When will we see newer theme parks built in the United States like we are seeing Overseas?

Edited: October 5, 2018, 12:07 PM

I was wondering I thought it would be a pretty cool idea if a Warner Bros theme park could make it to the U.S one day. Whether if it is 50 years from now or later than that of the economy ever got better in the theme park industry. I think the U.S should highly consider looking into movie theme parks like we are seeing debut in other countries around the world. I mean I understand we will never see any major theme park being built in the U.S but we only have Cedar Fair, Six Flags, Herschend, Disney, Sea World Entertainment, Universal. I think having a 20th Century Fox World in the U.S like the one that was recently built in Malaysia would be awesome. A Paramount park would be cool too. Paramount had a shot one time in the U.S which took over Kings Dominion,Great America, Carolina, Kings Island.

Replies (11)

October 5, 2018, 12:37 PM

We will get a new Universal Orlando park within the next five years or so. Otherwise, that's it for a long while.

Warner Bros. doesn't have the rights to use its own animation franchises in a US version of the Abu Dhabi park... at least not until 2027 or 2028, when the Six Flags deal expires. (Remember, Warner Bros. used to own Six Flags, which is how that chain got the DC and Looney Tunes rights.) Warner Bros. could buy back the rights from Six Flags, but no other studio can. If Disney or Universal were to try to buy the WB rights from Six Flags, they would revert to WB instead. That was the "poison pill" that limited Six Flags' value when the company was in bankruptcy several years back.

And even adding a new Universal Orlando park within the next decade might not give us a net gain in the United States. I am gravely concerned for the future of SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa after the fourth UOR gate opens. I fear that one of those two parks might not survive that.


Edited: October 5, 2018, 1:36 PM

You know I'm not sure what could take Sea World Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa's place if their parks end up going downhill possibly bankrupt. I would love to see a movie theme park once again make it to the United States if it can even come in the next decade let's say 2030. Warner Bros. 20th Century Fox World, Paramount would be awesome. Even see a theme park based on video games, possibly T.V Shows like The Walking Dead would be awesome. Mortal Kombat & Street Fighter would make great IP' s. Possibly ressurect Tekken, make Dead Or Alive an attraction? Just thoughts on more video game properties. A Halo Land would be awesome!!!! Paramount was supposed to build a theme park in London.

October 5, 2018, 1:48 PM

I can't see Sea World or Busch Gardens going away. I think they've finally realised though that if they don't start to do something now (like they are) then it could get tricky for them when the new Universal park opens. People will still want to visit parks other than Disney or Universal, and that's what they have to cater for. I was just reading an article in the OBJ about the new Star Wars land, and as they pointed out, theme park additions will draw new and repeat guests, thus boosting the industry in Orlando. It's staggering to think we have 72 million visitors a year !! Those sort of numbers should ensure a bright future for SWO & BGT ... if they are proactive and not reactive. Time will tell.

Edited: October 5, 2018, 3:40 PM

Land use issues in Tampa add to my concern. It's a land-locked park in a largely residential neighborhood, with no room for expansion...unless they ditch the animals, which might be their best play absent giving up and selling the whole site for development. Even converting to a non-animal park, I don't see how the park can differentiate enough from the direction that SeaWorld Orlando seems to be taking.

I'm not predicting any closures here. I'm just saying that there's a trend line emerging here that troubles me. SeaWorld needs a plan for how Orlando and Tampa can thrive going forward with Disney continuing to expand and Universal adding another gate. One park? That's easy. Play to a growing base of locals and undercut Disney and Universal on price. But sustaining two parks on that strategy? That's going to be tough.

An alternative is to position one park as the locals-focused, value-priced alternative and another as going after the tourists. But I don't see any IP or unique attraction type that SeaWorld has that can help it do that. Not when the company no longer seems to have the will to produce animal spectaculars, which was the unique attraction it had before.

Free beer only takes you so far.

