Prehistoric nature reserve will feature roaming dinosaurs, two coasters, advanced dark rides, interactive dig sites and a fine dining experience with a difference, it is claimed.
The London Resort has unveiled an exclusive glimpse into Base Camp, an entire land dedicated to dinosaurs, adventure and the legacy of unsung heroes of palaeontology, including Mary Anning.
The details were revealed on 20 April by PY Gerbeau, CEO of London Resort Company Holdings. Along with new imagery of Base Camp, Gerbeau also announced his recommendation to take time to review and ensure the Resort’s ‘gold standard’ case for sustainability, given the implications of Natural England’s designation of the site as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
“Working with the Planning Inspectorate, we have requested further time to prepare for the formal enquiry later this summer,” said Gerbeau. “It is absolutely fundamental for us to be leaders in sustainability. We’ve already committed to spending around £150m on remediation, habitat enhancement and providing around 8 miles of footpaths and public rights of way. But since Natural England designated the area a SSSI earlier this year – it is right and proper that we take a short extension to revise our reports and ensure they address the issues raised.
“We are on track to create a beacon of world class entertainment and experiences within a world leading sustainable environment. And we’re very excited to announce details of our progress with a new land, Base Camp.”
Set in the north west corner of the Resort, the land’s plans include two rollercoasters, a large multi-media live stage show experience, an advanced simulator attraction, immersive fine dining and an “active dig site” where younger palaeontologists can discover dinosaurs as they climb, dig and tunnel their way across the excavation site.
“Base Camp’s design is based on a philosophy of what an actual, modern day, prehistorical nature reserve might look like,” commented PY Gerbeau, CEO of London Resort Company Holdings. “There will be thrills, spills and high energy rides combined with opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the most amazing creatures ever to walk the earth. However, unlike popular films that depict dinosaurs as villains, things don’t always go terribly wrong here. We are building a land of preservation and celebration of dinosaurs.”
The first of two rollercoasters planned for the land will celebrate the reign of Quetzalcoatlus, one of the largest known, winged reptiles of all time. Set over 1km of track, it aims to be one of the fastest coasters in Europe. “It will also go against the trend of building coasters with towering heights and big drops,” said a spokesperson. Recreating what scientists believe was a typical flight path of the extraordinary beast, this coaster will stay low to the ground, zipping across treetops, skimming water and bursting through rocky canyons. A multi-launch coaster reaching speeds in excess of 70mph, the ride will replicate the hunting speed of Quetzalcoatlus which would swoop low and fast to snare prey in its long, tweezer like beak.
The second coaster inside Base Camp will offer a family orientated experience. Weaving beneath the flight path of Quetzalcoatlus, through the fascinating landscape, this ride will allow for adventurers of all ages and sizes to experience a rollercoaster with just the right level of ‘thrill’.
An indoor, 1,500 seated arena will be located in the far corner of the preserve. This marquee attraction, framed by a massive biodome, will feature breath-taking shows set within a dense tropical forest.
For an up-close look at Ichthyosaurs, Mosasaurs and other terrifying hunters of the ocean, guests will head over to a motion-based 4D ride. It will dive underwater in search of cold and calculating predators offering guests an unparalleled expedition into the darkness of prehistoric waters. At points along their journey, guests may begin to question if they are observers, or prey.
Alongside the fun and adrenaline, the land is also set to deliver educational opportunities. An enormous play area will be created for young palaeontologists to explore, excavate exciting fossil finds and develop STEM skills. Zip lines, climbing walls and multiple archaeological tunnels will welcome the most enthusiastic of kids while underwater viewing platforms will offer calming moments as families peer into prehistoric lagoons.
An interactive, immersive, dark ride will use sophisticated gaming technology to enlist the help of guests to track and tag a variety of dinosaurs and ancient reptiles in the wild. It will pit humans against beasts in a quest for better understanding and scientific research.
One of two food and beverage offerings within Base Camp will be a fun and eclectic family restaurant situated along the edge of a Cretaceous watering hole. It is where palaeontologists and visitors alike can relax and swap stories. It is also here that the life and legacy of Mary Anning will be fully celebrated. One of Britain’s greatest scientists, Mary Anning was a world-renowned fossil collector and palaeontologist. Self-taught and ambitious, she found and identified hundreds of fossils in her lifetime including being the first in the world to identify the Ichthyosaur. Only properly recognised in recent years by organisations such as the Natural History Museum and the Royal Society, here her life, legacy, and lasting impact on the world of palaeontology will be fully celebrated.
The second food and beverage destination will be a fine dining experience with a difference. Situated at the edge of an underwater cliff, this luxury dining venue will combine first-rate cuisine, fine wines, with a view to die for. Floor-to-ceiling “windows” will wrap the dining room, offering guests a front-row seat to the flora and fauna of the prehistoric oceans just beyond the glass. Throughout the meal, schools of ancient fish may swim past the windows, darting from predators as they emerge from the inky blackness beyond. At regular intervals, something with a bit more bite may come into view. Ichthyosaurs loves to feed at this depth, and diners will have an unobstructed view as fish, otherwise assumed to be the hunters, become the hunted beneath the ocean’s surface.
“Our vision is for The London Resort to be a beacon of world-class entertainment experiences set within a world-leading sustainable environment”, continued Gerbeau. “We are building a unique, global destination and the storytelling, thrilling adventures, and environmental messaging found inside Base Camp help to reinforce that effort.”