Now that The Walt Disney Company has closed its deal to acquire 21st Century Fox and its many entertainment franchises, let's rank the top 10 of those properties based on their likelihood of someday making it into a Disney theme park.
Before I start, a few caveats. First, Disney already has Avatar, which is the highest-grossing film in Fox's portfolio (and movie history). So there's no need to include it here. Fox's Fantastic Four and X-Men will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but they remain off-limits to Disney for theme park use in Florida, due to Marvel's contract with Universal Orlando. So that's why you won't find them on this list, either. And The Simpsons also remains Universal's theme park property, so it's out, too.
10. Family Guy — Seth McFarlane's series hits many of the same beats at The Simpsons, but often with far more irreverence. Disney knows better than to try to out-snark Universal. No chance.
9. Futurama — Matt Groening's other series offers some fantastic world-building opportunities, but it's just not a big enough name these days to crack Bob Iger's to-do list.
8. Bob's Burgers — Another animated Fox TV series. If the planned movie version hits next year, this could provide an easy overlay for a theme park restaurant someplace, so we're entering the territory of "I guess it's possible" here. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to see Fox's other H. Jon Benjamin-fronted animated series also brought to life in a theme park, there's zero chance that Disney does anything with Archer. But we'll always have phrasing.
7. Independence Day — A big hit, and I am 100% on board with anything that gets Jeff Goldblum into a Disney theme park. But where's the world building opportunity here?
6. Alien — Walt Disney World already had an Alien scene in its Great Movie Ride, but Disney closed that attraction to make room for its upcoming Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. Yet if Walt Disney Imagineering saved those animatronics someplace, I guess there's hope.
5. Maze Runner — Here's my sleeper on this list. This YA dystopia did respectable global box office, and would allow Disney to hit a teen demo it can be weak with. There are some decent world building opportunities here, too. But does Disney want to embrace a dystopian theme in its parks... I mean, beyond the morning rope-drop rushes?
4. Planet of the Apes — This is where pre-teen Robert gets excited. A proven franchise with multi-generational appeal, recent movies and amazing world building potential — what's not to like here? This would be a strong candidate for theme park treatment... except that it hits some of the same beats as Avatar, knocking it down the priority list.
3. Rio — There's been a 4D version of this playing at several parks around the world, but this would seem an even more obvious overlay for Animal Kingdom's bird show than Up has been.
2. Night at the Museum — Oh dear Lord in heaven, please give me a trackless dark ride themed to this. This could be Disneyland's or Disney World's Mystic Manor.
1. Ice Age — Fox's biggest animated franchise, this is an easy fit for a dark ride or parade float pretty much anywhere in Disney's theme park portfolio. I suspect that a large percentage of the audience already thinks this is a Disney franchise, anyway. If Disney wants to make a symbolic gesture demonstrating its acceptance of Fox franchises into the company, dropping an Ice Age float into a parade would be a quick, easy, and effective way to do that.
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