October 5, 2018, 4:58 PM

The one key word that goes around when it comes to amusement/theme parks potential growth in America is "matured". Industry vets even business economics has always pointed out that when it came to building theme parks in America the market was too matured. One thing that wasn't mention about building a new park in United States is "Hard Rock Park". I believe this was the first major regional theme park built up that wasn't from the Universal and Disney giants. Now granted at the time of Hard Rock opening U.S. was on the verge of economy collapse thanks to 'Credit default swaps" and general criticize lack of marketing and price structure. But when ever you hear the question about why we haven't seen a new theme or amusement park the words 'Hard' 'Rock' 'Park' comes up as the big boogloo as to why America can't have new parks anymore. When IAAPA starts in the fall, I see this question throw around a lot from vloggers, fans and reporters. The answer always comes down to remember Hard Rock Park failure and the United States market is too mature to accept a newly built park. While I don't believe this I have to give hope that a new park can be built that isn't form Universal and Disney. I wouldn't count of Cedar Fair and Six Flags caused they'll are companies living by the means. Heck, I remember way back in the day around the very late Nineties rumors of how big Six flags was planning to expand.
They were so many rumors parks being built, but that when the company went overboard during the great coaster wars the rumors stop. Still aren't we getting new parks kinda. I mean there Legoland in Florida and even a new one plan for New York. Heck even as malls are drying around the country there's plans to have new type of theme park malls from Miami to New Jersey with major ips like Dreamworks and Fox Studios(yeah, I know there some issue with that now). For me give up on Cedar Point and Six Flags building anything new here. I think any new theme parks being built for U.S. market will likely being from foreign. Like a China and Merlin either buying existing parks(cough Sea????) and expanding from there. Will remind ya'll of one point in history. 2008 around the time Hard Rock Park was going to open, there was all these announcements of other music theme parks. Remember Decades parks

The plan MTV theme park.
What about the UFO theme park. Heck, what about the Grand Canyon theme park. All this was plan but never built after the failure of Hard Rock Park follow by the 2008 credit crash. So, it's not like the passion to build theme park here is gone, but it's unfortunately the money and time that a parks needs to stay in business that's got to be given a chance to grow.

October 5, 2018, 7:33 PM

Once again we have alcohol being cited as a reason for enabling a park to bring more people thru the gate ... but is this really fair on SWO & BGT, especially as Seaworld, in particular, has been showing excellent upticks in attendance throughout this year ?

I agree BGT has a problem with finding space, but would they seriously consider paying RMC a tidy sum to convert Gwazi if they felt it wasn’t going to bring more people thru the gates and increase their revenue ? Even people on here have mentioned they would revisit just to ride RMC Gwazi, so the impact of just that one ride could make a big difference. Tigris, maybe not so much, but any new ride will, for an undetermined amount of time, bring more people into the park.

Seaworld won’t benefit much from Infinity Falls until next summer, but listening to all the comments and reading all the reviews, I haven’t heard anything negative ... so far !! If they continue along that path then they will be OK. A lot has to be accomplished before the new Universal park opens .. of that there is no doubt.

The animal spectaculars are a thing of the past at Seaworld for reasons of politics and animal welfare. Yes, I remember very well the trainers rising from the depths on a killer whale’s nose, and being awe inspired by the ‘spectacle ‘ but those days will never return. Seaworld is heading in a new and different direction. Only time will be the judge if they are heading down the right path.

For what’s it worth, I believe SWO & BGT will still be around when the new Universal park opens. They will reap the rewards of that new park when it opens, and will benefit from all the new attractions opening in and around Orlando before then.

I fear more for Legoland and Gatorland to be honest.

October 6, 2018, 2:28 AM

The main reason the US will never get a single IP park is because virtually all the IPs with enough marketability to support a theme park are already owned by one of the chains here. The theme park rights to nearly every major multimedia franchise are owned by either Disney, Universal, or Six Flags, and the other chains (especially SeaWorld) are left trying to utilize what's left or just forgoing IP completely. There just isn't room for another IP-centric theme park not run by an existing chain, and none of the US chains are currently in a position to expand into new markets. Besides, other than Seattle and Phoenix every city big enough to support a decent-sized park already has at least one nearby, so there are limited opportunities for new destinations.

