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Theme park rides based on movies...

Old 05-21-12, 05:09 PM
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Theme park rides based on movies...

We've all seen hundred-million-dollar+ movies based on theme park rides (HAUNTED MANSION, the POTC films), but how many of us have been to rides based on movies? Actually, quite a few of us, I'm sure, because Disney and Universal are spending AVATAR-caliber budgets on rides based on...AVATAR and a host of other big-budget movies! There's an article on this phenomenon in today's New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/bu...ef=todayspaper

What struck me about it is the huge amount of money being spent to make these things:
$100 million on a TRANSFORMERS ride (Universal)
$450 million on a CARS ride (Disney)
$500 million on an AVATAR ride (Disney)

It makes sense, I suppose. Movies get released and make all their money in one fell swoop, while rides are built and then operate for years and keep on making money. Universal and Disney have had big-budget flops this year but their theme park business is booming.

I wonder, though, how many months (years?) a ride like this has to function before it makes back its budget. Is there anyone in the theme park business here who has some idea how that works?
Old 05-21-12, 05:29 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

The Men In Black ride at Universal is one of my favorites. One of the few "based on movies" rides that really hold up. Never cared much for the Back To The Future ride (now closed) or Star Tours (at MGM-Disney).
Old 05-21-12, 05:52 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

I've never understood this but....in teh case of a ride..like for example..let us use teh Transformers one we see from Ash. How long till it actually makes back the cost? I don't understand how it works out.
Old 05-21-12, 06:13 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

I loved the BTTF ride! The Simpsons one is fun but it's not BTTF.

As for how they make their money back on the rides, they do it with increased ticket and concession sales. New rides attract more customers.
Old 05-21-12, 06:18 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Originally Posted by Solid Snake PAC View Post
I've never understood this but....in teh case of a ride..like for example..let us use teh Transformers one we see from Ash. How long till it actually makes back the cost? I don't understand how it works out.
Paging reggieray to thread 601780, we need a translation!
Old 05-21-12, 06:49 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

The Batman ride at Six Flags is pretty cool.
Old 05-21-12, 06:56 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Originally Posted by mhg83 View Post
The Batman ride at Six Flags is pretty cool.
Which Batman ride at which Six Flags? The one in California sucks.
Old 05-21-12, 07:01 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Before Paramount sold it to Cedar Fair, many of the coasters at Canada's Wonderland were based on their movies (Top Gun, Tomb Raider, and The Italian Job off the top of my head). The Top Gun ride, now renamed Flight Deck, still has extensive theme decoration with aircraft hangars and other military paraphenalia.
Old 05-21-12, 07:05 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

No mention of the greatest theme park ride ever? Harry Potter.
Old 05-21-12, 07:26 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

They should spend a couple hundred mil on a Jigsaw's Puzzle Palace ride.
Old 05-21-12, 08:21 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum View Post
We've all seen hundred-million-dollar+ movies based on theme park rides (HAUNTED MANSION, the POTC films), but how many of us have been to rides based on movies?
Everyone because those came first. Who starts an article like that, makes me not want to read the rest.

Last edited by SterlingBen; 05-21-12 at 09:15 PM.
Old 05-21-12, 08:36 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

I loved the BTTF ride at Universal here in California.

I also enjoyed the Mummy ride, and I liked the Batman and Riddler rides at Six Flags. They're showing their age now though.
Old 05-21-12, 08:53 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Originally Posted by Mabuse View Post
Which Batman ride at which Six Flags? The one in California sucks.
Illinois. It was the Burton Batman ride.
Old 05-21-12, 09:23 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Some numbers to think about:
  • Disneyland usually averages closes to 15 million visitors a year.
  • With a one-day adult ticket at $87, Disney makes close to, if not more than, $1.3 billion a year based upon admissions alone.
  • If each visitor spends at least $20 in the park during their visit there, Disney makes an additional $300 million a year based upon visitor spending.
Of course, not everyone pays $87 a ticket. Some go for the park hopper ticket which costs $125 for a day. Some go for the cheaper two-or-three day ticket options. Others have annual passes that start at $469. And again, a lot of those visitors probably spend way more than $20 during the day they're there.

I would say before one considers overhead costs and profit, Disneyland's theme parks alone probably make close to $2 billion a year, if not (significantly) more.

