With rumors of a Star Wars land, what about a Star Trek land?
It's also a popular franchise.
Spock's ears would sell well.
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From David L.
Posted May 23, 2013 at 6:51 PM
Paramount Park Spain
Not nearly popular enough compared to Star Wars.
I'd use the plot between MIB and Simpsons to make a Sci Fi Land with a Star Trek coaster and Matrix dark ride.
From Phil B.
Posted May 23, 2013 at 9:48 PM
Star Trek is a weird property. It no doubt has a huge fan base, and has become a part of global pop culture. It's characters, imagery and vernacular all have managed to permanently seep into the forefront and subconscious of the public at large. Still, there seems to always be something that is just askew with the franchise that keeps it from getting into that next level area where Star Wars, Potter and Marvel find themselves. In my opinion, I think it has a lot to do with the fact that for the most part, Star Trek takes its subject matter very seriously. The tech is very much science driven, as opposed to more of the fantastical elements of Star Wars. Also, the directive: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before. While fantastical in theory, always remained much more grounded given the subject matter, as per Gene Roddenberry's vision to keep alien elements mostly as humanly relatable as possible, so the true ideology of the story was never lost in the spectacle. The cosmos played the backdrop, to what was many times, the exploration and exposition of terrestrial man, and the conflicts that arise in our own dealings with one another here on earth. There is a lot one can derive from the original series when pondering our own existence, using many of that shows episodes as analogous examples of how people of different origins socially interact. Now, with all of this, there becomes a certain tone that anchors itself to this particular franchise. It's a grey area that makes it somewhat inaccessible to people on the outside, who may be aware of Star Trek but have no real interest in it, because it's that grey area that keeps it from crossing over to true universal appeal. Franchises like Star Wars, Potter, Jurassic Park and Back to the Future get to the next level because they manage to bridge the gap, despite placing the protagonists in situations completely out of the realm of possibility as it relates to our own reality. Yet they work, because at the end of the day, they play on our most basic desires of escapism and fantasy, seen through the eyes of an unlikely relatable hero who we go on the the adventure with, but most importantly, these films/stories are fun.
That being said, what JJ Abrams has been able to do with the latest cinematic incarnation of Star Trek is very encouraging for the franchise. He has taken many cues from Star Wars, and brought it into this universe, and as we all can see, it has made this property very appealing, accessible, and most importantly, Fun! Years ago, if you would have asked me if I had any interest in STar Trek as a Theme Park property, I would have said not really. I always liked and appreciated the franchise, but it's viability as a universally beloved property by the general public would keep me skeptical as to it's lasting appeal as a theme for a park attraction. Today though, given what Abrams has done in the last two films, I would definitely be interested in seeing what could be done with Star Trek in a theme park on an E-ticket level attraction. If I was Universal, I would be giving this franchise a good hard look right about now. So to sum it all up, I say thumbs up to exploring the possibility of bringing this franchise to a top level park, only if it's done with care and true attention to detail, and a mission to not just boldly go where no attraction has gone before, but to make sure you have heaps of fun while doing it!
It's been tried, rather successfully in fact, but Paramount holds onto this property with a very tight grip. There was the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton that was simply amazing. However, it just didn't draw enough to stay profitable. It debuted shortly after The Next Generation got really popular, and featured 2 attractions (one in the TNG timeline and one in the Voyager timeline) along with Quark's Bar (themed around Deep Space Nine). It was a Trekker's dream come true, and many superfans made annual pilgrimages to Vegas to experience it with hundreds even getting married there.
Additionally, when Paramount Parks existed, they attempted to incorporate Star Trek into the parks with walk around characters, music, merchandise, and special events. There was also talk of creating a 4-D movie for the chain's theaters centered in the Star Trek universe. However, when Cedar Fair purchased the Paramount Parks (along with the Star Trek Experience), they quickly jettisoned everything Star Trek, which included selling the Vegas space back to the Hilton.
Even with the success of the JJ films, I think Star Trek would be a tough sell to the theme park consumer. It's a very niche audience, unlike the Star Wars franchise, and the rights fees to put the characters in theme parks would most likely exceed the potential profit from a themed land. Also, many of the characters are "faces", meaning they're not generic any-face-will-do characters or characters in heavy makeup or masks. You just can't have some random bald guy with a Brittish accent and pass him off as Jean Luc Picard---Star Trek fans would expect Patrick Stewart or an authentic look-alike. It works for generic Klingons, Vulcans, Romulans, and others, but for most of the heroes (primarily human characters), you need to have some level of authenticity to the character, not just like a Disney Princess.