As for SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa, I think it's far too early to say anything about the future of those parks, especially with the trend apparently reversing itself recently. The entire chain is going big on investment over the next few years, and if they can capture a large portion of the local audience as well as a modest percentage of tourists, they'll be in the clear. Now, if the investments backfire, that could be a problem, but I don't think increased visitation to the destination parks will necessarily have an adverse affect on its own. Besides, they can always market themselves as the more thrilling alternative, which is certain to attract the teen and young adult crowds.

October 6, 2018, 3:02 AM

Paramount would be involved with a theme park that is supposed to be build near London but they pulled out, not sure if the parks is going to be build.
It's a big thing if a theme park is going to be build in Europe and USA. In the end with all the yearly new rides there are build rides for a few theme park each year but I know that is not a new park.

I don't share Roberts optimism about the Arabic and Asian parks that are build. Almost all of these parks are build by experts from the western world. The end result is more of the same and hardly unique. They don't reflect the culture or growth parks in the EU and US have had over the years.
Take Efteling, it opened as a playground with a pool. Later the fairytale forest was added and later on the rides. It is very different from anything in the world.

I'm very exited about the Cirque du Soleil Theme Park they are building in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. It looks unique and is very different. I Also heard the new Universal Studios park in Orlando will be something different, I'm also exited about that.

October 6, 2018, 12:40 PM

BGT isn't going anywhere, its extremely successful and Tampa/Clearwater/St Pete is a great market for the park. The animals and shows draw a lot of empty nesters to the park during slow times (and there are a LOT of those in that area), and the rides draw the teens and young adults. Also because of the transplants its also a big tourist draw when people come to visit their families. You could make the argument that the two Busch parks have been carrying the Sea World company for the past decade.

Edited: October 9, 2018, 12:17 PM

Disney and Universal are both bursting at the seams at Anaheim & Hollywood. That's where their energies should lay in the next 20 years. Of course, Star Wars and Marvel make their debut in existing Disneyland & California Adventure and will bring up yearly attendance to another 2 million to each park. Universal Studios Hollywood continues to milk the success of Harry Potter and are likely looking for more space to add Diagon Alley in their land locked location. So will Disney add their third park and will Universal add a second park?

Theme parks failed in Las Vegas, but that gambling and tourist mecca has stagnated where theme parks are concerned. It is certainly underserved with the closure of Star Trek Experience and Grand Adventures Theme Park. Curiously, the Treasure Island Las Vegas casino has the Marvel Avengers STATION interactive exhibit. If they do a theme park in Las Vegas, it will be better to be indoors like Circus Circus Adventuredome, which is a good park, but only good for a few hours.

I continue to advocate the next overseas Disneyland theme park should be in Australia. It would be a mistake to build in land scarce Singapore. There's just no land in Singapore and the population is about 6 million. Whereas in Australia, the population is 25 million and there's enough land to easily expand to 2 or 3 parks. With a population growth rate of 1.4%, the population will reach 50 million in 50 years.

October 9, 2018, 3:15 PM

If SWO and BGT make through the next 2 or 3 years (with all the new attractions from Disney and Universal) I think they will be okay. Our Disney trips get further and further apart and it's already over 6 years since we've been to DLR. We did finally get back to WDW this year! (with a lot of planning, saving and, careful shopping)

When the economy was really tight, we opted for SWSD and got two years of Annual Passes for the price of 1 year with no blackouts. As the economy edges people out of Disney's market, I hope a secondary market will be there... I am aware of friends on both coasts that go to offerings like Knotts BF, SWO, SWSD BGT, Six Flags, SD Zoo, and even new forms of entertainment like Climb Works because Disney is a financial impossibility for them.

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