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Robert Niles

What would you do? A 'Calvin and Hobbes' theme park attraction

Published: June 2, 2010 at 10:13 AM

We've had a lot of fun over the years dreaming up new concepts for theme park attractions We had discussions on Theme Park Insider about new attractions based on The Simpsons and Harry Potter years before those attractions were announced.

So I'm throwing another franchise at you this week. Unlike Potter and The Simpsons, I'm almost certain these characters never will be featured in a theme park attraction some day - which makes this a pure exercise in theme park make-believe.

Calvin and HobbesThis week's "what would you do?" is: What would you do to create a theme park attraction based on Calvin and Hobbes?

Millennials and Baby Boomers can skip the rest of this thread, if they're not interested. But for GenX'ers such as me, Calvin and Hobbes was simply the greatest comic strip ever drawn. Yet its creator, Bill Watterson, famously rejected his syndicate's attempts to merchandise the characters. In 1995, Watterson stopped writing the strip, just 10 years after it started. Given Watterson's opposition to licensing the characters, we likely will never see a theme park ride based on Calvin and Hobbes.

But Watterson created such a richly imaginative world for the two that it's hard for fans not to envision some great attraction concepts that could flow from the strip. How about a real-life Transmogrifier, using virtual reality technology? Or a "Calvin's Wagon" roller coaster, built over and through a realistic wooded canyon? Or video-game-like dark ride themed to escaping from Rosalyn the babysitter?

Or what I would consider the ultimate: a theme park attraction inspired by Calvinball? (I don't know how that would work, but I suspect we could get into a great argument about it!)

So what would you do? I'd love to hear some ideas from Calvin and Hobbes fans how that strip could be transformed into a great theme park attraction.

Not that it will ever happen, though. :-(

Replies (15)

Published: June 2, 2010 at 10:42 AM

what an excellent suggestion! I would love to see Calvin and Hobbs in a ride.

Published: June 2, 2010 at 10:49 AM

maybe just a dark ride similar to spidy or indy or potter that travels through a typical day with all his anti girl suff, and maybe one of his "space missions" in the classroom. If universal could get the rights... Toon Lagoon could get even better.
steve lee

Published: June 2, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Give everyone in line a cardboard box. Make them imagine their own attraction.
Nick Markham

Published: June 2, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Bad idea in my opinion. Sorry Calvin and Hobbes enthusiasts.
David L.

Published: June 2, 2010 at 12:08 PM

oops, forgot to log on. the 2nd anonymous comment was mine.
Pyra Dong

Published: June 2, 2010 at 12:09 PM

HAHA how funny... my Calvin and Hobbes collector's book is still open from where I was reading it last night!

Wow... where to go in a direction of a C and H attraction... hmmm...

I see more "play" elements rather than a ride. Great photo ops and stuff. Preferably a "playland" for adults than kids.
- a G.R.O.S.S treehouse where you can shoot water below
- a Calvinball course
- a row of demented snowmen to pose with... AND spaceman spiff... AND dinosaurs
- a sled ride where you can ponder life on the way down

Jack Curley

Published: June 2, 2010 at 12:12 PM

I like the "wagon roller coaster" idea, but I think it would work better as sledding. That way, you could surround the immediate ride area with variations of all the deranged snowmen that Calvin used to create. You'd need to build a mountain for it, so I suppose it would be a bit like The Matterhorn. Perhaps there would be a way to disguise the tracks so they blend in with the surroundings, so you're never quite sure where you're going. I'm sure there's plenty of winter C&H strips to take ideas from.
TH Creative

Published: June 2, 2010 at 1:28 PM

I'm sorry but, "GenX'ers such as me?"

I'm having trouble linking the tortoise shell specs with the Cobain crowd.

Robert Niles

Published: June 2, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Two words: Disney. Look. You know what I'm talking about.
James Rao

Published: June 3, 2010 at 3:45 AM

The Holy Trinity of daily comics: Bloom County, Far Side, and, of course, Calvin & Hobbes. Those were the days, my friends...

"Journey Into Imagination with Figment Calvin & Hobbes."


Tyler Bell

Published: June 3, 2010 at 3:55 AM

I would make a dark ride out of it ,like The cat in the hat or peter pan at Magic Kingdom.
M. Ryan Traylor

Published: June 3, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Mainly, the attraction should never be the same twice to follow the rule of Calvinball - you make the rules up as you go.
Robert Niles

Published: June 3, 2010 at 2:27 PM

James Rao... FTW.

Published: June 4, 2010 at 11:09 AM

I love Calvin and Hobbes, but I also agree that the chances are slim of this every becoming a reality. If they were to make a ride, I like the idea of a dark ride, similar to Darkastle and Spider man.

Published: June 5, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Revenge of the Snowmen. Instead of shooting infrared beams at snow statues, THEY're throwing snowballs at YOU as you ride through Calvin and Hobbes' neighborhood.

Losers have to let Susie into their ride vehicle...

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