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Old 04-04-2007, 09:03 AM   #1
Sauron the White
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Middle-earth amusement park

Its a slow day here. HURIN is not out for two more weeks. There seems no news on the HOBBIT film front. Pretty boring. May I suggest a light topic that could be some fun. Apologies if this was done before but I am new here and could not find this in the archives.

Pretend you turned on the news and heard that the Disney company (or some other mega big bucks outfit if you hate Disney) had just bought all rights from both the Tolkien Estate and the Saul Zaentz company to build a massive park called MIDDLE-EARTH. It would contain attractions, restaurants, shows, rides, and everything else you find at an upscale amusement park but be based on the world created by JRRT in books and film. It would not be a disneyfication of Tolkien but care would be taken to assure reasonable accuracy. So please do not repeat the letter from JRRT about Disney and LOTR. People such as Alan Lee, John Howe and Ted Nasmith would be hired to help design and build it.

Here is my question: what would you like to see in such a place? Imagine a place as large as EPCOT CENTER or MGM STUDIOS completely devoted to Middle-earth. Budget - a billion dollars, maybe two.

My opening suggestion would be a Mines of Moria attraction. In part a slower "look at that" ride and part roller coaster, it would start with the doors opening taking you into the dark, then illumination, up the stairs along the graveyard, along the cliffs looking down into the abyss, deciding which track to take of 3 passegeways, the Great Hall, Balins Tomb complete with orc attack and cave troll, those crazy stairs crumbling, of course the Balrog and the Bridge, and exit into daylight.

Next?
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:39 AM   #2
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Falls of Rauros Water Slide?

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Old 04-04-2007, 11:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauron the White
My opening suggestion would be a Mines of Moria attraction. In part a slower "look at that" ride and part roller coaster, it would start with the doors opening taking you into the dark, then illumination, up the stairs along the graveyard, along the cliffs looking down into the abyss, deciding which track to take of 3 passegeways, the Great Hall, Balins Tomb complete with orc attack and cave troll, those crazy stairs crumbling, of course the Balrog and the Bridge, and exit into daylight.
Interesting idea. However, I'd prefer an "enhanced version"... at the bridge, you'll suddenly stop and then the Balrog will appear in its full height (only the designers would have to decide whether he'd have wings or not), and then the bridge will fall and you with it That's what I call adrenaline ride!
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Old 04-04-2007, 11:48 AM   #4
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Just had a really weird stream of consciousness where you have an amusement park full of disgruntled Hobbits because all the really cool rides have signs posted saying "You must be this tall to ride this ride" and of course, none of them are.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:08 PM   #5
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Oh dear me, not Disney! Nor would I be pleased with Blackpool Pleasure Beach taking on the job after they destroyed Southport's Pleasureland. Maybe Camelot would be an appropriate company? Or Alton 'Two' Towers?

Now I can see Shelob's Lair, a rollercoaster in total darkness. It would be one of those where you sit with your legs and arms dangling freely. As you go hurtling through the darkness vast spiderwebs hit you in the face and eerie voices scream "precioussss". The air is chill and dank. Then at the height of the coaster, a blinding bright light flashes on and this huge animatronic spider bears down on you as you plummet to your doom.



There would be two carousels. Bill The Pony would be for the kiddies, nice and gentle, the 'horsies' soft and cuddly. However Shadowfax would be strictly for grown ups who would be held down upon their steely steeds by mere G Force as the carousel hurtled round like a mad thing.
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë
Oh dear me, not Disney! Nor would I be pleased with Blackpool Pleasure Beach taking on the job after they destroyed Southport's Pleasureland. Maybe Camelot would be an appropriate company? Or Alton 'Two' Towers?

Now I can see Shelob's Lair, a rollercoaster in total darkness. It would be one of those where you sit with your legs and arms dangling freely. As you go hurtling through the darkness vast spiderwebs hit you in the face and eerie voices scream "precioussss". The air is chill and dank. Then at the height of the coaster, a blinding bright light flashes on and this huge animatronic spider bears down on you as you plummet to your doom.