Perhaps if JJ's team can start to create their own following beyond the TOS and TNG fans, it may be worthwhile, but since the "Into Darkness" is likely to fall short of the success of the 2009 reboot of the series, it's going to take a huge groundswell of support to make it happen.
David, I didn't know about the theme park project in Spain, so I looked it up online and the concept art of the Star Trek area looks amazing! On the other hand, the ride will be a Star Tours clone; not very original.
Russell, lets see how Star Trek does in Spain, but your argument makes a lot of sense. Maybe it's not a good idea to make a whole land.
From David L.
Posted May 24, 2013 at 8:58 AM
The entire park is kind of a rip off...However, I hope the simulator will be different enough from Star Tours to make it distinguishable or more thrilling. Once upon a time there was a plan for a full size Enterprise in Vegas, but they opted for a differnet way to revitalize the area.
If a Star Trek attraction wants to be sucessful, it can't stand alone and be catered to the older films. Despite the cult following, they lack a broader appeal that JJ Abrams is trying to bring to the series.
Universal will take that franchise im pretty sure.
Lord of the Rings at Universal
Star Wars Land at Disney Hollywood Studios
Has anyone heard ANY credible reports (beyond the standard internet/discussion boards/blah, blah, blah) that elevates these suggestions as anything other than empty chatter? I mean a REALLY solid source -- so none of that "Hate to Fly" nonsense.
TH, Spirit at WDWMagic is one of the best, if not the best guy out there for inside info. Here's what he said before his hiatus last month:
"As for the UNI information, I have been asked by my source to not place all that I know out just yet and I respect that. What I can tell you is more general, but still incredibly impressive. UNI has BIG ... no, HUGE ... plans for Central Florida that include major new attractions, the real E-tickets, in the next 5-6 years (they will just keep coming with no gaps) for both parks, the addition of more hotels (beyond the three existing and the one being built -- two with VERY kewl themes), a new water park and ... while y'all debate mythical fifth gates at WDW, UNI will be/is building a third. I guess that's big enough news right there. That's not rumour either. That is the plan right now.
I can tell you that by 2018, EVERY existing expansion pad/locale at UNI and IOA will either have something new on it or something under construction."
He didn't mention any rides in particular, just that every expansion pad there is will be used.
Star Wars beats Star Trek. No more, no less.
As far as the supposed HUGE expansion plans for Universal...I would love if all that was true...but as far as more hotels and a third park, I just don't see how unless they've been quietly buying up a ton of commercial and/or residential real estate or agreeing to build a new high school somewhere.
@Dominick, Another web post?
TH, Spirit has a BUNCH of street credit, I wouldn't doubt his info unlike a bunch of other "insiders"
Dom writes: "Spirit has a BUNCH of street credit ..."
I Respond: As demonstrated by what, exactly? What story has Spirit broken?
The third theme park and more hotels, plus once the DHS plan is finalized he'll announce it.
But what has he announced previously? Mr. Niles dropped the biggest park story of the last five years when he posted news of HP2 at Universal in late December of 2011.
What has this source with "street cred" revealed before anyone else that has turned out to be accurate?
I'm not the person to ask, sorry TH. You'll want to ask someone who's followed him for a while. But he is a lot more accurate than HTF.
So your assertion that the source has "street cred" is based on ... well, nothing.
Let's put it "So I've heard." ;)
Swing and a miss, Dom. Swing and a miss. Check your email.
Whenever I read these "rumors" I imagine Patton Oswalt sitting at his computer cackling like a mad man.
From David L.
Posted May 30, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Disneyandmore.blogspot.com just re-posted an article on the Star Trek attractions that were proposed for Vegas. The concept art looks really awesome.
I'm hearing rumors about a new land at Disney that combines Dr. Who and My Little Pony. The source is "Love to Swim" -- a guy who has huge street cred over at the Orlando Together web site!
^ Heh heh...
I loved the Vegas Hilton attraction, though it was a bit expensive. But, I'm not sure if it's strong enough to carry a whole land.
Rob: "... a whole land..." TH: ... let alone a final frontier.
TH: Good one.
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