New Zealand is a very expensive place to travel to but yet many fans of The Lord of the Rings franchise visit every year to get a taste for Middle Earth. But soon, arguably one of the largest franchises in the world could be getting its own theme park. A recognised source on the Orlando United forum, a forum dedicated to the Universal Orlando resort, has explained the Tolkien family were approached to turn J R R Tolkien's Middle Earth into a reality.
Following the success of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter it comes as no surprise that Warner Bros have broached the idea with the Tolkien family who own the rights to the beyond successful series of books. Further to that Middle Earth has experienced a new lease of life in the past few months with the release of The Hobbit in December and two further films to follow. It's also discussed in the forum how much input JK Rowling was allowed to put in to the Wizarding World and consistent with her vision of the Potterverse.
There are so many possibilities with a Middle Earth theme park with the amount of source material around by Tolkien. Along with everything covered in the films and The Hobbit series there is also a wealth of unused material still stuck in the novels themselves which could create areas in the park. Rides could vary from riding the eagles, defending Helms Deep and Minas Tirith or even experiencing the battle of the five armies. The Mines of Moria is begging for a Hollister-style shopping experience along with live action pieces in Balins tomb. Even, bear with me on this one, Rivendell spa world where you can experience massages from the elves and relax in hot tubs and saunas before continuing on your journey to Mount Doom.
The possibilities are endless and if any franchise is deserving of its own theme park, it'd be on the top of many fans lists. There is a concern though that the Tolkien family are infamously, tight, with their relative's source material. Christopher Tolkien, son of J R R, expressed a disdain for the idea of the film adaptation saying: "my own position is that The Lord of the Rings is peculiarly unsuitable to transformation into visual dramatic form." Later on, Christopher continued to claim that the films "gutted the book, making an action movie for 15-25 year olds" so it could take some real convincing to let them create a theme park for 15-25 year olds around the Middle Earth world.
The forum source did continue with: "As of now there is a lot of hammering out to go, but Universal has gotten a lot farther than Disney ever did." So even though it is a long way off, we are closer than we have ever been to truly experiencing Middle Earth. One with a McDonalds in The Shire and a four-hour wait to ride the Mount Doom Coaster.