While I’m certainly a fan of Disney World (I’ve been there twice), Universal Orlando has always had the bigger appeal to me. Whether it’s a section based entirely on The Simpsons hometown of Springfield or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the theme park has something to offer for everyone. Just last year, plans were announced to expand the park into a new section called Universal’s Epic Universe. While there’s no official confirmation as to what that section of the park will consist of, most pundits conclude it will contain areas based on Nintendo properties, Universal’s classic monsters, and others.
While Universal’s Epic Universe is set to open in 2023, it appears as though the theme park is looking beyond. And by beyond I mean beyond Florida and into Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. Reports are circulating that Universal Orlando is quietly developing a theme park based on THE LORD OF THE RINGS movie franchise. The people behind Universal Orlando have already reached out to the popular French theme park Poy du Fou for assistance. After Disneyland Paris, Poy du Fou is the second most popular theme park in the country, specializing in the medieval era. It’s completely interactive and immersive rather than ride based. Both of these features could figure prominently into a LORD OF THE RINGS theme park and it’s not uncommon for companies like Disney and Universal to reach out to other theme parks for assistance.
Now before you break out and start polishing your replica Sting swords or slapping on some rubber plastic feet, keep in mind that this news is just speculation and rumor at this point. Universal hasn’t confirmed anything and ground certainly hasn’t been broken. Moreover, the theme park wouldn’t arrive until at least 2025 at the earliest and more likely past that. I’m not trying to crap all over your Mordor muffins, I’m just being realistic.
Alliteration aside, the idea of a LORD OF THE RINGS based theme park makes sense. It’s an IP that hasn’t been utilized in this medium before. The franchise remains a immensely popular one worldwide even though the last film – THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF FIVE ARMIES – released over five years ago. Moreover, Amazon Prime Video begins filming their Lord of the Rings television show later this year, so the property is primed to make a comeback. Additionally, a LORD OF THE RINGS park could help offset the popularity of Disney’s recently opened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Ahhh what a time to be a nerd!
What do you guys think of this news? Would you be down for a LORD OF THE RINGS theme park? Sound off in the comments below!