It used to be enough to have a single “token” ride from a film in your theme park. Disney was successful for years with a Finding Nemo ride, a Pirates of the Caribbean ride and a Star Wars ride. Universal Studios opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2010 in Florida, and four years later in Hollywood, to unprecedented success.
Ever since, theme parks around the world have realized the importance of capitalizing on movie-themed “lands” based on fan favorite films. Here we break down some that are open and coming soon: The kid or park-goer in you is about to get excited.
The World of The Hunger Games
Lionsgate and Dubai Parks and Resorts recently have partnered to open The World of The Hunger Games at Motiongate Dubai. The movie-themed park is part of the three-park Dubai Parks and Resorts complex that was unveiled late last year in the United Arab Emirates. Visitors can ride on the Panem Aerial Tour or board the Capitol Bullet Train; both provide interactive themed experiences. Peeta’s bakery provides more than 20 unique treats for hungry park-goers.
When you stay at Lapita, a part of Dubai Parks and Resorts Autograph Collection Hotels, you’re located near all the action. The hotel offers close to 20,000 sq. ft. of versatile indoor and outdoor event space, with event planning and catering services available.
Cars Land zoomed into Disney California Adventure Park at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, in 2012, and has been a fan favorite ever since. The land is based on the popular animated Pixar film, Cars. The sprawling desert lands, retro vibes and simulated driving experiences make this spot great fun for kids and adults. Take a stroll through Radiator Springs, go on a peaceful journey through Ornament Valley, tip a tractor with Mater and get a tune-up at Luigi’s or Ramone’s before revving your engine for the race of a lifetime.
Grand Californian Hotel provides its own entrance to the park, easy access to Downtown Disney, a luxurious spa and premium dining experiences, including a chance to brunch with Goofy or Minnie. Save time and money by investing in a package deal, with promotions such as 25 percent off rooms and specially priced tickets for military members.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
The much-anticipated StarWars: Galaxy’s End is coming to Disneyland Resort, and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando in 2019. The land will provide park-goers with an immersive experience within one of the film’s “worlds.” The area will feature futuristic dining, a cantina or two, and a chance to participate in simulated space battles for the young and young at heart.
Disneyland Resort provides event space spanning 180,000 sq. ft. and is home to world-class hotels, two theme parks and the Downtown Disney District.
Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and Hollywood give patrons a taste of life as a wizard. The park includes a visit to Hogsmeade for butter beer and wands. Two rides take you through Hogwarts and other parts of the wizarding world, including Gringott’s Bank and the Ministry of Magic.
Universal Studios Hollywood can host a variety of events—for sales incentive groups, holiday parties, product launches and more—and accommodates 100 to 20,000.
Pandora: The World of Avatar
Pandora: The World of Avatar opened this May in DisneyWorld’s Animal Kingdom, and gives park-goers the full Avatar experience. Groups can take a ride on the Navi River and marvel in the world of light and color that is Pandora. And, considering the movie is still the top-grossing film of all time, with sequels in line to be released in the next few years, it comes as no surprise that people want a chance to feel like they’re starring in James Cameron’s epic tale.
Toy Story Land
Toy Story Land is set to open in the summer of 2018 at Walt Disney World Resort’s Hollywood Studios. The land is set in Andy’s backyard, and will feature a slinky dog roller coaster, a flying saucer ride with the aliens, and an interactive carnival themed game.