There would be two carousels. Bill The Pony would be for the kiddies, nice and gentle, the 'horsies' soft and cuddly. However Shadowfax would be strictly for grown ups who would be held down upon their steely steeds by mere G Force as the carousel hurtled round like a mad thing.
... You frighten me.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:57 AM   #7
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... You frighten me.
You're not the only one then. I have to keep away from mirrors.

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Old 04-05-2007, 11:50 AM   #8
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Lalwende - I mentioned Disney because that is the one company everyone associates with the massive theme park. A place with much more than just rides but hotels, restaurants, theaters, playhouses, and landscaped to the nth degree. The overall effect is to create a world that you enter into.

Legate - I love your idea of the falling car that goes with the Balrog and Gandalf when the bridge collapses. Kind of like the fall at the Haunted Hotel at MGM Studios.

What about:
- a hotel modeled after the Prancing Pony Inn
-a ride where you are in Grond and crash through the gates of Minas Tirith
- a restaurant where you feast with the Elves ala THE HOBBIT (the menu possibilities there are endless..... anyone for red meat off the bone?)
- hotel rooms up in the trees ala Lothlorien
- a low cost no frill hotel modeled after orc lodgings
- Corsairs ride battling the evildoers going much further than POTC ever did
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:40 PM   #9
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Tolkien

The funny thing is that Disney actually did have the rights at one point but sold them to New Line. Haha

Anyway, there would definitely be Lothlorien and Rivendell restaurants. There would have to be some nice hobbit-ish and man-ish pubs. There should be a hobbit hole cafe, which, of course would be in a real (larger scale) hobbit hole. There would be a take-a-photo-as-a-middle-earth-character shop. Elven archery, for ages twelve and up, would be a nice touch.

Ooh, there must be a virtual reality "Flight to the Ford" ride on a mechanical horse. {movie or book version?} You would feel the ringwraiths breathing on your neck as you hurry to escape them. All the time being surrounded by their shrill calls. Then when the river washes them away you would feel the spray of the galloping waters.

What about a barrow-downs walk through? *eek* With Barrow Wights coming unsettlingly close.

There could be an Emyn Muil maze!!!! All the time with random hints of, "Follow us quickly this way, precioussss." Coming from a hidden speaker system.
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:40 PM   #10
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Tolkien

I thought of more. Haha. There would be shops for clothing and accessories from different M.E. cultures.

There could be Minas Tirith roller coaster, a glittering caves boat ride, a Fangorn play ground, and mushroom cafe!

This is fun!
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Old 04-06-2007, 06:08 AM   #11
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Boots

Okay, let's do this with a little more thought as to how it would be organised, working along the lines of the Grévien & Cie company, which runs such amusement parks as Parc Asterix, outside of Paris, rather than Disney.

So, first of all, would we have different domains, where rides, galleries, stores, cafes would reflect the local culture? Thus, a Shire domain, a Rivendell, a Lonely Mountain, and so forth. A rollercoaster in The Shire domain, or in Fangorn Forest, would be wooden, like the Tonnerre de Zeus at Parc Asterix, but a steel multi-looping ride would more likely be found in .... Mordor?

Of course, the entrance would have signs saying "Quenya spoken here" (in Quenya), or "Sindarin spoken here" (ditto). Directional signs throughout the site would be in runes and English, possibly.

Another point to consider would be the primary Age the park would be set in. It would make most sense to set most of it in the Third Age, as likely that is what people know best. That might allow a time travel section, where we could go back to The Second Age and its battles. Or even have a multi-media section where we experience Eru's initial song. Imagine a ride which recreates the flood of Numenor! Raincoats for this one, please. This would allow for the very exciting futurama section where we could envision a Seventh Age of Middle-earth. Not our own world with its industries and machines and pollutions, but a wholly imagined "what if": a 'modern' vision of Middle earth in keeping with attributes most popular from the early ages. (yes, I know, this would not be in keeping with Tolkien's sense of the long defeat, but hey, this is all about experiencing an imaginary concept.)

An entertainment section, with musical shows, comedy routines, concerts, might be called The Party Tree. Rides where chairs spin round and round might be set in the Lothlorien section, suggesting flets. If we allow PJ his version, we could even have a shield boarding run like a bobsled run in Helm's Deep.

We could develope games appropriate to each domain too, although I wouldn't think that a ring toss game called Dwarf toss would be PC.

