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Park News

BBC meets Paramount UK broadcaster to licence IP to London park

Anyone fearing the proposed London Paramount theme park/entertainment resort would feature only Hollywood-branded attractions can take heart from a deal agreed between the park’s developer London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH) and BBC Worldwide.

The development agreement with the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation means that various popular BBC brands are likely to feature at the park alongside intellectual property from Paramount Pictures including Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, The Godfather and The Italian Job. BBC Worldwide’s first theme park project was the CBeebies Land children’s area, which debuted this spring at Alton Towers, however this would be the first time the BBC has licensed its IP on a park-wide basis. "We are delighted to bring the world's leading public service broadcaster on board this project,” says LRCH director David Testa. “The BBC has played an instrumental role in shaping the British entertainment industry for nearly a century, creating some of the most iconic and cherished characters on TV and radio. It seems only right therefore that its programmes will be present at the new London Paramount Entertainment Resort, which will combine the glamour of Hollywood with the best of British culture.” Currently scheduled to open at Easter 2020, London is a £2 billion+ development earmarked for the Swanscombe Peninsula in North Kent, just

Thea Awards 2015

Previewed, as always at IAAPA Attractions Expo, the TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) has revealed which people and projects will be picking up trophies at the at 21st Thea Awards Gala in California this coming spring. The Buzz Price Award, recognising a lifetime of distinguished achievements, goes to Ron Miziker of the Miziker Entertainment Group. “Miziker was a unanimous choice,” according to the Thea Awards Committee, “No one in our industry has created and produced a broader variety of shows around the world” – including productions for Disney, Universal Studios, Radio City Music Hall, Lotte World and many more. Meanwhile the Thea Classic Award celebrates It's a Small World at Disneyland, California.

New projects to be recognised with Thea Awards for outstanding achievement are as follows: The Time Machine, Futuroscope, France (attraction refurbishment on a limited budget); Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, China (themepark); Gratassland/Land of the Little Grey Tractor, Kongeparken, Norway (new park land, limited budget); Wilderness Explorers, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida (attraction, limited budget); National September 11 Memorial Museum, New York City (extraordinary cultural achievement); Wonder Rooms, Gemeentemuseum, The Netherlands (museum exhibit); Nature Lab, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California (museum exhibition, limited budget); The Legend of Lady White Snake, Zhenjiang, China (event spectacular); Grand Hall Experience at Saint Louis Union Station, USA (live show); Wings of Time, Sentosa, Singapore (event spectacular); Bistrot Chéz Remy, Walt Disney Studios Park, Paris (themed restaurant); The Story Garden, The Amorepacific Beauty Campus, South Korea (corporate brand land); Wizarding World of Harry Potter– Diagon Alley, Universal Studios Florida (retail and dining); Harry Potter & The Escape from Gringotts, Universal Studios Florida (attraction); Interactive Wands, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Florida (technical excellence). The Thea Awards will be presented on 21 March at Disneyland Hotel as part of the TEA Summit in Anaheim, California. More details at


outside the British capital. The plans call for a world-class studio theme park, the largest indoor waterpark in Europe, a 2,000-seat theatre, indoor event space, hotels and a creative business space. Funding is coming from Kuwaiti European Holding Co.

Legoland Korea plans Set to open in 2017, Legoland Korea will be built under Merlin Entertainments' “operated and leased” model, the parks and attractions giant has confirmed. Located in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province (South Korea), the park will be situated on the island of Jung-do, approximately one hour from Seoul and within 2 hours’ drive of other 23 million residents. The estimated cost of the project is KRW300 billion ($270m/€215m). Merlin's contribution, primarily in the form of branded assets, is said to represent KRW100 billion. The remainder, chiefly park infrastructure (including a new bridge), will be funded by a property company owned by a consortium of local public and private investors, including Gangwon Province and the City of Chuncheon. The model is similar to that being perused by Merlin at Nagoya in Japan, where a Legoland park will also open in 2017, its third in Asia (after Legoland Malaysia). “I am delighted to announce another Asian Legoland park project,” says Merlin CEO Nick Varney. “South Korea offers both a developed theme park market and strong Lego brand recognition. In addition, the city of Chuncheon provides the ideal location, with great transport links and a picturesque island setting.“ Varney adds that Merlin “continues to be excited by the potential opportunity of Legoland parks globally” and plans to open a new property, on average, a every two to three years.

Premier replaces Herschend

as operator of Darien Lake Following the completion of the 2014 season, Premier Attractions Management (PAM) has assumed management of Darien Lake amusement park, Darien Center, New York. Owned by CNL Income Properties. Herschend Entertainment previously managed the park. Returning as general manager is Chris Thorpe, who served in a similar capacity this past season at Elitch Gardens, Denver, Colorado. PAM is lead by former Six Flags executive Kieran Burke.

JANUARY 2015 Merlin confirms

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