Thoughts on Universal and Marvel

January 8, 2016, 10:27 AM

So with all the talk over the last year or so of the contract between Marvel/Disney/Universal, what is everyones thoughts on that?

I love Universal Orlando, I prefer it over Disney. Thats not to say I dont like Disney, but I feel if Universal was forced to take out their marvel properties it could severly hinder the current super hero island. Except for of course Dr. Dooms Fear Fall, that ride needs to go.

But think about it, removing one of the attractions that has earned awards for years as being the best theme park attraction could severly hurt the park.

I've also thought about the possibility of Universal Acquiring DC from Warner/Six Flags, but even that wouldnt be a satisfying thought. So many people have gone to IOA and enjoyed the Marvel Island, that a sudden switch to DC characters could be a sort of let down. Dont get me wrong I love DC and Marvel equally. But to be used to seeing marvel at Universal then all of a sudden DC, could be a little odd.

So I just thought I would pose this question about what your thoughts are. I've been doing research on it all morning and its bugging me.

Post up your comments or questions, lets get a discussion going.

Replies (16)

January 8, 2016, 10:48 AM

The contract is something I'm sure Disney wants out of, which they really have no way of doing so except paying Universal to end it. While Disney has done little to change how Marvel operates, having a land at a rival theme park is something Disney is not okay with. My guess is once Universal wants something else in that space, they will see if Disney will pay to buyout the contract. Universal someday will decide to replace Marvel with a different franchise. But they'll keep it unless Disney is willing to pay to end the contract. While Universal is more willing to replace attractions than Disney, they'll do whatever they can to make sure Disney doesn't get the theme park rights back for free.

January 8, 2016, 11:17 AM

Im hoping with this new land that Universal acquired, perhaps they will go through with building a new park, thus opening up room so they wont have to delve into current attractions for space. At least for the time being. and perhaps open it up for them to follow through with the nintendo land.

Edited: January 8, 2016, 11:46 AM

Universal is spending a lot of money tearing down and replacing the entire Hulk track, putting in new cars and possibly audio, and renovating the indoor queue that will reportedly rival Forbidden Journey's & Gringott's awesome queues. All of the major Universal insiders are saying Marvel is here to stay. Don't worry, Marvel is safe at Universal. Universal has an ironclad contract & they are on good terms with Marvel management.

January 8, 2016, 5:05 PM

I think universal already has great marvel stuff. I'd hate to see it go. Disney wouldn't do something as good as spiderman.

January 10, 2016, 5:51 AM

We love disney and universal and marvel. We are going to universal in Orlando this year. We normally go disney and universal. Disney has list it draw and over priced. My lad loves marvel,so universal is the main choice. Better and up to date rides. Hope disney doesn't take the marvel away. Universal is the only reason we are returning to Orlando.
Disneyland has become outdated in Europe and USA and very expensive.

January 10, 2016, 12:55 PM

Universal hasn't show any inclination to pursue another major Marvel attraction so I believe Universal's influence on Marvel is limited. Disney doesn't need Marvel in Orlando, but they can do so much more at Disneyland and the foreign markets. Marvel should anchor the third Disneyland resort park, but I heard they might add it in California Adventure in the Hollywood Backlot revamp. Perhaps Marvel will anchor the second Hong Kong Disneyland park. There's no rumors at Tokyo and Shanghai is just about completing. Paris can use Marvel to boost the lame studio park.

January 10, 2016, 6:03 PM

Michelle, I agree with you. Disney just doesn't interest me anymore. Considering the only rides i look forward to are their older rides that offer nostalgia. They don't bring anything new that is exciting at all. However, Universal is always working on new projects. I wish they could work out a deal with Disney to continue to build new marvel attractions, and maybe pay some royalties to Disney. It fits better at Universal I think.

January 11, 2016, 9:05 AM

Looking at this another way, I think Universal has some incentive to get out of the Marvel business (for the right price of course). Universal is limited in what they can do with Marvel. Universal, right now, uses the Marvel characters as they are in the comics; but what most people know (and want to see) are the character as depicted in the Marvel films; they want the Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man, not the comic book Iron Man. They want Captain America fighting the Winter Soldier with Sam Jackson's Nick Fury helping him out. I bet quite a lot of the more casual fans and young kids go to Universal and come away disappointed because they aren't getting the version of characters familiar to them. This could lead Universal to the bargaining table.

