The theme parks just keep coming, don’t they?
Just earlier this month, the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” theme park opened in Universal Studios Hollywood (yes, a theme park within a theme park), with thousands flocking there in their Hogwarts robes to have a taste of Butterbeer. Back in August last year, Disney announced that Star Wars-themed lands would be built in its Disneyland parks in Anaheim and Orlando, with a huge chunk of Anaheim Disneyland closed since January this year to make way for the new attraction.
Closer to home, game developer Ubisoft announced in September last year that it would develop a first-of-its-kind Ubisoft theme park in Malaysia, with construction starting in end-2016 or early 2017. Way before that, Genting had already started work on its world-first Twentieth Century Fox World theme park in December 2013, which was slated to open by end of 2016, but delayed to 2017 due to the ringgit’s sharp depreciation last year.
Now, fans of Looney Tunes characters and DC Comics superheroes can rejoice, because a brand new Warner Bros. Theme park is under construction in Abu Dhabi and set to open in 2018. The $1 billion theme park will be located on the city’s man-made Yas Island, which already features a Formula 1 racetrack, a Ferrari-branded theme park called Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and a gigantic water park called Yas Waterpark.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, which owns the rights to Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny and Tweety Bird; DC Comics’ Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman; the Scooby Doo gang, and many other beloved figures, has partnered with Miral Asset Management of Abu Dhabi to develop the theme park. The project, which was signed in 2007, covers the creation of a 19-ride theme park and a hotel, along with multiplex cinemas, jointly owned by Warner Bros, Abu Dhabi-based property developer Aldar Properties PJSC and the Abu Dhabi Media Company. The partnership between the three companies also includes a joint venture fund to finance films and publish video games, and to develop related ventures such as production facilities, digital content distribution and retail opportunities across the Gulf.
Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and chief executive of Warner Bros. Entertainment, said the park will be “a fully interactive, innovative and unique experience that will allow fans of all ages to experience the most exciting aspects of Warner Bros. in a completely immersive environment.”
Along with the confirmed opening date of 2018, it was also revealed that about 30% of the on-the-ground construction has been completed, with all designs and rides approved. The United Arab Emirates hopes the new park will boost tourism on Yas Island, which is already home to seven hotels, more than 100 restaraunts and eateries, shopping malls and golf courses.
With so many theme parks already opened around the world, and with more on the way, which one would be your pick to visit? Tell us in the comments! 😉