Warner Brothers has always had an interesting relationship with themed entertainment. Their brands lend themselves to attractions, merchandise and immersive experiences. Now we believe that Warner Brothers is designing two brand new theme parks using their most popular intellectual properties.
You can trace Warner Brothers interest in theme parks back for decades. Looney Tunes has been in Six Flags parks since 1984. Even after Disney dropped their deal with “The Big Red Boat”, Warner Brothers swooped in with a licensing deal and Bugs Bunny and the gang started sailing on those cruises leaving out of Port Canaveral.
Those deals, along with many others, were all licensing deals. A company comes in and asks if they can use their characters and imagery and they get paid a fee for those services. Depending on the deal, they can get a percentage of ticket sales, merchandise with their intellectual property on it or even themed food and beverage. Even The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Parks is a licensing deal which has been a pivotal turning point for Universal.
More recently, Warner Brothers has been looking at taking more ownership of their brands within themed entertainment. Warner Brothers World Abu Dhabi has been well received across the industry. Even with the new flagship Harry Potter store opening in New York in 2020, it shows how aggressive WB is getting about their brands.
About six months ago, I started hearing rumblings that Warner Brothers wanted to create a new theme park. Aside from Disney, Warner Brothers owns more brands that are a perfect fit for a theme park over any other movie studio. Various ideas were being kicked around with different IPs, but now I believe this project has some legs and has a solid chance at being built. Keep in mind, the following information is not official until Warner Brothers makes an announcement and could change at any time. However, I believe we should hear at least the intention to build this park within the next year or so.
In total, there are currently nine franchises being represented in this new Warner Brothers theme park. Which is a lot. My understanding is each one of these will feature one to two attractions in their own dedicated land. The park would feature a classic hub and spoke design, similar to the Magic Kingdom Parks.
I believe that one or two of these franchises will be either swapped out and/or held back for a phase two or three. However, these are the brands that we have heard that should be represented in the Warner Brothers theme park. Let’s dive in!
Starting on the left and going clockwise, the park is slated to feature: Sherlock Holmes, the film franchise starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law.
Moving up, we have what I am probably personally most excited about in this park: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Keep in mind, this is the Gene Wilder original version of this film, not the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp adaptation.
Next up is Tom and Jerry, Warner Brothers famous cat and mouse duo. There is an area of the Warner Brothers park in Abu Dhabi dedicated to the classic cartoon series and it looks fantastic. I’m willing to bet some of this new WB park is at least in part, based on some of those concepts. Though I doubt we will see exact duplicate copies of attractions.
Continuing clockwise is the Wizard of Oz, a timeless franchise that has been underutilized in theme parks. In my opinion, this would be a top draw to the park. There are tons of possibilities with this from rides, to food and beverage options to merchandise.
At the very top of the park (the Fantasyland, if you will) features an area dedicated to Looney Tunes. Considering these are Warner Brothers signature characters, it would be hard to imagine a park without them.
Likewise, the next land over in the upper right of the park is dedicated to DC Comics. Again, considering WB owns the rights to the Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, this park needs to represent those characters.
Next is a movie that frankly, I forgot even existed. The sci-fi film starring Tom Cruise that came out in 2014: Edge of Tomorrow. It did fairly well at the box office, but I wouldn’t call it a phenomenon. Why is this film potentially going to be represented in a Warner Brothers theme park? It gives the park a more well rounded futuristic/sci-fi land. Personally, I think out of all the lands going into this park, this could be the first one cut or replaced with something else before a formal announcement is made.
Moving further down on the right side of the park will be a land featuring The Matrix. Considering this is one of the highest-grossing franchises of all time, plus there is a fourth installment headed to theaters in 2021.
Finally, in the lower right portion of the park will be a Lord of The Rings land. We realize that this may sound contradictory to a story we ran a few weeks ago regarding a Lord of the Rings area being considered for Islands of Adventure in Florida. However, we believe that Universal currently has the North American rights to the franchise only.
While we have heard some concepts for what types of attractions would be in this park, we think it’s still too early to speculate. What we do know is this new Warner Brothers theme park will have a healthy mix of dark rides, coasters, theater shows and even water rides.
Currently, there are two areas being considered for the new park. Both are moving forward at this time. The first being some land just outside of Paris, France. The second location would be in Yokohama, Japan. Each park would be slightly different as the France location would be more indoors and the one in Japan would have more outdoor elements.
Again, we can’t stress this enough, this isn’t official and should only be considered speculation at this point. Nothing is official until an announcement is made. That said, what are your thoughts on a Warner Brothers Theme Park? Would you want to visit a park with these types of franchises represented? We will do our best to keep you updated on this story as it develops!
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