January 11, 2016, 10:47 AM

Kent, I think its kind of a double edged sword. Fans who are newer to the comic book world might want to see the movie versions of the characters, however people who grew up on the earlier comics, myself included enjoy all adaptations. The main thing with the Marvel island right now is, that the only ride that you even visually see these characters is Spiderman. and considering they move all over the place with the spiderman movies, no one really can emotionally attach themselves to one spiderman. But I think if they were given the green light to continue adding marvel attractions they could find a cool balance. Definitaly something with the avengers and other Marvel characters.

January 11, 2016, 5:12 PM

If Disney wants to develop Marvel attractions in Florida, I'm sure they have enough money to persuade Universal to sell the rights. However, I don't think Disney currently needs or wants to develop Marvel attractions for Walt Disney World. There are numerous other projects going on right now, all of which are certainly cheaper than going through all the hassle of a Marvel attraction/land and many of which will probably yield similar (if not larger) attendance bumps. For now, they appear to be content to let Universal keep the property and until either Disney or Universal wants to develop something new I don't see that changing. Let's wait and see how the Marvel attractions/lands do in Hong Kong, California, and Paris...that may be telling whether it is worthwhile for Disney to invest in one for Florida.

As for the idea of Universal getting DC, I wouldn't bet on it. Given that DC is one of only two IPs Six Flags held on to during their bankruptcy I've got a feeling they won't be giving it up anytime soon.

January 12, 2016, 6:33 AM

Disney may have the money to reclaim Marvel in Florida, but I doubt it has the proper ROI for this to occur. Assuming Universal would need to rebrand an entire land including a complete overhaul to Spiderman and milder rebrands to the other 3 attractions, this could easily reach 500 million and that is not including the downtime and lost revenue plus having to market against Marvel at Disney going forward. I would guess Universal's starting price being close to 1 billion for the rights back. So Disney would be out 1 billion prior to any construction. Would Marvel attractions be that bigger of a draw to merit that expenditure than further spending on Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pixar or traditional Disney properties.

January 12, 2016, 8:42 AM

All this talk about Disney buying out Marvel from Universal is ridiculous for the economics makes no sense. If Disney wanted to do it, they should have done it well before they invested so dearly in their new Marvel movies. Now the price for getting theme park right has multiplied to where it makes no sense. With the rise of Universal, so has to price too. Universal doesn't need Disney cash. Universal needs IPs. It paid cheaply for Marvel so why give it up? Dumping Marvel attractions at Islands of Adventure will mean at least $500 million in new investment. It's a eye popping figure and I don't think any deal will be a wash. Universal will want an additional exit payment too that will be hundreds of millions of dollars.

Robert may be right that $1 Billion is the minimum buyout price.

Edited: January 12, 2016, 10:05 AM

There actually could be another approach, which is called coexistence. Disney could come up with an agreement with Universal that clearly states what Marvel characters could be excluded from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This means any characters not already at IOA could be added to Disney's Orlando theme parks. However, I'm sure Universal will insist the characters not use the Marvel branding as well.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" had a less prominent Marvel branding. I'm sure it was intentional. However, this might not matter for there's talk that it will be pulled into the Avengers franchise, which will make it harder for Universal to agree to exclude this property. The Avengers include the Incredible Hulk, which will never make it to Disney theme parks.

Could the fact that X-Men was removed from IOA mean some agreement was made? Maybe X-Men will return to Disney at some point. The failure of the Fantastic Four reboot started some rumors that Fox will give up the characters.

January 15, 2016, 8:33 AM

Either way, I am excited to be heading back for my yearly trip in september-october. Definitely glad hulk will be back up and have a new kong ride.

January 17, 2016, 2:46 PM

Speaking of Marvel, anyone know a.time frame for the Hulk ride to be opened again. One of my favorite rides and we are planning on going back in the fist week of June.

January 19, 2016, 10:20 AM

Jon Ferguson, I think it is supposed to open up summertime, I dont think a specific date has been posted yet. I would say to keep posted for updates. Kong is also supposed to open in summer as well.

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