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Which franchise deserves its day in a park?

What movie or book franchise would you want to see in a park?

From Mark Fairleigh
Posted August 1, 2011 at 12:01 PM
I may be recycling an oldie here, but what movie or book franchise do you feel is deserving either of a ride, portion of a theme park, or a park on it's own?

I think Lord of the Rings would make a great addition to a theme park. Since Warner Bros. already has a deal with Universal, I think LOTR would be a nice addition to Islands of Adventure (LOTR was made by New Line which is owned by WB). Sure there could be a bit too much fantasy overload there, but it has it's own unique style and a legion of dedicated fans to boot. With all the varied vistas in LOTR, you could easily dedicate a portion of a park...or as with HP, a whole park.

Imagine walking through a replica of the Shire or going on a harrowing adventure through the Mines of Moria. Imagine a towering Orthanc or Barad-dur or better yet, the city of Minas Tirith. Grabbing lunch or a drink inside the Prancing Pony or the Green Dragon. Taking a harrowing ride on the River Anduin while escaping Orcs and going over the Falls of Rauros!


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Andy Milito
Posted August 1, 2011 at 12:14 PM
Not a movie or book, but Nintendo needs a theme park

From Jeff Elliott
Posted August 1, 2011 at 12:19 PM
Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit
How To Train Your Dragon
Avatar

From Manny Barron
Posted August 1, 2011 at 3:17 PM
Rambo

From TH Creative
Posted August 1, 2011 at 6:06 PM
Eoin Colfer's 'Artemis Fow.' Disney owns the property already. It is an extraordinary, exciting and creative series. It gives real juice to the Magic Kingdom. Perfect for teens. It fits as an interesting transition between fantasy and high tech. And it gives Disney a great reason to get rid of the stupid, slow, noisy, waste of space that is the Tomorrowland Speedway.

From Andrew Mooney
Posted August 2, 2011 at 2:46 AM
I would agree that the fairly obvious ones include Avatar, LotR and even Hercules (It is set in a wonderful time period thats aids itself well to mythical creatures)

However I agree with TH Creative that Artemis Fowl should have it's own land. I've just read over a historic thread that TH Creative wrote about in 2003 relating to that franchise and I must say that it was very insightful because AF was released that year.

I was totally involved with the storyline that AF had and I was engrossed on mythical creatures meets technology. The only other book franchises that have done that for me were HP, A Series of Unfortunate Events and the Alex Rider series.

From TH Creative
Posted August 2, 2011 at 4:53 AM
Thank you Andrew for your kind words.

For those of you unfamiliar with the books, Irish author Eoin Colfer has described it as "Die Hard with fairies." It's a fun read.

I am stunned that Disney has not done more with the series. The stories boast very charismatic characters. Smart characters, strong females. A heroic/good guy martial arts/body guard (think Jason Statham ... in fact, EXACTLY like Jason Statham). Interesting moral/ethical situations/dilemmas. High-tech gadgets, countdowns, climactic moments, stuff blowing up a ton of action.

The recent buzz (from a Saoirse Ronan fan site 4/7/11): "She is currently number one in the US box office playing a teenage assassin in 'Hannah.' But could Saoirse Ronan‘s next film role be as a snarky elf with pointy ears? The part in question is Captain Holly Short from Irish teen fantasy novel Artemis Fowl. Back in February Saoirse was having meetings with director Jim Sheridan about a movie. Now we can reveal Jim’s next movie project is a film script of Artemis Fowl, which he has co-written with the book’s author Eoin Colfer. A live action movie, this week author Eoin Colfer has revealed he wants Saoirse to play the role of Captain Holly Short, the first female elf of the highly elite LEPrecon division, kidnapped by Artemis Fowl in the first book of the series."

Disney owns the series. They need an extraordinary (charismatic) young man to play the title role. But it could be VERY successful -- perhaps resulting in sequels and making an attraction a worthwhile proposition.

