On June 18, the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort opens, and we could not be happier little movie geeks. We can't wait to buy our own magic wands at Ollivander's and get buttered on butterbeer at the Hog's Head! But all this hoopla has gotten us thinking about other film franchises, many much older than Harry Potter, that deserve their own theme parks. Here's our list of eleven action, fantasy, sci-fi and comedy franchises that we would love to immerse ourselves in for at least four or five days out of the year.
I'll admit it: I love theme parks (I visit at least a couple each summer) and I love Harry Potter, so I've pretty much been excited for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando since it was announced. The footage and images coming out of this park (opening June 18th) look pretty awesome. (See for yourself!) I'm seriously considering booking a flight and braving the crowds so I can indulge in some ButterBeer and chocolate frogs. The only real disappointment I have is that while the rides haven't totally been revealed, there seem to only be three. Perhaps that number will grow, but to start there is just Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (a magical ride inside the castle), The Dragon Challenge (dueling roller coaster) and the Flight of the Hippogriff (a family friendly roller coaster). The reason I go to parks is for the thrill rides, not necessarily for the merchandise, but since Wizarding World is planted next to the Hulk roller coaster that I still love and the Spider-Man attraction, I suppose that I could find something else to do while I was there. Anyway, not everyone needs to be spun upside down constantly in order to be entertained, and what WW sounds like it has an amount of detail sure to please Muggle and wizard alike. Here are the five things that I think look the most impressive about it: