Properties Universal Could Use to Compete Against Disney

Let’s face it Universal and Disney are currently engaged in a theme parks arms race. Here are some properties that Universal could use to push the limits.

The Universal Globe (Zach Perilstein)

Warning: The list is not in any specific order. I believe all these franchises could help Universal compete with Disney.

DC Universe

DC Comics

Ah yes the DC Universe. I know your probably all thinking “Why would Universal go after DC.” They wouldn’t but they should. DC’s theme park rights are currently tied up at Six Flags. I just think Universal could really wow with this property. It would be easy to convert Marvel Super Hero Island into DC Island. Also in Universal’s original park plans they had “Batman Island.” So it would be cool to see this come full circle. Universal would really do this property justice. (Haha that pun wasn’t intended for, DC’s biggest and most popular group is called the Justice League.)

Universal could adapt from both the TV and Movie universes. Although they are kept separate you could get stellar attractions out of both. The beloved Spider-Man attraction could easily become a ride based off of Suicide Squad.

I love the CW show The Flash. Universal could do a incredible job with The Flash. DC similar to Marvel has tons of ideas they can mess with. It would be a dream come true for comicbook fans.

I don’t know what Six Flags is currently doing with this property but I just feel like Universal could do the property true justice. Universal is the anti-Disney and this would literally be the opposite of Marvel Comics.

The Peanuts

The Peanuts

The Peanuts were recently sold to DHX Media. I still believe if the right offer is made they could be sold to Universal. I know this is another one that has the characters in other theme parks, but they are in lower level theme parks. Universal could use some more timeless characters. Universal always has the hottest and newest IP but they lack in those timeless characters. Disney has Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan, and Cinderella. Universal has Betty Boop, Woody the Woodpecker, and Popeye??? Yeah you can truly tell which one lacks. Yet if you went up to a random kid and said “Charlie Brown” or “Snoopy” they would instantly recognize the character. That’s what Universal needs.

Just think of the merchandise sales? Selling little Charlie Brown and Snoopy plushes? I think Universal acquiring The Peanuts wouldn’t just benefit them in the theme park department either. It could help out there two animation departments. Also they are old time characters. Universal doesn’t really treat old time characters well. Like I love E.T so going to Universal was fun to get some E.T merch. I just don’t think they use their older properties to their full potential (Back to the Future, Jaws, E.T, and Ghostbusters). Some kids actually know their history.

Stranger Things

Stranger Things

This one seems the most likely. Stranger Things is rumored to have a house at Halloween Horror Nights. The Netflix series became a overnight sensation. The Universal Orlando Twitter account has hinted at “The Upside Down” which is the place in Stranger Things.

I think an attraction based off of Stranger Things would be wonderful. It fits Universal’s mold. This property will serve a purpose for HHN. I just think a permanent spot in the park could be in the works. Universal could snag Netflix theme park rights. So whenever Netflix creates a hit show they can have the theme park rights. It would be a brilliant deal.

Power Rangers

Power Rangers
Yes the former Disney property. The one that got away.

Disney Parks didn’t use Power Rangers to their potential. The meet and greet was fun and all but there could of been so much more. Disney selling Power Rangers back to Saban was a questionable move. Saban immediately started a new Power Rangers series on Nickelodeon. It wasn’t until the actual fim Power Rangers was released that changed my tune about the franchise.

The new film was fantastic. The film has some serious franchise potential. Universal just needs to think of all the merchandise sales. This new era of Power Rangers would fit perfectly in a Universal park. Power Rangers was a PG-13 movie and most Universal franchises are in that range. A ride where you command a mega-zord would be cool. Even just a normal simulator ride would be fun. The franchise also is notable and has been around forever.

Jurassic World

Jurassic World

Yes I know Jurassic Park exists at Universal Studios Orlando, but Jurassic World is different. I like that Jurassic Park is in Universal due to Universal’s lack of classic properties. Although Jurassic World deserves some love. I don’t know where. Maybe a third park? Jurassic World basically pitched Universal Creative a softball. The film showcased a theme park with actual attractions. After watching the film I wanted to go to Jurassic World. That’s what theme parks are suppose to do. Take you into those worlds. Universal needs to utilize Jurassic World.

Gyrosphere scene from ‘Jurassic World’

I need my gyroshphere ride and I need it now.

Bonus : Fox’s Marvel

Deadpool

Okay I will just leave with this, Deadpool in a theme park? That would be awesome. Deadpool could also rip on the competition from across the street. Also utilizing the X-Men wouldn’t be bad for Universal. Maybe Universal using more of Fox’s Marvel Universe could allow the lost Marvel characters to come to Disney.

Well this is my list. Now let’s hope some of these franchises get picked up or get more attention at Universal Studios. It certainly would help them in the intellectual property arms race.

Zach Perilstein is the Editor-in-Chief at the Boardwalk Times.