From thrilling rides to live shows to themed junk food of all shapes and sizes, amusement parks are a popular choice of vacation destination for good reason. And for movie lovers, there’s another, possibly even more exciting reason to spend a day at a theme park – stepping straight into the world of your favorite films.
Want to spend a day exploring the caverns of Gringotts and shopping the iconic wares of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley? You can! Always dreamed of floating downstream with the Na’vi and soaring through Pandoran air on the back of a Banshee? You need only take a trip to the Sunshine State, it’s there waiting for you.
But what if your dream day isn’t one spent among mythical creatures? What if you want to follow the yellow brick road? Explore the Emerald City? Brave the depths of the Wicked Witch’s castle? Well, Wizard of Oz fans, Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia has something in the works just for you.
Beginning in 2024, the park will welcome visitors to the world’s first Wizard of Oz zone. “We’re really thrilled to announce a brand new precinct coming here to Warner Brothers Movie World, The Wizard of Oz,” said park CEO Clark Kirby in the announcement presser, flanked by Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion.
“[It will have] immersive theming, two brand new rides – a family suspended coaster and also a dueling family boomerang racer,” he continued. “We are bringing the movies back to Movie World in this all-new precinct.”
‘Wizard of Oz’ Theme Park Precinct Receives Mixed Reactions
Thrilling visitors since 1991, Warner Bros. Movie World is located on the Gold Coast in the city of Oxenford, Queensland. In addition to the new Wizard of Oz attractions, Movie World houses a DC Comics area and a Looney Tunes-themed precinct for its youngest visitors.
The announcement of the newest addition to the park was met with mixed reactions. Though exciting for many, others would have preferred something a little more adrenaline-pumping.
The beloved amusement park does seem to be heading in a more family-friendly direction, as the Wizard of Oz attractions will take the place of the Arkham Asylum – Shock Therapy roller coaster that closed in 2019 and was recently demolished.
“Boring! Where’s a thrill ride in there? Your slogan shouldn’t have been ‘something big is coming,’ it should have been ‘something medium-sized for families is coming,” a disappointed fan wrote on Facebook. “Can’t wait to experience the dry, dead grass, dumpy old brown dirt farm area,” another joked.
It can’t be denied, however, that there were more than a few overjoyed Wizard of Oz fans in the comments. “Childhood dreams – amazing!” one fan wrote. “I’ll be there with my Ruby Slippers on,” another said.