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£2.5bn ‘UK Disneyland’ will go ahead next year, theme park boss confirms

It will be the biggest theme park investment in Europe since Disneyland Paris

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London Resort

The ambitious theme park billed as the ‘UK Disneyland’ will be going ahead next year, the project’s boss has confirmed.

The huge theme park was originally announced in 2012, with hopes to be open to the public in 2019. However, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, disagreements by locals and wildlife protection laws, the opening date has been repeatedly pushed back.

But now, London Resort boss Py Gerbeau has confirmed that works will indeed be starting at the park next year, with plans to open by 2024.

London Resort

London Resort

Gerbeau said, as per Kent Online: “We remain committed to providing the examining authority with the new and updated documents as previously promised.

“We can also confirm, as previously indicated that we will be addressing the full range of issues in relation to time-dependant information being sufficiently current and will, as a matter of normal process in any examination, be supplementing our reports with additional information.”

He added that there will be no ‘material changes’ to the bid for the theme park to be built with ‘subtle’ design changes to protect the lands near the resort.

The 535-acre site, which will be located between Gravesend and Dartford just outside of London, will be the biggest brand new theme park investment in Europe since Disneyland Paris in 1992.

London Resort

London Resort

The theme park is reportedly working with BBC Studios, ITV and Paramount to build six different themed lands along with a water park, three hotels and a shopping district.

This includes ‘The Studios’, a warehouse district with blockbuster movie features, fairytale land ‘The Woods’ and King Arthur-themed ‘The Kingdom’. There will also be a futuristic land and a Jungle-themed land, as well as an area dedicated to dinosaurs and pre-historic creatures. 

Reports also suggest there will be two rollercoasters at the park, one of which will be the fastest in Europe reaching speeds in excess of 70mph.

Visit the London Resort website for more information.

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Kids can now become firefighters at Greater Manchester’s new immersive Fireground experience

The new attraction includes a fireman’s pole, historic fire engines and immersive street scenes

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Mama Fox Reviews & Fireground Rochdale / Facebook

Kids can now try their hand at being a firefighter in Greater Manchester’s new and immersive ‘Fireground’.

The new attraction has replaced Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum in Rochdale’s old fire station, and features a whole array of firefighter-themed fun for the little ones, including fully restored fire engines, horse-drawn fire carriages and manual hand-operated pumps

There’s also an immersive Victorian street scene and a scene from the blitz, complete with lighting and sound effects, perfect for the children to immerse themselves in the fire service’s extensive history.

The museum boasts a number of interactive display elements too, including a play area with a fireman’s pole to slide down – something that has proven to be a big hit with the kids.

@FiregroundRochdale / Facebook

@FiregroundRochdale / Facebook

The reviews for the new Fireground – which has been five years in the making with a massive of £1.6m – have been glowing, with parent and blogger Katrina Heywood hailing it as ‘the best time’ after visiting with her son Joseph.

Writing on her Mama Fox Reviews Facebook page, Katrina wrote: “Joseph loved all things firefighter related at the moment and there was lots of interactive things to do. He didn’t want to leave!”

Katrina said her son particularly enjoyed the interactive areas including the fireman’s pole, driving an engine simulation, trying on firefighter’s clothing and taking part in the firefighter quiz, which was ‘very accessible with pull away seating and colour coded questions using switches’.

She added: “The staff were all fantastic. Very knowledgeable and would give lots of info to adults and kids about the exhibits. Lovely interactions with the kids too.”

Mama Fox Reviews / Facebook

Mama Fox Reviews / Facebook

Over on the Fireground website, the company states it’s mission is to ‘explore, preserve and make accessible the history of fire, fire engineering and the fire and rescue services in the Greater Manchester region and, through our collections and resources, to further the education and promotion of fire safety in the community’.

There’s a cafe on site serving hot drinks and cakes, as well as a small shop selling toys, helmets, books and other firefighter-related products.

