With a title like that, how could you not read this blog entry? Right? Right?!
One of my Disney message boards linked me to an article where concept art from an old project in Dubai has surfaced. (Article link here
) Basically, in late 2007, the United Arab Emirate-based Al Ahli Group and Marvel struck a deal to construct a theme park in Dubai. It was originally suppose to open in 2011 but has since been pushed back to 2012. The park is to be designed by teams located in Hollywood, Orland, and Dubai itself. All of which are not connected at all to Disney Imagineering. The park is estimated to cost $1 billion USD.
There’s no news as to how the buy-out from Disney will affect this project.
But let’s take a tour of the concept art, shall we? We’ll start with the entrance gate to the park!
Reminds me of Jurassic Park, but I think it has something to do with the color pallet. So what’s actually inside the park?
This is the centerpiece of the park. The area known as Crater Lake. It is a kin to the castle you see at the center of every Disney theme park around the world, and designed as such. The big attraction, as you can see in the concept art, is a roller coaster that drops you under the lake itself. The ride system is very similar to a similar roller coaster found in Japan. Why can’t we Americans get unique coasters like this?!
And the big selling point of the theme park is this place dubbed City of Heroes. Here guests will encounter pretty much every Marvel character in the library, both heroes and villains. Or at least the popular ones. It’s also a roller coaster junkies wet dream, with suspended coasters throughout the area, one of which is called “Flying with Spiderman.”
It’s also the place where you’ll find an Avengers 4D attraction. One can only wonder what kind of gimmicks they will use when Hulk smashes the theatre floor like in the concept art.
Now, it’s not pointed out on the map
where this is, but this is concept art for Stark Industries. That’s right, you get to go inside Stark Industries. The anchor ride for this is a flying coaster. It’s also where I believe the “X-Men Danger Room” attraction may be housed that is mentioned in the article linked above. Yes, I know it has nothing to do with Iron Man, but it fits the theme, God damn it!
Now all is great so far, right? What could possible screw this up? Well, one character can: Spongebob. Now, I don’t know the whole story, but I believe since this project was conceived before the Disney buy-out, the idea was to have a safety net of sorts using the parent company’s product. At the time, Universal had the rights to any theme park representation of the Marvel characters. They still do for however long those contracts say they do. That’s my assumption as to how we ended up with the area of Nick Neighborhood.
Another oddity is this place known as Oasis of Magic. Not much information or concept art has surfaced involving this land, so who knows what this place is all about and how it relates to Marvel. If it does.
There is more concept art in the article
. Overall, this is a very ambitious project, and to have it located in Dubai does make me wonder what exactly is the draw to that location. I mean, when I hear Dubai, I think “eccentric billionaires buying spiral jetties or man-made islands in the shape of global continents” before I think “theme park destination.” But what do I know? Maybe it’s cheaper to build a theme park there than it is in, say, Florida.