The Lord of the Rings is one of the biggest and best known media properties on the planet, so it’s no surprise that companies are looking to license it for their own endeavours. Amazon reportedly paid The Tolkien Estate $250 million for the rights alone to The Lord of the Rings for its upcoming TV show. And now, a report claims that theme park giant Universal is considering adding a Lord of the Rings area to its upcoming fourth park in Florida.
This information comes by way of the Disney & More blog, which itself says it received the information from a “reliable insider source.” Additionally, SlashFilm reports that the blog has accurately reported on unannounced theme park news in the past. That being said, this is far from official at this stage, though it is exciting to think about.
This is not the first time we’ve heard about a potential Lord of the Rings theme park. All the way back in 2010, a survey reportedly from Universal asked respondents if they would be interested in a theme park and attractions that let them travel to Middle-earth.
One part of the survey reportedly contained the following language:
“Imagine if you will a world unlike any you’ve ever visited before: it’s Middle Earth, the ancient and beautiful land forged by J.R.R. Tolkien as the backdrop for his two most well known creations, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Walk as a human among dwarves, elves, orcs and hobbits–all faithfully recreated and portrayed in the spirit of the original characters as they appeared in both the books and the movies. In this land you’ll experience one-of-a-kind rides and attractions that bring to life some of the most memorable experiences of Tolkien’s world including Bilbo’s hobbit hole, the fortress at Isengard (before it was destroyed) and even the dark world of Mordor — including the terrifying volcanic Mount Doom.”
According to Disney & More’s source, Universal’s fourth park is codenamed Project 314. In addition to The Lord of the Rings, the fourth park could be home to the already announced Super Nintendo World area. The blog adds that Universal is trying to work with The Pokemon Company to add Pokemon to the Super Nintendo World.
The report goes on to claim that Universal is considering a new Harry Potter area called “Ministry of Magic,” themed around the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Universal already has a major Harry Potter zone in the form of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A new Jurassic Park/World ride is reportedly being considered for the fourth park as well.
Disney & More’s source said Universal is working “full speed ahead” on its fourth park, with the estimate currently that the park would open before 2023-2024. Another interesting element to this story is that, if the park is indeed happening, that would put some kind of pressure on Disney–which has a major park very close to Universal’s–to create new attractions and experiences.