Universal Studios Hollywood, on the other hand, blows compared to Disneyland so who the fuck goes there?
Old 05-21-12, 11:03 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

New rides are just how they update and keep the place modern. Don't think of it as spending $500 million on an Avatar ride. Think of it as spending $500 million to update the park and keep it fresh. I doubt too many people are going to make a specific trip to Disney JUST so they can ride Avatar but if Disney never updated their rides people would just stop coming.

Kinda like a sports bar upgrading their tvs from old shitty tubes to lcds or plasmas. Most people won't go to a specific bar JUST because it has plasma tvs but if the bar never upgraded the tvs and just kept fixing the tubes eventually people would stop coming because other places DID upgrade and they would just go there instead.
Old 05-21-12, 11:25 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

I liked the Groundhog Day ride. You come back to the platform, and then a park employee rechecks your seat belt and sends you off again.
Old 05-21-12, 11:28 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Seeing the commercials for Universal Studios and flying above the park with E.T. seemed awesome. But the actual ride is enclosed indoors on a track, and only the front row of each car gets to have E.T. with them. That was disappointing.

And the huge costs for the ride make sense, they have to hire the engineers, test, design, do all that safety stuff, landscaping, promotion, maintenance, decommission the previous ride or buy new property, make sure it'll last for years both physically and commercially.

I remember seeing something on TV about the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. They talked about both the movies and the ride. For the ride, they were saying that it was more challenging than the movies in a sense, because for the movies you only see the animatronics from one angle, so you don't necessarily have to build the whole body or whatever, but for the rides, the dinosaurs have to look good from every angle.

Last edited by bluetoast; 05-21-12 at 11:37 PM.
Old 05-22-12, 12:07 AM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Backdraft
Old 05-22-12, 09:54 AM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

I'm bummed Universal Studios Florida got rid of Jaws at the beginning this year. At least we get the BD release in August.

See a video of the final voyage here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwlKgc-aiw4
Old 05-22-12, 10:06 AM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Originally Posted by gp1086 View Post
I'm bummed Universal Studios Florida got rid of Jaws at the beginning this year. At least we get the BD release in August.

See a video of the final voyage here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwlKgc-aiw4
Yeah, I liked the Jaws ride too...the Jurassic Park one is "just okay" in my book...not really as movie-based as I'd like.
Old 05-22-12, 10:06 AM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

I like the Total Recall ride. You don't actually go on anything, but somehow at the end of the day you seem to remember riding something, and you find a souvenir picture in your pocket of you and some weird baby-looking mutant waving at the camera.
Old 05-22-12, 10:09 AM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Originally Posted by Matthew Chmiel View Post
Universal Studios Hollywood, on the other hand, blows compared to Disneyland so who the fuck goes there?
I've heard the King Kong 3D ride is pretty awesome. Never been on it, though.
Old 05-22-12, 12:23 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Originally Posted by gp1086 View Post
I'm bummed Universal Studios Florida got rid of Jaws at the beginning this year. At least we get the BD release in August.

See a video of the final voyage here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwlKgc-aiw4
They got rid of Jaws jumping out of the water? Are they crazy?

Also, like Bluetoast said, a lot of these costs are R&D. If the new Cars ride costs $400 million dollars that is incredibly expensive, but you must realize that a big part of that money is the R&D to basicly "invent" a new ride system. Once that has been invented the ride can be reporduced (at Disney China or somewhere else) for half that cost.
Old 05-22-12, 01:05 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt View Post
No mention of the greatest theme park ride ever? Harry Potter.
Probably no mention because it's still fairly new. I'm looking forward to checking for the first time later this year.

It's worth the theme parks money to tag their new rides with labels of big movies/franchises. Say that Harry Potter ride just had a generic name, I probably wouldn't have heard about it and wouldn't make sure I went to it when I was in Orlando.
Old 05-22-12, 01:29 PM
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Re: Theme park rides based on movies...

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
I loved the BTTF ride at Universal here in California.
Originally Posted by Mondo Kane View Post
Backdraft
These are the two that stuck out from my trip to Universal/Disneyland with friends when I was 18 or 19. Although I remember seeing vomit at the bottom of BTTF's giant screen.

I remember being disappointed in the Jurassic Park ride.

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