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My Precious!

Rumored Tolkien Theme Park: The Hobbitest Place On Earth

Look, New Zealand, you’re really far away from us and it’s really expensive to get to you. Odds are, most of us won’t ever be able to experience your beauty, never mind Hobbiton. So it’s with a great amount of glee we report a theme park may be in the works as a joint venture between Universal, Warner Bros., and the Tolkien estate. Get ready for Mr. Frodo’s Wild Ride! 

I’ll be honest, the idea of a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit theme park is equally exciting to me as the possibility of a Star Wars theme park which, come on, is totally going to happen now that Disney owns it. Am I the only one who wants a lazy ride down the river in a Treebeard replica? Ooh! Ooh! And barrel rides! And experience Saruman’s fall!

Ok, my imagination is getting away with me now. The news came from the the Orlando United forum where a regular (and reported reputable) user posted this message:

Universal asked Warner Bros. to approach the Tolkien family since the Tolkien’s trust WB with the success of the LOTR series. WB described how Universal was willing to work with JK Rowling and how the 2 of them (WB and JK) held Universal’s feet to the fire to uphold Rowling’s vision of the IP. And I believe that the Tolkien’s may have actually talked to JK Rowling. This was before Universal said a word to the Tolkien’s. So after WB stoked the fire, Universal entered the picture with an impressive plan.

You probably remember (and have maybe even visited?) Universal Orlando’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Islands of Adventure opening in 2010 to huge success. None of the parties involved have said anything official on the matter but I’m sure some favorable fan buzz couldn’t hurt.

What rides or attractions would you like to see? Susana told me she’s more interested in the food they’d have available. Specifically they’re dwarf restaurants. I, for one, want to ride on a fake elk and look awesome.

(via /Film)

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  • Becky Straple

    I’m really surprised by this… I thought the Tolkien family had sworn up and down never to do this. Surprisingly, instead of being excited, I’m kind of…disappointed. I’m not an elitist or a purist necessarily, but somehow I always thought LOTR was, I don’t know, bigger than a theme park?

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, but how tall will you have to be to ride?

  • Anonymous

    My wife on the proposed theme park: “I assume there will be lots long, boring walks between rides … you know, so it’s just like the movies.” She’s clever, that one.

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes just knowing something is on the Earth is enough. Even if you never get to go there.

  • Rachael Hixon

    I wouldn’t say the Estate trusts WB even the least little bit. They didn’t give the go-ahead for anything WB has done; a lot of the rights to Hobbit and LotR were sold long ago by Tolkien himself to Saul Zaentz, and HE is the one working with WB. Whether those rights (they have limits) would extend to a theme park, I couldn’t say, but I would be more surprised if the Estate *didn’t* sue them to try to stop something like this. They are notoriously tetchy about anything commercial tying in to JRR’s work and it’s pretty difficult to get their blessing and go-ahead. They have pretty much come out and said they hate most (all?) of what WB has done, but they are powerless to stop them. This is why a Silmarillion movie or TV series or anything like that will not happen any time soon; the Estate owns all the rights to Silmarillion.

  • Anonymous

    I’m pretty sure we already have such a place. It’s called “all the undeveloped areas of New Zealand,” and has the added bonus that it not only can be Middle-Earth to all of us Tolkien fans, but a nice spot for hiking, horseback trekking or photography for those who don’t know the difference between Dale and Dunland.

  • Anonymous

    Rather than finding a way to stuff it into an existing park, they should make a whole new park for this, which is really what they should have done with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the first place. There have been rumors for a really long time of Universal purchasing the golf course to the north of Universal Hollywood–seems that would be the ideal spot if they do go through with that.

  • Grif

    I’m so sick of my country desperately trying to portray us as “middle earth” to the rest of the world, its just weird and sad how obsessed they are with this.

  • Anonymous

    I think I’d have to treat something like this as a movie backlot tour….I couldn’t ride any rides. It would taint the mythos to me.

  • Blaise

    That’s exactly what I thought! Thank You, I was really wondering where the author was getting her information.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    I got my information at the links provided in the article.

  • Magic Xylophone