They have the Fantasyland expansion. An AF addition to Tomorrowland and a revamp of the Jungle Cruise in time for the Magic Kingdom's 50th (2021) would be very exciting.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted August 2, 2011 at 9:15 AM
Discworld by Terry Pratchett

An interesting note on this is that once again, Disney is in the picture. There has been a shuffling around at Disney after they announced that there would be no more princess movies.....as a result, Disney purchased the rights to Mort by Terry Pratchett and seems to be moving forward on it as an animated feature.

Mort is one of the earlier novels that take place in Discworld, but it is a good place to start as well, since many of the later books use characters that are developed in (or as a result of) this book.

Mort is a story about Death (as in the anthropomorphic personification of Death) training an assistant while secretly trying to get him to fall in love with Death's adopted daughter. Odd, though, there is a princess in the story....

From chris cona
Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:58 AM
Even know that they have the rights not a lot of people really know anything about Lord Of The Rings like myself. If they added like a avatar, ghostbusters or even family guy at least everyone knows something about each one of those movies and show. It's also not about what the company wants but what the paying customers wants to see!

From Andy Milito
Posted August 2, 2011 at 2:38 PM
^I agree, but for some reason, I can see Disney getting the rights instead of Universal. I don't know why though :P

From TH Creative
Posted August 3, 2011 at 8:50 AM
I feel a real connection with the younger posters advocating attractions based on video games. I for one would love to see an attraction based on my favorite video game: "Pong."

From Timothy Nguyen
Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:40 AM
Man... I always wanted a Halo ride based on the video game series, but I know that is NEVER going to happen... it has such a rich lore and mythology...

Realistically, there really needs to be a Ratatouille restaurant in the France section of the World Showcase at EPCOT. And don't be surprised if Cars gets its theming on Test Track... And while they do have "themed" rides, its a giant shame that DC cannot get quality theme rides anywhere NEAR Spider-Man or Hulk. But a NEW franchise... a Sherlock Holmes show in the Lost Continent?

From Mark Fairleigh
Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:44 AM
You know I never thought about video games, but that's a really cool idea. :)

From Joe Brown
Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:13 PM
Not sure what you could do with it and as far as I know there's not been an attraction for it, but I think James Bond could be interesting. Probably have to do a dark ride and add in a high end restaurant and hotel with some theming.

From steve lee
Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:19 PM
chris cona: "Even know that they have the rights not a lot of people really know anything about Lord Of The Rings"

Say what? Each of the three films made around a billion dollars worldwide (a higher per-film average, it should be noted, than the Harry Potter franchise) and we've got two more movies over the next few years.

It's also the second best-selling novel ever written, second only to Dickens' Tale of Two Cities.

I think a few more people know about it than you surmise. It may not to your tastes, and that's fine, but that doesn't change the fact that Lord of the Rings is one of the biggest franchises in existence.

From steve lee
Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:21 PM
As far as video-game based parks, I'd prefer park-based video games. Someone needs to make a survival horror game in a very painstakingly accurate recreation of Disney World. it's a small world + zombies + shotgun = EPIC WIN.

From Eric S
Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:07 PM
Joe: The Indiana Jones stunt show at DHS was originally supposed to James Bond, but for some reason it fell through.

Dominick: How is LOTR offensive to Christians? J.R.R. Tolkien was a devout Christian for his whole life and was best friends with C.S. Lewis. He even converted C.S. Lewis from atheism.

From J. Dana
Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:14 PM
Hmmm, methinks Dominick might just be baiting us. As a Christian, I'm not sure how LOTR could be offensive in the slightest...it deserves a theme park "land," to be sure.

From Tim Hillman
Posted August 3, 2011 at 5:21 PM
I'm with Jeff on the Discworld series. Terry Pratchett has done an awesome job of developing fun yet slightly snarky characters. I'd love to walk through the gates of Ankh-Morpork and tour the Unseen University.

From Mark Fairleigh
Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:34 AM
Dominick, buddy, I'm a Christian too and I find LOTR to be very spiritual in a Christian sense. There's sacrifice, good vs. evil, the value of friendship and family, etc. No coincidence either since Tolkien was a devout Catholic all his life and admitted that it was impossible for those values to not find their way into his writing since it was who he was. He didn't write it as a Christian tome, but if you get past the surface, you'll find a very Christian soul there. Okay, back to topic! :)

From Caroline Davis
Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:50 PM
I'm going to second a Hercules ride, as IMHO it's the most under-rated Disney movie.

