Screamscape has posted a new update on what COULD BE the future of 
Marvel Superhero Island (at IOA):
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Screamscape sources tell us that Universal management had a discussion not long ago about what the future may be for Marvel Superhero Island. Now before I get in any deeper, I’ve been told that this was simply a blue sky meeting to discuss the various ideas and ‘what if’ scenarios and nothing more. There are currently no plans to remove the Marvel themeing to the land at all, so this is all very LONG term thinking only. 
    So why talk about it at all?  While Universal had negotiated the rights to continue to use the Marvel universe theme for many attractions as long as they were willing to pay for them, there are periodic times when the actual cost for those terms (or for certain specific Marvel attractions) come under review and cost increases are expected to happen. From what I’ve been told, the first such renewal period will take place in 2018, roughly 20 years after the agreement was first signed. 
    That said, it is without a doubt that no one at Universal had even dreamed that Disney would have bought Marvel Comics years later, putting the entire future of Marvel Superhero Island in doubt. So those discussions that took place were simply to start coming up with ideas, just in case they are forced to throw Marvel out the window, and find a new cost effective theme to replace it with. One very interesting idea that was said to be given serious attention was looking into replace Marvel with DC Comics instead. 
    While Six Flags does have a semi-lock on the DC Comics universe character, it was felt that Universal may be able to negotiate a deal to use the characters in Florida only, as this would not cause any direct conflict with any Six Flags parks. This is very ironic because it’s been said that a few DC Comics themes were actually first developed for the island, and not Marvel. A whole Batman themed attraction proposal was seen for sale on Ebay a few years ago showing off a lot of concept artwork of this proposed land that would have had a Batman themed coaster, possible a Batman dark ride and a Batman & Robin Stunt Show. (You can find a few pieces of artwork from one such proposal here.)
    While I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to convert Incredible Hulk into a Batwing themed coaster adventure, and retheme Dr. Doom to be a sick creation of The Joker, you’ve got to really be wondering what Spiderman’s fate could be. The easy answer?  In a very budget saving manor, Superman could save the day here and the Daily Bugle exterior and queue themeing could be left virtually intact to become the Daily Planet instead, allowing all the money to go into the revamping of the actual ride experience, and creation of all new film sequences, all themed to a new Superman adventure. 
    Fear not Spider-Fans, please remember that this is all a big “What If” game, allowing Universal to have a game plan ready and filed away just in case they are forced to take action. Universal knows how important Spiderman is to the park, even with the Wizarding World now in place to steal some attention away. They’ll do whatever they can to keep it in place for as long as possible.
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Do you think that this would be better for Universal, now that Disney has bought the marvel Company?
Sure, i hope this will not happen anytime soon, but I see this being something inevitable in the future....
Thoughts?

5 Comment(s):

I hope that if Marvel has to go away from IOA, DC doesn't arrive in any way. There are dozens of Superman or Batman rides around the world. And with a questionable quality as experiences, I must say. I think it would be better to re-do the whole area with something new and fresh. Some time ago Universal passed a poll about the same thing, and one of the options was Futurama. I salivated then; it could be soooo nice! ^^

Jason said...

I think Universal should move away from branded theming altogether. Everything, when compared to Disney branded theming, seems hokey and cheesy. I would suggest that Universal invent new characters that are unique to their theme parks and rides. Rides last a long time. What happens if Disney or someone else buys the rights to Harry Potter in the future? What will happen to the Wizarding (Is that even a word by the way?) World of Harry Potter? I would suggest they stay more mythological and generic. One example would be the Dinosaur ride at Disney World. It's not based on any brand, but it still delivers great theming and a great attraction. Six Flags and Universal are both way too enamored with branded rides. It's just not necessary and will quickly become dated. Just my 2c.

I don't see it the same way. In fact the only area that wasn't linked to any brand was Lost Continent, and it has been the one bulldozed to make room for WWoHP. We have to be realistic, and the HP brand has boosted incredibly the attendance numbers of the park, much more than a generic theme.
Btw, I thought Dinosaur! was linked to the Disney movie with the same name, wasn't it? Even with that, being an EMV ride too, I prefer much more Indiana Jones, for example. A brand is something that stays in the visitor mind, maybe is even the reason to make the visit... I think it's important to stay confident to a cohesive, own style. But brands are becoming a truly must in theme park industry.

Derrick said...

Jason, "Dinosaur" is based on the 2000 CGI-movie of the same name, as Juan said. The history of the attraction further kills your argument, because for the first two years of its operating life it was "Countdown To Extinction". Only when Dinosaur came out did they change the name (leaving most of the ride experience the same), thus *branding* a ride that was previously "unbranded".

Disney will not buy the rights to Harry Potter, as the whole rumor mill was filled with where JK would allow the rights for theme park attractions go. Even if they do manage it, it is a completely different property than Marvel, and the best Disney would be able to do is simply add their own Harry Potter attraction without affecting existing ones like WWoHP.

"Branded rides become dated quickly?" Yeah, because Hulk, Doom, Spider-Man, Ripsaw Falls, Bilge Rat Barges, River Adventure, and Seuss Landing are all really showing their age. Wait, what? If we're talking strictly IoA here, *none* of the rides originally installed are "dated", because they do not pigeonhole their stories in a certain timeline. USF is another story entirely, but that was never a "fantastical escapism" park to begin with. Don't let your Disney fandom cloud reality; the fact that you have the gall to place Six Flags and Universal in the same sentence is laughable.

And OTPN admin, I believe Six Flags has much more than a "semi-lock" on the DC Comics license.

Thanks a lot for the great comment, everyone! I personally think that the fact that they brand their attraction is partially good, but as somebody else said, not EVERY brand can survive very long... they have to be very careful on what they choose, and I think they've made all great choices (all the Orlando theme parks). The only brand i think is failing is the "Jimmy Neutron" brand. It's not interesting to children anymore IMHO...

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