Theme parks are everything right now. Pandora, based on the world of James Cameron’s Avatar, has just opened at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has a brand new “Mission: BREAKOUT!” attraction in Disneyland’s California Adventure. And soon you’ll be able to experience immersive Star Wars and Toy Story themed lands at Disney Parks. Meanwhile, at Universal, there’s a new Fast & Furious ride that puts you in the driver’s seat of the blockbuster franchise. But, Disney and Universal aren’t players in the theme park biz, and there’s a lot of fun stuff on the horizon.
A Studio Ghibli theme park where visitors can experience the real-world wonder (and adorableness) of the works of legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki was just announced — it’s coming to Japan in the early 2020s. There’s a Nintendo theme park on the way where you’ll be able to play Mario Kart IRL. And Warner Bros. World will have real-world approximations of Gotham City and Metropolis as part of a massive Abu Dhabi theme park.
All of that theme park awesomeness has us thinking about OTHER theme parks we’d like to visit that don’t exist. At least, not yet…
A Middle-earth theme park would be a fantasy fan’s dream come true.
Imagine wandering through the world of Tolkien’s Middle-earth, filled with attractions themed around The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It’d be a huge draw for Tolkien fans and LARPers everywhere. This one’s top of our list, and it’s actually been discussed officially with Universal having been rumored as an eventual home. Unfortunately, there’s an on-going legal battle over the rights to a Middle-earth park that could keep this from becoming a reality.
A Star Trek theme park could be all about a bright vision for the future.
While there have been bits and pieces of Star Trek in theme parks around the world, there’s no proper immersive experience and that’s what the franchise deserves. There are so many stories from the various Trek iterations which could inspire attractions of all kinds — coasters, simulators, dark rides and more. But what we love about the possibility of a Star Trek theme park is being immersed in the inspirational vision of the future that’s always been at the franchise’s core.
A Game of Thrones theme park would probably have to be adults only.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: Game of Thrones has a bit too much sex and violence to make a legitimate theme park out of it. But that doesn’t stop us from wanting what we can’t have! Think of it as a kid-free park with diverse areas themed around the various lands that comprise George R.R. Martin’s Westeros. Yes, a dragon-riding thrill ride or 4D battle with the White Walkers attraction would be amazing, but just think of the epic drinking establishments.
A James Bond theme park could be a real-world superspy epic.
James Bond is another franchise that’s dipped its toes into the theme park waters, but never been fully immersed. Universal once had plans drawn up for a Bond stunt show — you can see the concept art for it (shown above) was created by legendary Star Wars artist Ralph McQuarrie. We’d love to see the concept taken a few steps further, putting visitors smack dab in the middle of a globetrotting superspy thriller with attractions inspired by the long-running 007 franchise.