Theme Park Insider

Could you trade your way to create the ultimate theme park?

August 16, 2017, 10:08 PM · What would you put into the perfect theme park? Many fans enjoy daydreaming about the ultimate theme park vacation in between their actual visits to their favorite parks.

But what if you couldn't just put together a dream park from scratch, but had to assemble it from existing attractions at real-world parks? And, just to make this mental exercise more complicated, what if you could only move an attraction from one park to another if the second park agreed to a trade? In other words, no raiding parks to create some all-star line-up. No, instead, you'd have to act like the manager of a team in a Fantasy Theme Park League, trading with others to build the park you want.

That's the hypothetical I imagine in my Orange County Register column this week: Can we make Disneyland better by trading some of its attractions to Walt Disney World? I tried to conjure some trades between theme parks that fans of each park might agree would represent that cliched "win-win" for both sides.

I mostly stuck to trades within chains, but if you could imagine trades between park chains, I think that's where our little fantasy theme park league gets really interesting. The most obvious trade I think most fantasy owners would propose would be one that gets the Marvel theme park rights from Universal Orlando to Walt Disney World. But what could Disney send to Universal to make that happen? And would a third party (Six Flags, with its DC rights?) need to get involved?

Simpler deals might be more fun to contemplate, though. Would Disney World fans agree to send the Tiki Room to Cedar Point to get a Skyway back? Come on, admit it, you'd at least think about that deal, right?

What other theme park attractions trades could you imagine?

Read Robert's column:

Replies (11)

August 17, 2017 at 10:20 AM · I would trade Gadget's Go-Coaster for Stich's great escape.
August 17, 2017 at 10:35 AM · As much as I roll my eyes at Stitch, as a Disneyland fan, I would make that trade just to get another indoor sit-down show in the park, and one with a higher capacity than Gadget, too. But for Disney World fans, that just gives you two Barnstormers. I guess that would go with the two Dumbos?
August 17, 2017 at 10:37 AM · My favorite trade remains Men in Black for Waterworld. Who says no? :^)
August 17, 2017 at 10:39 AM · NO!!! I'd trade E.T. for Waterworld, but not the best interactive dark ride in the world.
August 17, 2017 at 11:26 AM · I second the NO!!! on the MIB trade.

But I'd totally give Disney the Hulk and Spiderman if Universal Orlando got Everest (THEY'D find a way to make the Yeti work.... ) and Haunted Mansion.

August 17, 2017 at 11:26 AM · NO Robert-- Waterworld moves to Seaworld Orlando when they sell out to Universal ;-) Universal will have to do something with those pools.


August 17, 2017 at 1:59 PM · I would trade Seven Dwarfs Mine Train for the Matterhorn Bobsleds and put it in Adventureland WDW. As part of Epcot's complete front end retheming I would give Disneyland - Mission:Space, the new Guardians of the Galaxy (Universe of Energy) and Test Track for Cars Land inc Radiator Springs Racers and bring back Lights, Motors, Action! and I would just give Disneyland Stitch for a pair of Mickey ears.
August 17, 2017 at 1:42 PM · I'd like to give Disneyland the PeopleMover from Magic Kingdom and one of the park’s Dumbo spinners. I think DL's Tomorrowland is sorely lacking in kinetic excitement. I’d put Dumbo on top of the tower in Tomorrowland, but I’d change the vehicles from elephants to Stich’s red spaceship from Lilo and Stitch. I think adding the spinner and PeopleMover back to Tomorrowland would make that area of the park a lot more visually exciting. My first exchange would be to send Epcot the Storybook canal boats for the Italian pavilion. The miniatures would stay in Disneyland to be viewed by the Casey Jr. train. The basic idea of the ride would be the same – float along and see miniature versions of well-known storybook locations. The difference is it would be hosted by Pinocchio’s father Geppetto. All of the new sets would look like they did in the famous Disney movies, but through the style of Geppetto’s wood carving ability. There would be clockwork animation, audio and lighting to add interest. The other part of the trade would be to bring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln to the Magic Kingdom to at least temporarily replace The Hall of Presidents. I hope that eventually there will be a resolution to what will happen in Liberty Square, but currently, I don’t think it would be wise to reopen THoP with 45 for lots of reasons.
August 17, 2017 at 7:29 PM · If I could work out a trade with Universal, it would be for the rights to include the Avengers, minus the Hulk, in the WDW parks, in exchange for the Indiana Jones ride technology and no costs to use Fantastic Four, X-men, and Spiderman. That way both companies would be improved, Universal wouldn't need to change much, and they could make their new Forbidden Forest project awesome. Instead of the usual coaster based vehicles, they could repurpose the IJ jeeps as enchanted Ford Anglias, (tops ripped off by the Whomping Willow), which would take the riders on encounters with spiders, centaurs, etc. As an extra incentive, I'd have Disney teach Universal how to do a kiddie dark ride through the happier part of the forest (unicorns, bow truckles, snifflers, etc.) I know, wishful thinking.
August 18, 2017 at 10:56 AM · Why does Universal need Disney's motion base technology? Universal already employs motion bases (non coaster based) on Spiderman, MIB, and Transformers. The Indy/Dinosaur vehicles are very similar to the Oceaneering vehicles used by Universal and other parks like Sea World, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Six Flags.
August 20, 2017 at 11:47 AM · I would trade Mystic Timbers for RMC Mean Streak

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