And of course, when the park closes at night--10 pm or 11 pm?--there would be the obligatory Gandalf's Fireworks.
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Old 04-06-2007, 07:43 AM   #12
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I like how you think, Bęthberry. I agree it would definitely be divided into domains.

Also in the front entrance/exit, before guests actually enter ME, there would be a tribute to Tolkien. Maybe a short film about him, then a bookstore, then the main park.
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:24 AM   #13
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Some really great ideas here. I want to invest in this...... NOW! I really like the idea of street signs in runes --- great idea. Gandalf's fireworks each night is wonderful. I wonder if they could do that screeching dragon?

Bethberry & Elfchick7 - what would you do with the Land of Mordor? That could be really something special. The entrance would be The Black Gate --- of course. Or maybe a back door entrance braving Shelob in that maze. This could be amazing.
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:51 AM   #14
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This thread topic was already discussed in another thread, "Middle Earth for Real?". A pity that some do not read past threads.
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:32 PM   #15
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Mansun - when I started this thread I posted this

Quote:
Apologies if this was done before but I am new here and could not find this in the archives.
Sorry if this wastes anyone time or bandwidth.
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:49 PM   #16
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Mansun, Sauron,


It's always helpful to leave a link to another thread. I think you meant this one from October 2006....here.

Actually, the discussion of a theme park actually sprouted up in an even earlier thread back in 2003 : here. That is often the case. You may think you've found the earliest mention of something, but there are actually traces going back even more years.

There was a time when the Barrow Wight asked that no one open a thread that was a duplicate of another because of bandwidth consideration. The mods were told to eliminate all duplicates at sight. Several years ago, that policy changed because of changes in the general site. We definitely encourage people to look up older threads. It's great to continue the discussion on those or even link to them. But there is no prohibition against opening up another thread, even if it happens to be a dup.

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:48 PM   #17
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Thanks Child of the 7th Age, its always nice to read past threads. (Seriously)

To answer your question Sauron, Mordor would definitely have a constant thick fog - provided, of course, by perpetual fog machines. There would be a dead marshes boat ride with low skiff-type boats. There would be a Tower of Barad Dur a la Tower of Terror ride, with orcs and other minions of Sauron pictured throughout the beginning. A stairs of Cirith Ungol roller coaster. Also a Mount doom roller coaster which would end with almost plunging into the falming magma after gollum and the ring....
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Old 04-07-2007, 06:32 PM   #18
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Oh, yeah...
And we could even have a photo kiosk thingy where the kids can have their pictures taken, sitting on Sauron's lap!

Come on kiddies, sit yourself down with the Dark Lord for your very own personal photo.

And, of course, the kids are screaming and fighting with the poor sods dressed like Orcs who are only trying to get the kids seated on Sauron's lap. Their arms are covered with Band-Aids from all the bites they've gotten so far from the terrified tykes.

Sauron, by the way, is really named Phil and is a Divinity student who's just taking the job to get some extra cash for the next semester and he's only making minimum wage.
He spends most evenings drinking far too much to try to numb the low-grade migraine he has from little kids screaming in his ears and to dull the constant ache from all the kicks he gets in the shins and other tender spots.

And the kids... well, let's not even talk about the years of intense therapy they'll have to go through for this one ill conceived visit.

sniff... I hope you're all happy!
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Old 04-07-2007, 10:44 PM   #19
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Leaf

haha. The Mordor section could have a suggested age limit a la "The Mummy" walk through at Uni. Stu.
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:26 PM   #20
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Leaf The Shire???

Hey, does anyone have good ideas for the Shire part of the "park"?

You know, I always wanted to fund a subdivision modeled after the cultures of the Free Peoples (i.e. good guys) of Middle Earth. Any ideas for that?
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Old 04-10-2007, 05:59 AM   #21
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I see those as cottage style hotel facilities, for people making an extended stay who would like something more than just a suite.
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Old 04-10-2007, 06:30 AM   #22
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There could be a delightful "hands on" play centre for childlren where, instead of learning how toilets or electricity or combustion engines work, children could get their hands muddy in the gardens and fields of The Shire. You know, they could learn how plants grow by seeding, weeding, feeding, picking off bugs and snails, maybe even harvesting a few plants.