I'm not a big fan of LOTR, I've never read the books, but I saw all three films at the cinema. I definitely think LOTR has a big enough fan base and is known by 'the younger generation'. I'd certainly be interested to go there as it's a set of stories very suited to a theme park.

Even though I don't think it would be that successful, I would KILL for a Buffy ride of some kind. Roller coaster, dark ride, anything... Although I think the most likely Joss Whedon project to get a ride will be The Avengers.

Has there ever been a ride based on the Alien films? That would make a great simulator or dark ride. Especially with Prothemus (the not-a-prequel-clouded-in-secrecy film) coming up.

From Tony Duda
Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:10 PM
Is Caroline a Browncoat? Hmm

WhedonWorld would be fun. Buffy, Angel, Firefly.
A lot of possibilities. Horror, vampires, scifi.

Aliens is a fairly long segment of The Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios but over the years, the actual use of the alien which jumps out and scares you has been mostly stopped. Pity, it was a great segment years ago when all of it was working.

From Mark Fairleigh
Posted August 4, 2011 at 1:23 PM
A dark ride based on Aliens would be fantastic. You could have a part where the car stops...then you hear Hudson reading off the proximity meter and the ever-quickening blip blips as the Aliens approach slowly above the ceiling panels...heading to your location.

From steve lee
Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:24 PM
Sign me up for that Aliens ride. It's a shame they only made two movies.

From David L.
Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:46 PM
If I had to pick one, it would be Lord of the Rings. If a theme park wants to build it, they'd better do it fast in order to take advantage of the Hobbit movies coming out in 2012 and 2013. The first LOTR movie made almost 900 million, The second one made over 900 million, and the third made over 1.1 Billion. LOTR is the 2nd best selling novel of all time and has a massive following of people. A series that is better than Harry Potter deserves it's place in a theme park.

From TH Creative
Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:30 PM
It's almost tiresome to CONSTANTLY read posts about 'Lord of the Rings' as an attraction. What kind of attraction? A ride around dark ride? With what? Dragons? Walking trees? It's been done (See Potter). A coaster? Or should I say ANOTHER coaster? Stick the Hobbits on a shelf, folks. There is NO broad appeal for the franchise in a context that it would be the UNIQUE gate crasher worthy of the license fees required to develop the concept. I'd go so far as to say that EL-OH-TEE-AR is an example of how every movie franchise (no matter how successful) does NOT translate to the theme park medium.

From Mike Gallagher
Posted August 5, 2011 at 8:08 AM
I'm Christian too. LOR is offensive to me mainly because it bores me to to tears.

I have attempted to read the books and watch the movies, and can't get more than 15 pages or 15 minutes.

They do absolutely nothing for me.

From Mark Fairleigh
Posted August 5, 2011 at 9:03 AM
Let me guess...you guys really dislike LOTR! Fine, but the thread is what franchises you WANT to see, not what franchises you want to rag on. ;) I'd appreciate it if we kept it friendly and didn't poo-poo anyone's suggestions. This board is big enough for all tastes me thinks. Now, back to the topic...

From Carrie Hood
Posted August 5, 2011 at 9:26 AM
Two of the ones I'd love to see would be the Alien franchise as well as Firefly/Serenity.
Both have plenty to make a complete park area as well as several rides, both have huge fan followings and would easily drawn business to whichever parks picked them up.

In my opinion that is.

From Kurt Larson
Posted August 5, 2011 at 12:41 PM
For me...

*Tron simulated 3D ride that someone bursts into a real ride similar to test track (as in on a light cycle). Would love to see that work out.

*Not sure what, but a Ghostbusters ride (Haunted Mansion style mixed with some Spider-Man style) would be fun

*And of course, my feeling on an entire Star Wars park are well-documented

From Jorge Arnoldson
Posted August 5, 2011 at 3:58 PM
Nintendo would be best as either replacing Marvel at IOA or a new park on its own. It could have lands themed to different Nintendo series, such as Hyrule for The Legend of Zelda, the Mushroom Kingdom for Mario, DK Country, etc.

