Like many, we got quite surprised after hearing the name of Plopsa’s coaster for 2021: The Ride To Happiness by Tomorrowland. Although a music festival might seem weird to theme a ride and area, the aesthetic of the Tomorrowland brand does actually fit. It did get us thinking, what other brands or franchises haven’t we seen in theme parks yet and could be interesting to see? Let’s talk about 10 themes not yet seen!
Now before we get started, some disclaimers! The world is a big place so there might be a sponsorship that happened in the past that we never heard of. Here however, we want to talk about franchises and brands that haven’t had a permanent themed ride or area in a theme park. In addition, it’s not because this brand is listed that we actually WANT to see it in a park. The question we ask today is: could this major intellectual property (IP) fit for a ride or themed area with rides? From movies to clothing, from food to games, here’s 10 IP’s that haven’t made their way just yet.
1. Lord of the Rings
Yes this first one might not come as a surprise on the list. The Lord of the Rings ranks as one of the best known movie franchises in the world. Eventhough the books have been for out over 60 years and the last Hobbit movie came out in 2014, the franchise still lingers in people’s minds. The beautiful scenes of Middle Earth would make for some fine theming of an entire area just like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Universal Parks. That’s exactly where we have to keep an eye out for because rumor has it for years that Universal might have the theme park rights. With no announced plans at all, we can’t help but wonder if the release of Amazon’s anticipated streaming series might change that.
Undoubtedly, Nike is one of the most valuable fashion brands in the world. The brand probably is most famous for their shoes but besides that they offer a whole variety of clothes for sports. There are other similar brands who are represented in theme parks. Adidas can be found in Europa-Park for example with the indoor dodgems themed to soccer shoes in the Arena of Football. But it’s true that sports aren’t a common theme at the parks. So could Nike be a good fit for a park? Well it depends which park. It would not have its place in a Disney or Universal but a sports theme area might boost other resorts around the world. So who knows, keep your eyes out for a Swoosh coaster!
Although board games have drawn inspiration from theme parks, we did not find anything the other way around. Yes, you might have a theme park version Monopoly game somewhere in your home cause they’ve worked together with quite some parks to create one. Then again, does the original board game theme really lean towards building a ride? Well anything is possible of course. Another high-seller board game that might be a fit could be Clue. Most likely an interactive dark ride could be made with that theme. But if we would talk about a whole themed area, then Catan (previously known as Settles of Catan) has to be the best fit. In that best selling game, you need to build new settlements and roads to win. All in a era of discovery setting which would make quite the themed village.
Okay we admit, this is an oddball. But there’s no denying that Pfizer ranks as one of the highest valuable compagnies in the world. So does a pharmaceutical company suit to have a ride or an area in a theme park? Well, we’re not sure but it could be a good edutainment ride theme. Health care compagnies now more than ever prove how important they are. So it could help with a better understanding of what they do. Like everyone knows they make medication but how does that work? Also, it would help to motive younger kids for science subjects too. So all in all, it could work but just like Nike, not every park would fit.
Now this one I see as the next step for the world famous furniture giant. There stores almost seem like indoor theme parks, the only thing they lack is rides. So this one should have themed areas in existing parks, they should start one themselves. They already have a hotel and hundreds of stores around the world so why not take it a step further? It would keep people even longer in their store and they have experience with food already. If a mall can combine shopping with rides, why can’t IKEA do it then? One thing’s for sure, the ride names would be unique!
6. Lady Gaga
Popular music and theme parks, although it would make sense to combine the two, you don’t have a lot of musician themed rides out there. Of course there’s Dollywood and at the moment we can still enjoy Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster Staring Aerosmith in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. But are there really many others out there? There’s a whole list of artists the we can put here and ask ourselves why they haven’t gotten a theme park ride yet. But we decided to pick Lady Gaga. Imagine a psychedelic indoor rollercoaster with her music banging from the moment you enter the queue to when you leave the ride.
Now this one is no stranger to theme parks. Usually where there’s a theme park, you will find a McDonald’s nearby. Fast food chains in general can be found inside or near parks all over the world. But the leading one doesn’t have an actual ride yet that we know of, not beyond the Dinoland U.S.A McDonald’s touches from the 90s and early 2000s. Then again, would it really be a good idea? From a branding point of view it would make a lot of sense. But fast food companies already are under fire for being unhealthy so promoting them in that way might be a little too much. Could they take the initiative themselves and make a McDonald’s Land? Maybe, but again, not sure if people would be up for that.
Personally I don’t play this but a lot of people do. And I mean A LOT! Minecraft is no stranger to the theme park theme as there are hundreds of recreations out there of existing parks in Minecraft. But permanently finding it in an actual theme park doesn’t seem to have been done yet. The unique square style shape could easily be used for a whole area. With millions of players, it would draw the attention for sure. Plus the ideas are out there without a doubt. For their 10 years celebration, they even offered a map which included a theme park!
Ask yourself what the most known television shows are and don’t come up with Friends? Silly you! Now you might immediately think of the Warner Bros Studio Tour Hollywood. What better way than to visit the studios where they are made? But couldn’t the series also be used for an actual theme park area? Sure it might be harder to think of a good idea for a ride. Then again, we can make a list of some crazy ride themes. Yet I’m sure people would love to eat at Central Perk.
Last but certainly not least: Pokémon. Now I know what you are thinking: it’s a matter of time! A few year’s ago, Nintendo would be on top of the list as why no one had ever used it as a theme park theme. Now, we finally have a first themed land dedicated to their main mascot Mario. But there’s one other game that’s one of the most valuable in the world and that’s: Pokémon. At the moment, no official plans have been revealed for the game franchise. It’s almost certain though that it will be in a Universal park. Pokémon actually has the content to build an entire theme park if you ask us. (There was actually a Pokémon amusement park but the execution was rather poor). The different types could make up for fabulous themed areas or you could also use the cities and town from within the games. So speed up those plans Universal, cause you won’t regret it!
Thank you for checking out this list! What franchises do you think should be on here? Tell us on our Discord server of leave a comment below! If you want to support our content creation, consider shopping on Shop Coaster Kings!