It could be a 'no adults' centre, where parents would watch from the sidelines, maybe sitting with some pipeweed or ale as they observe their children learning about food in nature instead of pre-packaged in the green grocers. It would have to be fun, though. Any whiff that it was a 'learning experience' would ruin it.

It could be extended to a barn or chicken coop, too, so the kids can learn how to muck out hay and stuff. Maybe even a pig sty, where feeding of the animals is allowed. It always good for a laugh for city kids to learn how to milk cows, and shaking up fresh cow milk, in time to music of course, would demonstrate the creation of butter.

A bit of the bucolic side of the Shire, but nicely themed for the pre-school set.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:36 AM   #23
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Pipe

and several gardens(vegetable and decorative)!
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:26 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauron the White
Its a slow day here. HURIN is not out for two more weeks. There seems no news on the HOBBIT film front. Pretty boring. May I suggest a light topic that could be some fun. Apologies if this was done before but I am new here and could not find this in the archives.

Pretend you turned on the news and heard that the Disney company (or some other mega big bucks outfit if you hate Disney) had just bought all rights from both the Tolkien Estate and the Saul Zaentz company to build a massive park called MIDDLE-EARTH. It would contain attractions, restaurants, shows, rides, and everything else you find at an upscale amusement park but be based on the world created by JRRT in books and film. It would not be a disneyfication of Tolkien but care would be taken to assure reasonable accuracy. So please do not repeat the letter from JRRT about Disney and LOTR. People such as Alan Lee, John Howe and Ted Nasmith would be hired to help design and build it.

Here is my question: what would you like to see in such a place? Imagine a place as large as EPCOT CENTER or MGM STUDIOS completely devoted to Middle-earth. Budget - a billion dollars, maybe two.

My opening suggestion would be a Mines of Moria attraction. In part a slower "look at that" ride and part roller coaster, it would start with the doors opening taking you into the dark, then illumination, up the stairs along the graveyard, along the cliffs looking down into the abyss, deciding which track to take of 3 passegeways, the Great Hall, Balins Tomb complete with orc attack and cave troll, those crazy stairs crumbling, of course the Balrog and the Bridge, and exit into daylight.

Next?

You took the words right out of my mouth and all these other ideas are awesome too! I was recently in Disney World and as I was enjoying MGM Studios I started thinking about LotRs rides. And "The Balrog" as I called it, was one of them, (your Mines of Moria) Except it was mainly a roller coaster, but you would go throught the halls following the fellowship and stuff and when you got to the bridge you follow Gandalf down and would spiral or something downward while watching Gandalf fight Durin's bane. Then when you reached the lake you would be get a little wet whiel beign in complete darkness. Then all of a sudden your going up the endless stair with Gandalf till you reach Durin's tower, where you see them fight and then Gwaihir whisks Gandalf after dying and it ends.
It would a be a bit long but pretty cool I would think.


I also realized something. New Line partly owns MGM (the company) so it is possible for them to make a ride at MGM Studios.

Last edited by goldfinger; 04-14-2007 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 04-14-2007, 08:06 AM   #25
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Lots of good stuff here -- I really like the idea of Mordor with fog machines - that would be extremely cool. I see in todays news that universal in Orlando is going to do a Potter Park. Not being a Harry fan - it means little to me but holds out a hope that maybe some of these ideas may someday see fruition. I would think that the possibilities and variety of Middle-earth exceed that of Potter.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:46 PM   #26
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Is there anyone we can send these ideas to in the form of something like a petition? That might get some results, provided there are enough people who want it to happen. What is your take on that?
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Old 05-09-2007, 07:59 AM   #27
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I would take a guess that if someone wanted to make such a park based on the film or books that the rights that Saul Zaentz owns just may cover it. However, anytime you get into this type of thing its all in the contract and that has never been made public.

Funny thing is that if Disney had kept to their plans to make the films this just might be something that achieved reality. Not that I would trade the excellence of PJ's version for it...
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:45 AM   #28
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Sting <<<- this sword looks like a lightsaber.

Then I suppose the only solution is to build a time machine and show Disney that they should let PJ do he films in conjunction with Weta workshops and then give them our plans for the theme park. Any mad scientist dwelling in the downs want to offer the time machine creating expertise?
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Old 05-09-2007, 12:35 PM   #29
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Oh- and it should definitely sell pipes and tobacco. If the PCers don't like it, they can vacation at Tofu World.
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:21 PM   #30
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I was an exotic dancer at Tofu World.

