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The inside track on the Disney LOTR theme park...Kind of


Oct 29 2013, 10:34am

Post #1 of 5 (184 views)
The inside track on the Disney LOTR theme park...Kind of Can't Post


This whole saga is getting stranger and stranger. I found this to be of particular interest:

But perhaps it might be of interest what Disney Legend and former Imagineering Senior VP Tony Baxter had to say about Lord of the Rings in an interview with Theme Park Insider earlier this month. (That interview will appear on the site within a few weeks.)

Baxter compared Lord of the Rings unfavorably to Harry Potter as a theme park-friendly property. "Things like Remembralls and Howlers," he said, citing two examples from the Potter universe, "they were so classic in the ways that the words were constructed, that they stick in your brain. Whereas I look at the world of Lord of the Rings, and I can't tell you other than the Orcs I can't tell you the names of the people. They were too confusing."

Setting aside possible confusion and commercial viability, I see even more problems with this idea. For one, LOTR is far less kid (as in ages 1-8) friendly than Harry Potter or Star Wars or even Avatar. Another thing is that The Hobbit films are ending next year - and no possible replacements coming after to keep up interest. Even further, Tolkien+ Theme Parks in general
probably just doesn't sit well with many fans. Does anyone like this idea?

The world is full enough of hurt and mischance without wars to multiply them.

Werde Spinner

Oct 29 2013, 2:47pm

Post #2 of 5 (101 views)
Uh, no, I'm not fond of the idea. [In reply to] Can't Post

And if the dude insults Tolkien's wonderful nomenclature, I can't even begin to imagine what he'd do to Middle-earth... Frown Unsure

Oh, and... *Harry Potter people, look away now* ... I honestly wasn't always blown away by J. K. Rowling's names for things. After seeing too many English words smashed together awkwardly or with their heads and tails (prefixes and suffixes) chopped off, I'd prefer something a bit more... sensible. Crazy Granted, some of the words *sounded * cool. I liked 'disapparate', but I could never figure out whether it meant to disappear or to reappear, or if it could be applied to both. Prefixes should not be so confusing.

Also, her 'spells' made me cringe. Only three were legitimate Latin (Ex(s)pecto Patronum, Levicorpus, and Liberacorpus, and even the pedant in me was insisting the last two should be two words); granted, more legitimate Latin was used in the movies (Vulnera Sanentur, etc.). I still blame her for the fact that I look up at the night sky and say, "Oh, look, there's Scorpius," only to then smack my forehead and correct myself to, "Scorpio." Unimpressed

However, if this dude quoted in the interview agrees that Middle-earth is not suitable for a theme park, I'll overlook whatever insults he tosses in our direction. Wink

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."


Oct 29 2013, 3:49pm

Post #3 of 5 (105 views)
No. I hope it doesn't happen. [In reply to] Can't Post

Baxter is absolutely correct that LOTR themes are not theme-park friendly.

What are you going to have? Saruman's torture chamber? The Helm's Deep battle ground? Magic Mount Doom?

It's a terrible idea, and I hope it gets shot to the ground.

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Oct 29 2013, 5:45pm

Post #4 of 5 (86 views)
Yeah, but [In reply to] Can't Post

I'd pay money to wander around a life-size replica of Minas Tirith. Once. And I suppose it would have to have more than gift shops and armories, but it would be so cool to be there. Helm's Deep too. And a ride through Shelob's Lair.

All the same, I wouldn't travel around the world to go to a theme park like that. Maybe drive an hour at most. So my passion isn't that strong, but if done well, it could be fun to see.

Someone mentioned on this topic a few months ago that a theme park would likely just have stickers on rides. So instead of a recreation of Moria riding on mining carts escaping bad guys, it'd be a standard roller coaster with a plastic orc head on the first coaster car and some cheap decals. I wondered go on a ride like that even if it was free.

The Shire

Oct 29 2013, 9:33pm

Post #5 of 5 (69 views)
Urrgh. [In reply to] Can't Post

When I was young, this might have struck me as an exciting idea.

As for now... I honestly don't really want this to exist. Anything that stimulates interest in Tolkien should be positive, but I can't very well imagine this working out.

What theme-park-y amusements would ensue? Flying on the great eagles in nauseating circles while eating your deep fried lembas? The images that come to mind are so cartoonish. I'm usually not one to be a party pooper. In this case, I feel like I have no other choice. Nope nope nope.


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