A number of events are planned at the museum later this year, including an Easter Trail on April 14th and 16th, a Mega Machines event on June 25th and a Family Fun Day on August 20th.

Tickets for children and concessions cost £5, adults £7, or family tickets for £20. Children under the age of four get to visit for free.

For more information and bookings, visit the Fireground website here.

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Here’s how Manchester is celebrating Chinese New Year

Manchester will be welcoming the Year of the Tiger in style…

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@chinesenewyearmcr / Instagram

The Chinese New Year is nearly upon us, and Manchester has a whole week of celebrations planned to mark the occasion.

Chinese New Year – also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival – will fall on Tuesday February 1st this year, starting the year of the Tiger.

According to the Chinese zodiac, people born in a year of the Tiger are predicted to be brave, competitive, unpredictable, and confident. However, they will also experience their zodiac birth sign year, benmingnian, in 2022, which is considered bad luck. 

Chinese New Year Manchester

But let’s not worry about that because Manchester has a ton of exciting events and activities lined up to welcome in the Year of the Tiger.

While the annual parade won’t be going ahead due to Covid restrictions, there will be the grand unveiling of a huge tiger art sculpture at St Ann’s Square on February 1st.

Commissioned by Manchester BID, the installation will take on the form of a traditional tiger from wood and recycled corrugated plastic.

While the tiger is a symbol of power, bravery and force in Chinese culture, the origami-esque sculpture will give the illusion of being weak and easily broken when, in fact, it will remain strong and tall for the city to see.

Chinese New Year Manchester

The tiger’s inner structure will also match the stripes and markings of a real-life tiger, which will cast stunning shadows at night with the help from surrounding lights.

And, on February 6th, Manchester’s Chinatown will come to life to celebrate the Lunar New Year with a whole host of family-friendly activities including lion dancing, Chinese dancers, street food stalls and Chinese arts and crafts events.

Thousands of traditional red lanterns will gradually adorn Chinatown and the rest of the city’s streets from today, too. 

The Chinese New Year will be celebrated from February 1st – February 6th. Make sure to follow Manchester’s Chinese New Year celebrations Instagram page for news and updates.

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A new £1m immersive Peter Rabbit attraction is coming to Blackpool’s seafront

This will make for an exceptionally wholesome day out with the little ‘uns

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Merlin Entertainment

A new £1m attraction based on the beloved Peter Rabbit is set to open on Blackpool’s seafront next month. 

‘Peter Rabbit Explore and Play’, which has been eighteen months in the making, will be opening next door to Madame Tussauds and will join Merlin’s six other attractions, including The Blackpool Tower and Sea Life Blackpool.

In what will be Merlin’s first stand-alone visitor attraction experience based on the cartoon, visitors will be able to fully immerse themselves in the world of Peter Rabbit and ’embark on an adventure across five fluffy-tailed themed zones’.

Merlin Entertainment

Guests will also be able to meet, greet and ‘high-paw’ Peter the Rabbit himself when the attraction opens in February.

Merlin said on the new opening: “Guests will need to think like a rabbit, move like a rabbit and deploy rabbit-like senses with a whole burrow-full of creativity in order to complete the challenges and earn badges – seeing if they have the skills to join the secret treehouse club.”

The regional director Kate Shane added: “We are thrilled to be welcoming such an icon to Blackpool.

“Peter Rabbit is a well-loved household name for young and old and is globally renowned. We are delighted that this new attraction concept will be created here in Blackpool first.

Merlin Entertainment

“We firmly support Blackpool’s overall ambition to be the UK’s number one family seaside resort and with such a family-favourite brand joining our Blackpool Cluster of attractions we can’t wait to ‘hop’ to it and get the experience open.”

An exact opening date is yet to be announced, though it has been confirmed for February 2022.

For news and updates, make sure to follow the official Peter Rabbit: Explore and Play Blackpool Facebook page here.

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