Whilst the Scoping Report doesn’t give any further detail as to the exact types of rides and attractions which will feature within the theme park element of the project, it does provide a key overview of the wide scope of the development, as well as give some small clues about the scale of any potential rollercoasters.
Back in December 2019 it was confirmed that the theme park would comprise of six lands which guests would access via a grand plaza that will lead them through “the High Street” to the Theme Park. Whilst the new Scoping Report doesn’t reveal much new information about the exact rides and attractions which will feature, it does reveal that any rollercoasters will be a maximum height of 40m (131ft), mountains 60m (197ft), and buildings 32m (105ft). As previously confirmed, the Theme Park will be formed of two gates, the first of which would open in 2024 and the second during 2029. Both gates will feature a mix of IP based attractions and bespoke themes. LRCH have asked for flexibility within the Development Consent Order to allow them to change and add rides as time goes on to ensure they can maintain the Theme Park’s appeal to guests with regular new additions. It is estimated that the Resort will attract 6.5 million visitors a year with gate one, and 12.5 million with gate two open. By 2029, when it is anticipated gate two will open, it is predicted that daily visitors will range from 7000 – 53000 per day, averaging at 26000 per day. The Resort is only expected to exceed 35000 visitors a day on 54 days of the year, which will generally be during weekends or holiday periods.
The development will feature four hotels which in total will provide 3550 rooms. These hotels will be located between the two theme park gates with one possibly within gate one (similar to how Disneyland Hotel is situated within the boundary of Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort Paris). The accommodation will include a rage of family, upmarket, and luxury hotels with some hotels proposed to be themed to IPs to provide strong links to other Entertainment Resort attractions. One of the hotels will incorporate a covered water park that might be available to all Resort guests. 2500 of the hotel rooms will open with theme park gate one and 1050 rooms with gate two. The Resort hotels will have their own dedicated parking.
A large Entertainment District will also be constructed providing a wide range of facilities for both business and leisure purposes. A ‘Conferention Centre’ (combination of convention centre and conference centre) will be built and will provide capacity for up to 3000 seated visitors. This space will be able to be used flexibly for concerts, live television, exhibitions, and conventions. An eSports arena is also proposed as well as theatres, and indoor and outdoor venues providing West End quality productions and shorter format shows. These venues will showcase content from IP providers as well as live comedy and concerts.
Car parks and transport
Up to 10000 car parking spaces will be provided for visitors and hotel guests – 7500 at the Resort and 2500 on the opposite bank of the River Thames at Tilbury from where a river taxi will transport guests across to the Resort. The main parking area will comprise of up to four multi storey car parks with up to 10 decks. 250 VIP parking spaces will also be located under the main visitor plaza. 500 staff parking spaces will be provided, along with 150 coach parking spaces, 350 motorcycle spaces, and 250 secure cycle spaces.
A network of pedestrian and cycle routes will be built in the area surrounding the Resort and there will be enhancements to public transport services to encourage visitors to travel in the most environmentally friendly way possible. For those arriving by car, a dedicated Resort access road will be built comprising of two lanes in each direction and will run parallel to the existing HS1 railway.
Also detailed is a 3.1km people mover route between a proposed Resort travel interchange next to Ebbsfleet International Station and a ferry terminal on Ebbsfleet Peninsula. The route will include stops at the southern end of Resort car parking area and adjacent to main visitor entrance plaza. This people mover route will be served by a dedicated fleet of articulated shuttle buses (better known as a bendy bus) with a capacity of 100-150 passengers per vehicle.
Developers are also proposing to build up to 500 apartments for the use of Resort staff. These will be shared accommodation with 4-6 bedrooms and shared kitchen and lounge facilities.