Is your interest piqued yet?
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:24 PM   #31
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That sounds scarier than my Morder ideas!
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:48 PM   #32
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Well... it being Tofu World, there wasn't anything particularly racy about any of the dancing. I mean... how could there be?

But, as I recall, the police were called one or two times when I performed a particularly spicy Bean Curd Macarena.
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:53 PM   #33
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Oh, boy! Maybe you had better stick to thinking up theme park ideas.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:48 PM   #34
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Thumbs up

I had to stuff my fist in my mouth, I was laughing so much, but really, be careful what you wish for: Universal plans Middle-earth theme park.

Oh yes.

We could beat them to it and establish Barrow-Downs World of course, complete with Live Werewolf and The Wall of Canonicity Death.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:08 PM   #35
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Interesting use of the apostrophe there. The Tolkien's WHAT I wonder.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:40 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë View Post
I had to stuff my fist in my mouth, I was laughing so much, but really, be careful what you wish for: Universal plans Middle-earth theme park.

Oh yes.

We could beat them to it and establish Barrow-Downs World of course, complete with Live Werewolf and The Wall of Canonicity Death.
Oh my gosh.


While I process the above information, here are some ideas:

The Argonath. With kayaking/canoeing available.

A Bridge of Khazad Doom game (perhaps as a part of the Moria attraction), where you stand on a narrow strip and hit your opponent with a sac of sand, or something like it, until one falls - though hopefully not into some abyss.

A Mirkwood ride. In the dark. With black butterflies, squirrels, and spiders. At one point it will seem like you're falling into water.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:49 PM   #37
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Riding on eagle simulation, being taken up by the eagles from mount doom and being flown far away. Kinda like the king kong ride they have at universal studios...of course with great warm volcanic winds and having to avoid falling rocks.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #38
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Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Lalwendë is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
There would be almost endless possibilities for water rides!

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Interesting use of the apostrophe there. The Tolkien's WHAT I wonder.
They could maybe run English classes for bloggers...
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:42 PM   #39
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
My inner grumpy old woman, and indeed the outer one since there is little difference these days reckons Tolkien theme parks already exist - a shelf full of his books and an imagination.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:10 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithalwen View Post
Interesting use of the apostrophe there. The Tolkien's WHAT I wonder.
You got to the mocking before me, I'm afraid. I was going to say a similar thing about the article. As I was reading it, I was waiting for them to say what, exactly, was Tolkien's.

If it were possible, and this is all 'what if', anyway, the park should be laid out like Middle-earth. The boarders of the park would be like the boarders of Middle-earth during the third age. The Shire would be north-west, Mordor and Gondor being south-east. They'll have the "Misty Mountains" in the middle. That would be where the Moria and eagles rides would be. In order to get from one side to the other, there would be the "Trek up the Misty Mountains Cold" attraction, where one could rock climb or go on a short hike. For the walking-impaired there would be a trolley or a gondola taking guests from one side to the other.

As with other resorts, there would be hotels in this park. A hobbit-themed one where people could stay in hobbit holes in the Shire, an elven themed one where people could stay in flets in Lothlorien, and they would make Minas Tirith, and have a hotel in there, along with people in costume stimulating life in the city. Of course, the workers would all be in appropriate costume for the part of Middle-earth they worked in.

There should also be an area that is purely dedicated to the life of J.R.R. Tolkien, with tours of a model of his house, or something. There also should be places where guests could write letters to their favourite characters. They could learn how to write with a quill, and write on parchment paper.

There should be an Old Man Willow ride where they stimulate being eaten and drowned by Old Man Willow, with the end of it being Tom Bombadil coming to rescue you! And also a "Carry Me Up the Mountain" attraction where you get to carry your friends up Mt. Doom. It will be a competition to see how long you could last! A real Mt. Doom attraction too! In fact, all large Middle-earth landmarks would have their own attractions!

This puts me in mind to copy a map of Middle-earth and take notes of where rides and attractions might be, then upload it and post it here. How cool would that be! I love planning these sorts of things!
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