From Tim Hillman
Posted August 7, 2011 at 7:10 AM
You know, THC, your position that the Lord of the Rings franchise is poorly suited to adaptation to a theme park is flawed. There are too many great scenarios in the trilogy and the prequel to not have several good ideas for rides and attractions.
Do they have to be unique in concept? No.
Do they have to entertain and immerse the visitor? Yes.
I will grant you that it is easier for a high tech franchise like your beloved Artemis Fowl series to be adapted to a theme park ride or land, but modern and high tech are not the only criteria else we would have long ago had a Star Trek Universe in a theme park somewhere.

From Mark Fairleigh
Posted August 7, 2011 at 8:13 AM
Oh wow, I didn't even think about Star Trek! That would be fantastic. You could do wonders with themeing, including a hotel modeled after at the Enterprise with all the nifty touches. The rooms are fitted like the quarters and the hallways like the corridors of the ship. You have a bridge, common areas, etc. Even an engine room!

From Rob P
Posted August 8, 2011 at 8:13 AM
"Apocalypse Now" which can be run/played on the Jungle Cruise on alternate Tuesdays.
Tie bandanas around the hippos' heads , slap a narrow stockade around the totem pole guys, throw in an animatronic pig bashing and you're half way there.

I'll sit back and await TH's comments.

From TH Creative
Posted August 9, 2011 at 3:55 PM
Memo to Rob P: Check your email!

From Justin Kermgard
Posted August 9, 2011 at 10:36 PM
I feel the X-men should have a better attraction for their name rather than the cheaply done Storm Force Acceletron at Islands of Adventure. I am also confused by the fact that Disney's Hollywood Studios has a land called "Pixar Place" and yet all thats within that section is a Toy Story ride. There are more great Disney/Pixar films(Wall-E, UP!, Incredibles, etc.) that are worthy of their own attractions that would do nicely in that area of the park considering that Animal Kingdom has attractions for A Bug's Life and Finding Nemo along with Epcot having an attraction for Finding Nemo and Magic Kingdom having a Monster's Inc. and Buzz Lightyear attraction.

From Rob P
Posted August 10, 2011 at 7:56 AM
Thanks TH.

From TH Creative
Posted August 10, 2011 at 2:12 PM
Mr. Hillman writes: "There are too many great scenarios in the (LOTR) trilogy and the prequel to not have several good ideas for rides and attractions."

I Respond: Such as?

Mr. Hillman: "I will grant you that it is EASIER for a high tech franchise like your beloved Artemis Fowl series to be adapted to a theme park ride or land ..."

T Respond: I think you may have meant to use the phrase "better suited." Programming a gate-crasher attraction isn't usually "easy."

From Tim Hillman
Posted August 10, 2011 at 5:45 PM
You know, THC, the trick of trying to defeat a general statement by asking for specifics that are usually outside the range of the discussion is as old as the hills. I’ve seen you use it repeatedly on other people in these forums and get away with it… but I’m not other people.

Now I haven’t read the LOTR trilogy or The Hobbit in years, but a few scenarios struck me as possible ride ideas while I was reading the books. I’m also going to borrow heavily from other posters on these forums who have come up with a few ideas that I thought were pretty good.

Here’s my take on a possible LOTR land:

E-Ticket: The Mines of Moria: Battle with the Balrog. Essentially a Spiderman-type 3-D ride where you ride in old dwarven ore carts enchanted by Gandalf, and you follow the Fellowship as they battle orcs, trolls, and the Balrog in their escape from Moria.

Rollercoaster: Raiding Mount Erebor. This would be a dark coaster on the order of The Mummy where the train races from scene to scene in the attempt to escape Smaug and eventually culminating in the Battle of the Five Armies.

Drop Ride: Escaping Isengard. You join Gandalf as he goes to Isengard to ask Saruman about Sauron’s activities in Mordor. While seated in an audience chamber (the ride vehicle) you are caught up in the magical battle between Saruman and Gandalf and your vehicle rises and falls to various levels in the tower where you are confronted by Saruman and orcs. Eventually you are rescued by Ents and freed.

