Theme parks are designed to bring blind, childlike joy to our tiny lizard brains. They’re fantastic institutions of amusement and glee, and the best part of theme parks is often the rides.
That said, sometimes theme parks miss the boat when it comes to designing rides around the best IPs they can get their hands on. We’re already fans of building wish lists of Marvel attractions. Let’s step outside of superheroes and into some other great properties with untapped potential in the theme park world.
Alright, so Universal has gone a little Hog(warts) wild with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but the real unbelievable oversight here is that there’s no real Quidditch coaster. There’s The Forbidden Journey ride, which has a Quidditch-y portion – kinda, sorta – and the Dragon’s Challenge coaster is essentially the rebranded Fire & Ice ride that pre-dates the Potter portion of the park, but theres still no ride that captures the best damn part of the wizarding world: riding broomsticks. In fact, they opted for an adventure in a bank before a ride centered around a wizarding sport that’s a natural fit for an amusement park ride. Riddikulus!
Jurassic World’s Bubble Cars Gyrospheres
The Jurassic section of Universal’s theme parks could use a serious update. Sure, there’s a really great water ride featuring a T-Rex that scared the hell out of me until I was 22 years old, but it’s time to retire the parts of the park that look tired and take advantage of the cool shit we saw in Jurassic World, namely those bizarre rolling bubble cars. Another natural fit for a theme park ride, no? Alas, the Gyrospheres haven’t made their way to Universal. Yet.
Soarin’ Over Star Wars
Disney is hard at work with the Star Wars lands expansions at Disneyland and Disney World. We still don’t have much info about attractions, but considering the popular of Soarin’ Over California (which always has astronomical wait times), it’s hard to imagine that a similar super-sized multi-sensory flight experience over places like Endor, Tattooine, Jakku, Naboo, and even Alderaan wouldn’t be a hit.
Flight of the Falcon
Another Star Wars attraction. It’s hard to imagine that Disney wouldn’t find some way to build a big adventure ride around the Millennium Falcon. Yeah, there’s Star Tours, but if Disney’s good at one thing, it’s thinking bigger.
Here’s the thing, though: Flight of the Falcon should be indoors. Space Mountain is still hugely popular, regardless of the fact that it’s one of the oldest rides in the park and never actually goes faster than 25 mph. The fact that it’s the dark and surrounded by comets, meteors, planets and general retro-futurist delights makes it a winner. With 2016 tech, a Flight of the Falcon ride in the dark could be a Space Mountain for a new generation.
National City Tour With The Flash
Okay, yeah, there’s already a Flash ride at Six Flags, which has the rights to use DC Comics characters in its parks. But The Flash Speed Force ride is aggressively lame, unlike the Flash. He can travel faster than speed of sound! Like, way faster! The Flash deserves a ride that’s super fast, with quick turns, fake-outs and more than a little speed force magic science. Normal humans can’t possibly keep up with The Flash’s speedy reaction times, which means there are some great opportunities for misdirection and coaster debauchery.
Bonus: Ghostbusters Ride, Take 3
Ghostbusters rides have something of a checkered past. A couple of years ago, concept art for a Ghostbusters ride that never was surfaced and it looked, in a word, awesome. And though there was a Ghostbusters Spooktacular show at Universal Studios Orlando in the 90’s, it was closed in 1996. Now, with a new Ghostbusters film coming out, maybe it’s time to dig up that old concept art and take a few notes. The original concepts show individual cars on a track that moves riders through a collection of scenes not unlike the Haunted Mansion while they use ghost-busting guns to — what else? — bust ghosts.
Of course they can’t just implement the decades-old concept art, but there’s always the option of updating the ride with the new all-female crew and going with the “Busting the Patriarchy” theme. Not only can you bust some ghosts, but you can also take aim at some bratty internet trolls, too. Aw yeah, let’s get ready to “ruin” some childhoods.