Rumor: Universal Studios acquired theme park rights to Lord of the Rings; Disney is still giving us cloned rides and kiddyland
This is (thus far) a rumor because I can only find instances of people saying this is true without citing their sources. I can say that in general when rumors get this far, they are pretty serious.
I’m hearing that Universal just acquired park rights for the Lord of the Rings franchise. If this is the case, wow. Awesome. On the other hand, I can’t help but be a little sad at the state of Disney Parks. I don’t know what Disney is doing today. Many of the fans wanted LOTR for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It would have been a stretch, but considering that the 3rd part of that park was originally supposed to be for mythological creatures-perhaps not so much.
WDW has been fumbling around for several years. They have been kicking around this James Cameron’s Avatarland project for the Animal Kingdom park that is neither timeless nor trendy anymore. They shuttered Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney and canceled the plans to rebuild it into something else midway through the process with no apparent idea of what they are going to do with the land now. So we have unused land basically. Less attractions than before. In my opinion Disney would have been better served leaving Pleasure Island open and pursuing The Last Airbender as a property rather than the James Cameron Avatar.
There seems to be a weird shutting down of things that appeal to teens and adults and a focus on little babies as if they are the only demographic Disney now cares about. A far cry from being “For the whole family”, the parks are schizophrenically inching toward being “Only for 3 year olds.” Coupled with this is a bizarre desire to clone rides from their California park in Florida rather than developing new IP. I get that it saves money, but it creates nothing new.
I remember when Disney used to be the innovator. Now they are just cloning kiddylands on both coasts.
We just came back from New Fantasyland. Unfortunately I have to admit that it is just OK. Sure, I enjoyed myself and it was great to see, but even when it’s fully completed I have a hard time imagining it ever comparing to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. The magnitude and appeal of New Fantasyland was far lower than I thought it would be. Aside from a few bright spots (It looks pretty, Be Our Guest Restaurant, and Gaston’s Tavern) it seems to narrowly focus on being a giant kiddyland full of happy-dappy (and terribly out of touch with modern times) circus clowns.
For example, holy crap what the heck:
The Little Mermaid ride is a shockingly lackluster cloned ride from their California park that fans had already given middling reviews to out west. I personally thought it reminded me of the old Winnie the Pooh ride because of it’s reliance on stationary figures with the exception of the main characters in every scene. If this ride had come out in the 80s I would have been impressed.
I could recommend WWoHP to someone as a destination – I could never recommend NF as more than an afterthought of a larger vacation.
This makes me sad.
The last I heard we were getting a Cars Land clone from CA put into Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Another cloned property that focused mostly on babies. Seriously? Why have 2 parks in the US if it’s all verbatim cloned rides? Why is there almost no focus on teens and adults to the detriment of the guest experience?
Disney needs to seriously rethink it’s strategy and remember what “For the whole family” really means. Walt Disney conceptualized this park because he wanted to play with his daughter – not sit there and watch her play. The fans are now hoping for a Star Wars park or something else that is both timeless and literally appeals to the whole family.
I don’t know if Disney still has the guts to do that since the Eisner era.