Disneyland Australia: Libertarian MP reveals three locations for possible theme park in Melbourne

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Dreams of an Australian version of Disneyland may not be so far-fetched after all: A member of parliament from the Australian state of Victoria named three locations in Melbourne for a possible theme park and called on tourism heavyweights to support this vision.

Speaking on Channel 10’s The Project on Tuesday night, Libertarian MP for South East Metro David Limbrick discussed his vision for an Australian version of the popular resort, saying he had shortlisted three “potentially excellent sites” to realise his vision.

He told the hosts that the park could be located in the suburbs of Dandenong, Cranbourne or Frankston – all of which are in his constituency.

“They are so good that I cannot simply share them. As proof that the world is small, it turns out that the best sites are in my constituency,” he said.

“Unlike other parts of Melbourne, Disney would be welcomed with open arms in Melbourne’s south-east.

“We have tens of thousands of families with children looking for employment opportunities and a great workforce that would love to live and work close to home.”

The move follows the announcement by the US-based Walt Disney Company that it intends to “accelerate and expand” its investments in its $60 billion parks and experiences division.

It goes without saying that this also includes investments in international parks.

There are currently six Disneyland locations in California, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai, as well as the Florida version known as the Magic Kingdom.

During his appearance on The Project, Mr Limbrick called on Victoria’s Tourism Minister Steve Dimopoulos to tell him the company was still able to operate in Melbourne.

He called on the Minister to tell the Walt Disney Company that it would receive “all possible assistance” if it wanted to build a park in Victoria, something that would be “welcomed by the people of south-east Melbourne”.

“This is the only logical location for the happiest place on earth. We need to get Disney’s attention,” he said of the project.

“I asked the government last Thursday at the Minister for Tourism to arrange a meeting with Disney and let them know that Melbourne is open for business and that we want investment from them.

“There are things the government could do without charging taxpayers any money.

“(They can) assure you that they can streamline the planning applications and that they may even give you a tax exemption when you set them up.

“These kinds of things could be really attractive to a foreign investor like Disney.”

Since he raised this issue in Parliament, he has received “a great response,” Limbrick said.

“I think before we get a Disney, we first have to build a movement of people who really want this,” he said.

“People in southeast Melbourne would be very interested in this.”

Although the dream could come true, co-host Kate Langbroek doubted that this wish could actually come true.

“David, you are incredible, but we are not getting Disneyland,” she said to Mr. Limbrick.

The MP remained optimistic and told her: “You have to dream.”

Her colleague Sarah Harris was quick to remind everyone how successful the Wonderland theme park in western Sydney was.

“Remember Australia’s Wonderland in western Sydney did really, really well for years? All the jobs it had… in the end it died, but you know,” she said.

Despite Mr Limbrick’s call, Frankston City Council Mayor Nathan Conroy has remained largely silent on the issue.

Mr Limbrick’s desire for an Australian Disneyland comes after Melbourne Mayor Sally Capp AO suggested Werribee as a possible location.

The suburb – 32km southwest of Melbourne’s central business district – was previously a potential site for a $220 million adventure park.

Due to the high costs for taxpayers, the plans were withdrawn by the state government in 2008.

Disneyland’s magical expansion

The first place to have the “Happiest Place on Earth” was the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

It was the first theme park opened by Walt Disney, and the only one designed and built under his direct supervision. The park officially opened on July 17, 1955.

The idea for the park came to him while watching his daughters Sharon and Diane ride the carousel. This sparked his desire to create a place where adults and children could have fun.

Over half a century later, the dream became reality and was expanded to two more continents with a total of seven parks.

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