Like the old British Empire, the sun never sets on Disney Parks. With six theme park resorts stretching around the world - from California to Florida to France to China to Japan - Disney welcomes more theme park visitors each year than any other company.
But thanks to Disney's voracious appetite for acquiring intellectual property [IP], you can find Disney-owned franchises at several other theme parks around the world, too. That means that you don't have to go to Disney to experience Disney. Here are six theme parks - not owned or operated by Disney - where you can find lands based upon IP owned by or closely associated with The Walt Disney Company.
Universal bought the theme park rights to The Simpsons before Disney acquired Matt Groening's cartoon family in its purchase of 20th Century Fox. So while you can watch The Simpsons now on Disney+, you can see them in a theme park only by visiting Universal Studios. Each park includes an installation of The Simpsons Ride - a flying theater attraction that uses the old Back to the Future ride system. And both serve food and drinks inspired by the long-running TV show, including Krusty Burgers, Flaming Moes... and Duff Beer.
Universal's Islands of Adventure - Orlando
Marvel also found a home at Universal years before it found a new owner in The Walt Disney Company. Though Universal allowed its theme park rights to expire in California, it maintains its rights to Marvel characters and the Marvel name in Japan and in Florida, thus keeping Disney from making full use of its most popular movie franchise at Walt Disney World and the Tokyo Disney Resort. Universal's top Marvel ride is The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, which has been wowing fans in Orlando and Universal Studios Japan in Osaka for decades. (That gives us seven non-Disney parks with Disney IP!) Sometime this year, fans will get to see Disney's take on a Spider-Man ride, when Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure opens at Disney California Adventure.
IMG Worlds of Adventure - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Universal is not the only theme park company with Marvel theme park rights. You can find several Marvel-themed rides at the indoor IMG Worlds of Adventure park in Dubai, thanks in part to Disney's decision not to build its own park in the Middle East. The Spider-Man ride here is Doc Ock's Revenge, a Mack Rides spinning coaster (the same ride as Sierra Sidewinder at Knott's Berry Farm). Avengers: Battle of Ultron is the park's 3D motion base ride, while Hulk gets a Falcon's CircuMotion Theater show. Thor gets a Top Spin, while Avengers Flight of the Quinjets is a Dumbo-style spinner.
Genting SkyWorlds - Genting Highlands, Malaysia
Ice Age, Rio
The newest park on our list will be opening later this year in Malaysia. The former Fox World park will feature attractions based on several now-Disney-owned franchises, including entire lands themed to Ice Age and Rio. Night at the Museum and Planet of the Apes also are tipped as attraction themes that will remain in the park following a lawsuit with Disney over the Fox name and IP.
Efteling - The Netherlands
Okay, these are not the Disney princesses per se, but you can find Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Snow White in this Dutch theme park's Fairytale Forest land, which also includes Pinocchio as well as a slew of other classic fairy tale characters that Disney might get around to making animated features about some day.
You can explore these and other top theme parks around the world on our newly updated Guide to the World's Most Popular Theme Parks pages.
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