Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 28 May 2016

Could Lewis' witch produce a magic theme park?

By Lindy McDowell

Published 11/10/2012

It's reported Paramount Pictures is planning to build a £2bn theme park in Kent which will provide around 27,000 jobs.

Why can't we have one of those?

First up, of course, we are not so centrally situated. The site of the proposed new park will be easily accessible for millions of visitors from London and even Paris.

Also our weather isn't the best. We have no money. And to date no multi-billion dollar concern has shown interest in translating Indiana Jones' Temple of Doom into a Northern Ireland context. Still. Let's not rule out the possibility.

Just this week I had an email from Ian Adamson, one of our more forward-thinking politicos. Attached was a news report about an Australian businessman's plans to build Titanic II. The ship will be built to exactly the same spec as the original and will operate as a luxury cruise ship.

Will it be a commercial success? The businessman concerned obviously thinks so.

"Remember", says Ian in his note to me, "We tried to get Titanic II built in Belfast and they laughed at us ... "

Tourist attractions, as we are belatedly realising in this place, bring in real money and jobs.

And OK, we're never going to compete with Mickey Mouse. But we do have a lion, a witch and a wardrobe from which we could surely get some mileage.

A Narnia theme park?

If nothing else, we've got the weather for it.

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