What Licensed Characters Should Universal Add to Their Theme Parks?Universal Orlando: With Universal having hits with Harry Potter and The Simpsons what other licensed characters could become popular at Universal Theme Parks?
From Steven Butler, Jr.The difference with Disney and Universal theme park wise to me is that Disney has a lot more original based rides while Universal is more focused on licensed characters. So with Universal already having the rights to Harry Potter and The Simpsons. Plus rumors of them trying to acquire the theme park rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Smurfs, what else is left. Well when writing this discussion I thought more on companies with a lot of popular characters and popular TV shows like The Simpsons. Here are some I came up with off the top of my head. Futurama, Nintendo, Hasbro, Dragon Ball Z, South Park, and Tatsunoko Production. Also with Disney now owning Marvel, I found two companies that could replace Universal's Marvel Super Hero Island and those companies are Image Comics and Dark Horse Comics two independent based comic book companies who probably won't be bought by Marvel and/or Disney anytime soon (I tried to think of a superhero theme to replace Marvel Super Hero Island because it would be easy on just to re-theme it with new superheros then to build an entirely new theme park land). So all and all tell me what you think. What other licensed characters would you like to see at Universal theme parks. To end this article I made a Youtube video of ideas of licensed characters that would be great theme park rides so here's the link to that video and I have two links from my blog about licensed theme park ideas. Thanks for reading!
Posted August 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Andy MilitoI believe that Legendary Pictures has signed a contract to move from Warner Bros. to Universal Studios. That opens up a few possibilities, assuming this affects the theme park side of the companies.
Posted August 17, 2013 at 5:18 PM
From Oscar MarquezI Like to see Universal in talk with DHX Media. My Little Pony to replace A Day at the Park with Barney and a Johnny Test dark ride to replace E.T. Adventure. How about Susan and Mary Test's Lab Playground to replace Fievel's Playground.
Posted August 17, 2013 at 10:24 PM
How about Rio 4D to replace Shrek 4D, if Universal in talk with Blue Sky Studios.
I Hope the Rumor about Universal and The Smurfs might be scrapped. I like to see Disney getting the rights
I made a petition to remove Marvel Super Hero Island, but no one sign it.
From Lisa ClarkWe are in a me generation where people all want what's new. I prefer the classics, but if new stuff is really good, like a little of the new stuff IMO, then alright. I would like to see something Lord Of The Rings related since that is such a wonderful piece of literature written back in the late 50's, but filmed since the turn of the century. Also maybe something related to family Guy. I would vote to not replace E.T. and if so then to completely tear it down for something new. There is nothing else that should ever live inside that building in my opinion. It's bad enough to see Back To The Future replaced with The Simpson's. Back To The Future was and still is an exceptional film where the Simpson's is just a cute tv show. E.T. is a film that the new generation of children would love if only their parents allow them to watch it and enjoy. Some things from the past should never be forgotten nor considered old and irrelevant. Some things stand the test of time and are loved forever.
Posted August 17, 2013 at 11:32 PM
From Will SullivanHave Marvel Superhero Island scrapped what? Also Lisa, The Simpsons is not just a cute TV show it has been rated one of the top shows of all time. In addition, it is old as well, it started 20 years ago.
Posted September 3, 2013 at 3:52 PM
From Ryan PickhardtI feel that universal should try something with video games like a Call of Duty shooting dark ride, or something with Skyrim! What about Nintendo island and bring in Mario games or Legend of Zelda. If they find the right game, they could do the whole immersive idea too, like the Simpsons or Harry Potter. PAC man anyone?
Posted September 3, 2013 at 4:19 PM
From Tyler HarrisId like to see what Universal can do with Sonic the Hedgehog and very possibly getting the DC rights over Six Flags.
Posted September 3, 2013 at 4:52 PM
Imagine what Universal Creative would do with Spider Man since they lost the right, to a Batman simulator with the cast.....
From TH CreativeA great response to WDW's Dwarf Mine Train would be a dark ride/family coaster based upon Daniel Handler's characters from 'Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.'
Posted September 3, 2013 at 5:48 PM
From Will SullivanAnother great idea from TH.
Posted September 3, 2013 at 5:55 PM
From Andrew DoughertyBesides a possible mediocre simulator, I can't see a lot coming out of Sonic. The Elser Scrolls could be a nice Harry Potter type expansion. Maybe and E-Ticket ride questing for something? Otherwise, all the classic stuff like Zelda, Mario, all that I could see becoming midway type games. And Call of Duty should only be in the park if they were to construct a walk through of one of the maps a la Resident Evil in Japan.
Posted September 3, 2013 at 7:01 PM
From Will SullivanI don't see any video game franchises coming to theme parks any time soon.
Posted September 3, 2013 at 7:27 PM
From James TrexenIs the Lemony Snicket series even still considered popular? Or relevant? I know people liked the books, but the last one's almost 7 years old (trust me when I say this through gritted teeth; I loved those books and made my elementary school years quite enjoyable). Not to mention that Nickelodeon and Paramount have pretty much blown their chances at turning it into a film franchise.
Posted September 3, 2013 at 8:02 PM
From Ryan PickhardtI kinda see the Nintendo land as something similar to Suess Landing or the new Simpsons expansion just Nintendo. The rides would probably be toned down to family rides and maybe one thrill ride. I don't know it's just an idea I had.
Posted September 4, 2013 at 4:31 AM
From TH CreativeWhether or not they are "still popular" the Snicket books (Wiki) "have collectively sold more than 60 million copies and have been translated into 41 languages." Further, the characters and themes are timeless -- to a point wherein there is no way to discern the period of time the stories took place.
Posted September 4, 2013 at 8:09 AM
This is the Addams Family without whimsy. The ride has huge scenic and effect opportunities.
Mr. Trexen: "Not to mention that Nickelodeon and Paramount have pretty much blown their chances at turning it into a film franchise."
I Respond: The film was terrible. I would love to see it re-invented as a television vehicle (perhaps on SyFy) as a stop-action animated series. I'm looking at you Henry Selick.
From Brian EmeryI said it before and I will say it again...
Posted September 4, 2013 at 8:17 AM
Rise of the Guardians...
You can make many attractions based on Childhood beliefs....
From TH CreativeThe end credits of the film version of ASOUE actually plays like an attraction concept.
Posted September 4, 2013 at 9:19 AM
From TH Creative
Posted September 4, 2013 at 9:20 AM
From Ryan PickhardtI loved a series of unfortunate events and I think turning that into a ride would be amazing! The issue (I think) is that it is not popular anymore. I don't hear it mentioned anywhere. They didn't even make a second movie which shocked me because it could have been a great series (not up to par with HP but close). If they made a new movie to correspond with the first one, I see it being put in a theme park, but until that happens, I don't see this license in a park.
Posted September 4, 2013 at 3:10 PM
From TH CreativeThe status of the ASOUE franchise's popularity is not a major consideration. The stories lend themselves to a dark ride/coaster. It's a young reader's series that is every bit as entertaining for adult. It's atmosphere is goth meets steam punk. It's machinery and science and Victorian. It begins with a pyro effect (the Baudelaire parents are killed), it moves on through dirty towns, forests -- with guests bracing for the appearance of Count Olaf. It just gives so much for a creative team to work with.
Posted September 4, 2013 at 4:51 PM
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
Stories from a Theme Park Insider offers a warm and often-funny look at what it's like to work inside the world's most popular theme park. It's a great read for theme park fans!
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive