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New Storyville Gardens theme park to open near Nashville, Tennessee

by Dave Parfitt

A new 130-acre theme park resort is coming to Nashville, Tenn. Construction on Storyville Gardens is slated to begin in mid-2022, and the site will include a theme park, multiple hotels, and over 220,000 square feet of entertainment, dining, and shopping facilities.

Overview of Storyville Gardens

Storyville Gardens is the brainchild of Elde and DeLisa Guerrier, owners of the Guerrier Development real estate and investment firm in Nashville. The park is centered on a social mission to help children and young adults discover and rediscover a love for reading.

“Nashville and the surrounding counties are missing family-friendly entertainment options for our children,” said DeLisa Guerrier, managing partner at Guerrier Development and project lead for Storyville Gardens. “Storyville Gardens will provide that option while also helping parents and caregivers instill a love of reading in their children.”

Storyville Gardens Announcement Video

The Guerriers have selected themed entertainment designers Storyland Studios to bring this vision of Storyville Gardens to life. They will design rides, attractions, and shows based on stories from the four corners of the globe: Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. Storyland Studios has a Walt Disney Imagineering heritage with many of the founders and current staff Walt Disney Company and Walt Disney Imagineering veterans. Storyland’s current team includes familiar designers, architects, and artists from Disney, Pixar, Universal, Legoland, and more. Their previous projects include the original Hogwarts Express photo-op at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure and Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination traveling museum exhibit.

Hogwarts Express at Hogsmeade in 2010
Photo by Dave Parfitt

“We want to create an unforgettable experience that ignites an insatiable love of reading and story in the next generation of children,” said Ben Thompson, chief strategy officer and head of global clients at Storyland Studios. “We’re incredibly excited to begin the next phase of creation with the Storyville Gardens team.” Storyville Gardens will have a combination of “edutainment” experiences combining traditional show-based entertainment with state-of-the-art technological innovations.

Aerial overview map of Storyville Gardens

“The potential for Storyville Gardens is limitless, both in terms of its ability to become a global attraction as well as its expected impact on children and families that will embrace reading and stories through world-class, experiential attractions,” said Mel McGowan, Storyland Studios founder and chief creative officer. “The theme park industry will have never seen a park quite like this one. Tennessee families and tourists to the region are in for an experience they won’t be able to get anywhere else.”

“There is a great deal of excitement and energy around Storyville Gardens, and we are looking forward to delivering it to the region,” said Elde Guerrier. “Children today are the most technologically savvy generation in history. Storyville Gardens will utilize technology to engage children in a way they understand and expect.”

According to DeLisa Guerrier, her company is in the process of selecting a site for Storyville Gardens. Active discussions are in progress with both private landowners and local governments in Middle Tennessee. The official site is expected to be announced before the end of 2021, and expected to open in spring 2025.

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