk.

CityWalk is an entertainment and retail space that usually operates adjacent to a theme park.

They added: “Entry to CityWalk does not require a ticket, and this is a place where visitors and the local community can come for a unique experience.
Culinary experience, with themed restaurants like Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen, for example,
At CityWalk Orlando.

“CityWalk's themed experiences are very different from typical entertainment and are therefore not a direct competitor
Entertainment options you can experience downtown or on Main Street.”

The theme park giant also plans to build hotels on its resort site – although it will not aim to compete with accommodation providers in Bedford.

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If plans go ahead, a new train station will also be built.

While Wixams railway station will be built on the Midland main line, a new station on the East West railway line will also be built in close proximity to the resort.

Universal will hold two public events on April 13 and 16 for people to learn more about the plans.

Despite the 16-page proposal, Universal has not committed to opening a theme park in the UK.

Meanwhile, other theme parks around the world have been busy announcing plans to expand their offerings.

Disneyland

Earlier this month, Disney revealed plans for a new Avatar-themed land.

Set to open at Disneyland, CEO Bob Iger released a concept image of what the new one might look like during The Walt Disney Company's annual shareholder meeting.

In a recorded message, Bob explained how “Imagineers” at the California park are working to bring the land to life, although plans have not yet been made.

While the photo is largely non-committal in terms of land features, it does show park-goers strolling through scenes from Pandora, the magical and colorful land from the Avatar films.

A brand new water ride will open at Paultons Park this summer.

Read more about Irish Sun

Timeline of events surrounding the UK park

  1. September 2023 – Domain names for potential theme park are registered.
  2. December 2023 – Rumors about the possibility of a theme park in the UK circulate online.
  3. December 2023 – Universal confirms its plans to Sun Online Travel, including acquiring land in Bedford.
  4. February 2024 – Transportation Secretary Mark Harper shows his support for the new theme park.
  5. April 2024 – Universal enters the public comment period.
  6. April 13 and 16, 2024 – Universal will hold two public events where people can learn about and comment on the proposal.
  7. May 3, 2024 – The public survey on plans will close.
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If Universal goes ahead with its plans to open a theme park in the UK, it will need further approval, including government planning approval.

The ride, called Splash Lagoon, is a Jurassic-style stream ride.

The flume ride is scheduled to open in May, and promises to introduce kids to different types of dinosaurs, while also taking them through twisting rapids all the way to the final drop.

The proposal suggests the Bedford-based theme park could have its own CitywalkCredit: Universal
The rumors first circulated online after Universal's owners, Comcast and NBC, registered two domain namesCredit: Getty