As the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser is currently open to the public, immersive resorts like the one we were able to preview are now in the eyes of the world. Should this experiment work, there’s going to be a bunch of studios that will want to replicate that experience with their own stables of IP. If Star Wars has landed the first punch in resort experiences that transport parkgoers to another world, it’s time to get creative and start selecting other movies that deserve the same treatment. So let’s walk through nine hypothetical immersive resorts that deserve to happen, and why they’d be the perfect experiences for thrill-seekers to experience.
One of the first suggestions fans on the internet threw into the world was an immersive resort that was based on the Jurassic World franchise. Plunging guests into a fully-functional version of John Hammond’s dream would be a fantastic experience for anyone who chose to stay there, and a pretty smart option for lodging at Universal’s new Epic Universe park.
Whether or not there would be special days when chaos broke out, and guests would need to escape rampaging dinosaurs, is something to be debated. Even if it was just a replica of Isla Nublar’s fun destination running in tiptop shape, you could bet there will be flocks of fans who’d want to watch a Tyrannosaurus being fed a goat for fun.
J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World
Another early suggestion that came out of the frenzy surrounding the opening of Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser was, of course, J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. While you can’t just build another Hogwarts Castle on the Universal grounds, the previous rumors that the Fantastic Beasts saga would be used for a whole section of Universal’s Epic Universe park do lend credence to this possibility.
Building a period-based resort where fans could explore the world of Newt Scamander in an immersive manner would help expand the property's imprint at Universal Orlando. There’s only so much room in the existing two parks, and the franchise is so important that it might be getting yet another attraction in Universal Orlando. Crafting a fully immersive experience that Harry Potter fans could live inside of for a couple of nights sounds like a wise move.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe
You had to have seen this coming, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is something that Disney Parks has to be scheming to make happen at some point in the future. When you have the keys to the largest film franchise on the market, every chance at cashing in goes a long way. The good news is that there’s an absolutely brilliant way they could make this happen, but the bad news is that Disney Parks will need to be careful how it launches into that enterprise.
Stark Tower feels like the best way to bring the MCU into the world of immersive resorts. Multiple floors of adventurous activities, Avengers training activities and even lab demonstrations of the latest world-saving gadgets could await guests that stay in this potential attraction. However, limitations in space and IP usage would mean that the right Disney park would need to be selected to turn this dream into a reality.
DC Comics should feel free to jump into the theme park game itself, as its continued relationship with Six Flags has brought the world tons of rides and attractions. With the box office success of The Batman looking to keep that name on the lips of many parkgoers and movie fans, there’s a chance that people might be ready to be immersed in the world of Gotham City. Matt Reeves’ spin on the Caped Crusader feels like the ticket to do so, and at exactly the right time.
The criminal underworld of Gotham City can surely afford to put up a luxury hotel in the city that Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne presides over. Guests can either choose to work for people like Colin Farrell’s Penguin or stay on the side of good and help Batman nab the villains. Either way, a ritzy resort experience in the middle of a battle for the soul of Gotham could be the perfect way to keep that Bat-buzz going.
Believe it or not, Lionsgate almost built a John Wick attraction in New York City. If this experience had come to pass, fans would have been able to step into the world of professional assassins through a “shooting ride.” Basically, think Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters or Men In Black: Alien Attack, but with Keanu Reeves’ legendary hitman as the theme. While those plans seem to be scrapped for the time being, there’s an opportunity to do one better with this slam bang action adventure.
Rather than merely building a shooting ride, Lionsgate could turn John Wick into a fully immersive experience, straddling the worlds inside and outside of The Continental. With guests being given targets they have to take out, roaming between the full hotel experience and the more vicious streets outside it could turn into quite the adventure. Of course, there’s also the consequences of taking out your fellow assassins on sacred ground, which would spark a totally different mode of play once guests are deemed “excommunicado.”
Let’s scale back the physical excitement for a bit and turn on our brains, shall we? Everyone loves a good murder mystery, as seen with the successful nature of the Knives Out film series. People even tend to seek out such experiences at dinner theater events that replicate the drawing room mysteries that Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig have taken their cues from. Isn't it about time to mix these two worlds together?
Picture this: an entire hotel that’s made up to look like a stately manor of sorts. Guests are invited to stay for a celebration that quickly turns to murder. Throughout the weekend, Benoit Blanc (or a detective acting on his behalf) tries to help everyone put together the clues left behind after this heinous crime. At the end of the stay, everyone gets to help call out the suspects and either dismiss or accuse them in equal fashion. Dessert will consist of donuts, with the donut holes resting inside of them.
You can’t draft a list of potentially immersive hotels and not include Stephen King’s The Shining as one of your candidates. While it might not be something you can bring the entire family to, recreating The Overlook Hotel and its many hauntings in real-life is a prospect that’s too good to pass up. Not to mention that with the connected nature of King’s own universe of stories, you can do a lot more than just focus on this one story.
The core of this premise would establish the Overlook as the hub world of sorts, with guests anchored in the nightmare of the Torrance family’s hellish stay. Branching forth from that into various wings of the hotel could be experiences based on other novels, like IT, Pet Sematary and, of course, The Dark Tower. Since all things serve The Beam, you have to include that last one, as it’s crucial to making the entire experience work.
Alita: Battle Angel
Some might think that including Robert Rodriguez’s cult hit Alita: Battle Angel is a weird suggestion given that progress seemingly stalled out on any sequels. Still, since Rodriguez is still hopeful for change, it’s anybody’s guess what’s happening at this moment. Bringing back an immersive experience that transports audiences into Iron City could help change that.
Back when Alita: Battle Angel was ramping up for theatrical release, an attraction called Passport To Iron City was opened in Los Angeles, New York and Austin. Encompassing things like Motorball, bounty hunting and even drinks at the Kansas bar, Alita fans could get their fill of the world they loved so much. Merely reviving that experience on a permanent basis might be fun to revisit, but turning it into a full-fledged resort could prove more successful than some would think, with a potential sequel benefiting from the hoopla.
Twilight fans love to flock to the sleepy town of Forks, Washington, the setting of Stephenie Meyer’s brooding vampire love story. While that probably brings in a nice chunk of change for the local townsfolk, it might also be a bit of a hassle to have tourists showing up in tribute for Edward and Bella’s romance. So why not give Twihards somewhere to really get into the world of blood feuds and werewolves, and making your way through high school navigating both?
Loyalists could still visit Forks to their heart's content, but imagine if you could stay at a resort where you chose a faction and interacted with other guests as a result? Human, werewolf and vampire-inclined guests could start out as enemies, but would eventually need to band together to foil some insidious plot from one or all of those bodies. Plus, if Twilight fans really wanted to splash out, they could rent out the venue to have a wedding as picture perfect as that of Edward and Bella.
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser could be the key to major theme parks starting to build more immersive resorts. If this trend starts to catch on, any and every idea will be worth chasing down. What we’ve suggested above is just the beginning, and there’s no telling what ideas we may have missed. For the moment, you can catch the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience, as it’s now open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Just make sure to read up on what you need to know before you go. If you’re interested in what’s headed our way in the world of movies, check out the 2022 movie releases, which are all housed in one helpful package.
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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