I have exciting news! A Disney UK insider has leaked information on an incredible and dramtic event to this blog. They were buying a theme park. A British one. The now defunct American Adventure theme park, which is currently listed as For Sale under the name Shipley Lakeside, is to become a Disney Parks and Resorts property.
In truth, m sources say, Disney are in fact buying the land and as much of the surrounding area as they can not to rebrand the existing park, but to build an all-new Disney Adventure Park. Similar in theme to Disneyland Resort, think of it as half Disneyland Park and half California Adventure (Though possibly with a British theme).
The surrounding land will be used to extend the car parks and to build Disney's other resort amenities, such as hotels. As for expansion into a muti-park resort, it sounds like that's not in Disney's game plan. Disney UK's top brass are apparently more itnerested in several of these smaller, more British, Disney parks scattered around the UK than the more American Resort approach.
Their eventual goal, my source's claim, is a network of attraction to rival that of the Tussaud's brand (Merlin ENtertianments' UK Theme Park branch). Other suggested park anmes include Disney's Highland Island (Allegedly to be built on - a potnetially manmade - island off the coast of Scotland, presumably to the North) and Port Mickey (Rumoured to be a Disney-owned seaside resort, like Skegness but witht eh entire are Disney wned and operated - and more modern naturally).
As to Disney Adventure, my source indicates Disney wish to begin preparing the site for construction (IE, tearing down Ameircan Adventure's remnants and beginnign landscaping) this summer, pending finalising the land purchases. The Imagineers are apparently hard at work preparing plans for a cyclical park, where guests can either use the traditional hub system (Apparently to be built out and onto the lake in a "floating" promenade, hub and weenie with bridges off to various stages of the adventure), or journey through the adventure step by step.
As to what form the adventure will take, information was scarce. My source was able to confirm elements of Disneyland Resort's two parks (As mentioned above), but how these are woven togther and into what narrative, he was unable to discover.
This narrative idea though is an itneresting one. It takes the traditional Disney idea of themed areas, or sets, and spins them out into a longer story, which can still be accessed ad-hoc through an impressive sounding floating hub. It will be interesting to discover what form the floating wienie will take. My source and I, on discussion, suggest a pirate ship is a likely choice - owing to the aquatic placement, adventure theme suiting it and DIsney's newfound foundness for pirates thanks to the blockbuster movie trilogy and by extension their Princess equivalent for boys.
This last point also adds further reasoning. All of Disey's main parks currently feature Princess castles as Wienies (Disneyland Park, Magic Kingdom, Parc Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland). It makes sense that now Disney has an alternative, to use this alternative occasionally.
A second suggested wienie is an artifical mountain either beyond the lake and bridged to from the hub or indeed replacing part of it, possibly with some of the lake moved to it's other side, "extending" the lake - though in fact merely creating two smaller lakes with one significantly larger than the other or even atually extending the lake with water allowed to flow around the sides of the moutnain.
For this mountain's style, think Grizzly Peak at California Adventure.
Well that about wraps up the information I currently have on Disney's plans for UK-based theme parks.
More as it develops.