ALAMANCE COUNTY, NC - The man who helped create famous theme park attractions like Epcot and Splash Mountain is now working on something right here in the Triad.
The new park 'Whirligig Woods' would be on Hwy 87 near Saxapahaw, and could open as soon as 2019.
WFMY News 2 spoke to creator of the new park, Bob Baranick, about what we can expect in a couple years.
Baranick said the park is planned to be around 21 acres, could potentially have 25 rides, and tree house hotels holding 50-75 people.
Some of the plans could be adjusted and changed before the park opens said Baranick, but ultimately they have a 10 year master plan to make this park a destination.
This isn't developer Bob Baranick's first rodeo creating theme parks. He's helped design parks like Disney, Universal Studios and Six Flags. But his park in Alamance County is not going to be quite like a Disney Park. For example, Disney World is a sprawling 27,000 acres. Baranick says he's bought up 21 acres off of route 87.
Even so, the thought of a Triad theme park has people talking.
"We don't have anything like that," explains a couple visiting the county from Raleigh. "It would be closer than going to Carrowinds or something like that."
"Well, it's putting Saxapahaw on the map for sure," says Edward Sappelt. It's pretty exciting. I read about it on Facebook."
Sappelt isn't the only one. Once WFMY posted the story online it quickly caught a lot of attention. There's a lot of excitement from families with kids and others thinking the county needs an economic boost.
But not everyone is welcome to the idea of an amusement park in this calmer part of the county.
"It's going to bring a lot of traffic."
Sappelt's dad lives right down the road. He says his father has been worried about the noise. Others say they moved out there to get away from the hustle and bustle.
"It would certainly bring a lot more people here and a lot more people would know about saxapahaw."
Barranick says they're not close to starting construction and he still has to work through county planning and the health department. The county manager says plans have not been submitted.
Baranick is a Disney Imagineer and has worked on some of the world's most iconic rides and spaces including: Epcot, Tarzan's Treehouse, Pirates of The Caribbean, Splash Mountain, New Orleans Square, Phantom Manor, The Haunted Mansion, and more!
He also has helped design theme parks like: Paramount Parks, Six Flags, Warner Studios, Busch Entertainment, Hershey Park, Universal Studios, and more.
If you want to find out more information about Bob Baranick you can visit his website.