The biggest development in the theme park industry over the past decade or so has been the rise of immersive, single-IP lands. Starting with Universal's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010, both Universal and Disney have created multiple lands themed to a single entertainment property, where the land itself is as much an attraction as the rides and shows contained within it.
In these spaces, you become a character within the franchise. You can feel like you are walking within the story itself, something that previously you might have experienced only momentarily within a single attraction. For many of us, that makes these immersive lands the new gold standard for themed entertainment design. The best of them keep drawing us back, much like great theme parks have been luring us to return for years.
But which of these immersive lands holds the greatest appeal to you?
I recognize that Super Nintendo World might enjoy an advantage here. Almost no one outside of Japan has gotten to visit Universal's video game-themed land yet, due to pandemic travel restrictions. So Nintendo is likely going to get votes simply because it's the one relatively few Theme Park Insider readers have had the opportunity to experience. It's the next big, unknown thing.
But what I really would like to get at here is which of these immersive lands have the most enduring appeal to you. What is the space that draws you back - the place where you would love to spend more time, returning again and again? It might represent your favorite entertainment franchise, but it might not. Great execution of attractions and other design features might help a land themed to a less-beloved IP move to the top of your list - just as poorly envisioned concepts might depress a land for an IP you love most.
For what it is worth, I thought about including Jurassic Park on this list, but the recent addition of the Jurassic World VelociCoaster muddled that land for me. The land just doesn't seem as much an attempt to create a space within the Jurassic universe as it is yet another collection of disconnected attractions sharing that IP, if that distinction makes sense to anyone. Same goes for Marvel Super Hero Island and Seuss Landing at IOA. Islands of Adventure in 1999 planted the seeds for what would become the single-IP immersive land revolution, but it wasn't until Potter opened in 2010 that we saw the current iteration of this ideal.
That said, Toy Story Land does make it on the list because of the "Andy's backyard" backstory, as elusive as that might be for many visitors.
So, given what you have seen or read about or know about these lands below, which is the one where you can see yourself wanting to spend the most time? To help you make that decision, here are some of our video tours of these lands.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley
Toy Story Land
Super Nintendo World
Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
Pandora - The World of Avatar
* * *
For more theme park news, please sign up for Theme Park Insider's weekly newsletter.
And to help support Theme Park Insider while saving money on discounted theme park and attraction tickets, please visit our nationwide Attractions Discounts list.Tweet
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.