Water Ride: The Fellowship of the Ring. Join the Fellowship as they leave Lothlorien on the river Anduin. When confronted by the Ringwraiths (Yes, I know this happened outside Rivendell and not Lothlorien.) a protective flood washes you down a series of rapids as various scenes in the books are staged on the banks.

Show: Riders of the Rohirrim. Basically your typical horse stunt show with a little bit of archery and swordmanship thrown in.

Small Dark Ride: Goblin Town. Help Bilbo and the dwarves escape the Great Goblin as you ride through on an enchanted goblin work cart.

Children’s Play Area: The Shire. Explore Bilbo Baggins' home at Bag End. At the end of the day, watch a fireworks display put on by Gandalf.

Adult Walk Thru/Eatery/Shopping Areas: Rivendell, Hobbiton, and Lothlorien.

I hope that’s enough to make you happy, because I’m sure that LOTR aficionados could come up with far better. After all, I’m just a simple engineer who thinks in straight lines. I’m sure that somebody creative like you could really knock our socks off. Speaking of which, now that I’ve put my cards on the table, where’s all those great ride ideas that you have for the Artemis Fowl land? Such as?

BTW: Climbing the southeast ridge of Mt Everest from Nepal is EASIER than climbing the northeast ridge from Tibet. (from Wikipedia) I think that you and I would agree that neither route is easy. ;)

From Robert Tucker
Posted August 20, 2011 at 8:29 PM
Mr. Nguyen,

I cringe anytime I hear about additional franchise theming at EPCOT. I have never thought that particular park was an appropriate place for it. I would love them to focus on the real world practicality that made future world so unique, and the genuine celbration of the world that is the showcase. Look to the repeated attempts to modify "Journey into the Imagination" or Nemo's Living Seas (which sort of dumb down the whole pavilion, IMO).

That said, I agree that Lord of the rings has potential. I also believe that Star Trek would be a huge draw for a land/themed attraction. Disney ought to see what can be done with their wildly popular children's show "Phineas and Ferb."

Now here is where I get a bit pipe-dreamy:
Dickens Land: Just think of the Edwardian theming.

This one isn't a franchise per se, but the steampunk genre would make an awesome immersive experience at a theme park.

From Michael Owen
Posted August 22, 2011 at 3:59 AM
In terms of the size and popularity of a franchise, James Bond has to be up there. I'd probably suggest a car chase using the trackless ride technology.

The issue, however, is that it's a series of movies which is constantly changing, with a different Bond every so many movies potentially leading it to becoming dated quickly.

I would absolutely love a dark-ride based on The Beatles, though I'm not sure of it's appeal to younger audiences. I'm twenty and love them, but anyone younger may just shrug and head for something different.

From Diane Jurgaitis
Posted August 26, 2011 at 6:21 PM
I would love to see something based on BBC series Doctor Who, but not sure that many Americans would get it. Running for over 40 years in the UK, with 10 different Doctors, dozens of companions, hundreds of worlds visited and a plethora of really nasty villains (Daleks! Cybermen! Sontarrans!!) And a TARDIS bigger on the inside than the outside!
But Star Trek is a close runner up. They did a little with it at the Las Vegas Hilton, but could have used a good dose of Disney!

From Joe Brown
Posted August 29, 2011 at 9:52 AM
Monster Jam!!
It should be easy since Disney already has a relationship with Feld Entertainment. Plus there has been a Disney sponsored truck on the circuit for several yaers (Jetix then Disney XD).
It's a hugley popular brand.
I'd do something like Test Track except with a monster truck and make it a little random. One ride you could experience a huge jump. The next maybe a nose stand. Another maybe your truck wrecks.
Not sure what park to put it in though.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted August 29, 2011 at 11:46 AM
Angry Birds - in the Tiki Room at Disneyland

From Andy Milito
Posted August 29, 2011 at 1:05 PM
Kingdom Hearts in any Disney park :)

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