RUMOR: Disney and Warner Brothers to Bring “The Lord of the Rings” to Disney Parks

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Yes, that’s right. It sounds like Disney and Warner Brothers have either signed or are very close to signing an agreement that will bring “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” movie-inspired areas to the Disney Parks. This comes on the heels of rumors that it would be Universal that would acquire the theme parks rights several months ago.



Disney began talking to executives at Warner Bros. about the idea late last year, and it seems now that Disney is looking to finalize or announce the deal in hopes of turning the tide in the Orlando theme park wars.

Rumor has it that Universal Orlando’s parks may show stronger attendance numbers in 2014 with the opening of a second Wizarding World of Harry Potter area, actually defeating Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. This has Disney frightened.

With already announced AVATAR inspired attractions going to Animal Kingdom in the not-so-distant future, Disney is rumored to be overhauling a planned expansion of Hollywood Studios focusing to focus Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. It would seem that any Cars Land additions planned for the park are now on hold or may never be built so that Disney could quickly move along with these other projects for the park, opening them between 2015 and 2018.

While we haven’t heard anything about what a Lord of the Rings-inspired area would include, it seems that an announcement from Disney might be imminent.

As with any rumor, you should take this with a grain of salt until it is actually announced. Things often change, especially when negotiations with other companies are involved, so who knows if this project will ever see the light of day. Until then, it sure is fun to think about…

What do you think? Would the Lord of the Rings be a good addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios?

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.


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  • No the reason they didn't like the movies is because New Line tried to screw them out of all the money they were owed in the contract. After a lengthy legal battle, Christopher Tolkien (John Tolkien's son) became the grumpy self he is today because he's sick of Hollywood and movie studios.

    Plus, you've got to remember that he grew up with those stories. They were part of his childhood from birth, and they've become his world in adulthood. Christopher Tolkien is the reason that we have The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, The Children of Húrin, and the History of Middle Earth collection, not to mention a plethora of non-Middle-earth books. He comes across as an old codger now because his father's books are his world, and New Line Cinema took it, messed with it, and then didn't even give him his fair dues.

    All this to say, I love the movies and what Peter Jackson has done. But I don't want anyone to get the wrong impression about Christopher Tolkien and the others at the Tolkien Estate.

  • Jim Hill is claiming that this story is false. He said this is from "imagineers" he talked with. I have a feeling thought that your story is correct. Could you please elaborate a bit on your sources?

  • Not true. warner bros can legally sign a contract with disney for the rights. Also, I want to make clear that disney ad universal are in cahoots with one another

  • I agree with you, Tara. Sounds like another grab for more $$$. More dilution of the Disney brand. Next thing you know, they will change the name from Walt Disney World Resort to Big Movie World Resort. These movies have no Disney connection whatsoever. The talking heads at W. Disney Co. are ruining the magic that is Disney by introducing attractions that do not fit within any Disney theme. Perhaps those same talking heads should look at other options to attract visitors to the parks, like lowering the ticket prices and food prices. I've been going to the Disney parks since 1960, so I guess I'm a Disney purist. Leave the Lord of the Rings, Hobbit, etc. for other theme parks. Keep the Disney in WDW.

  • But the debate with this is that disney already has non-disney within the parks and is successful…things like indiana jones, star wars (up until last year, though its been there for a long time), twilight zone, soon to be avatar, even aerosmith…lets not forget disneys hollywood studios is a park built to celebrate movies, not just disney movies. the great movie ride hardly touches on the disney brand.

  • Sounds great but I think it would be better off at animal kingdom a 3track hobbit roller coaster replacing expedition Everest each track represents each part

  • Great idea a new land in disney’s animal kingdom middle earth the flagship attraction the hobbit a 3 track roller coaster replacing expedition Everest and mirkwood river run replacing kali river rapids

  • I’d take this with a grain of salk…the author surmised Cars Land would never open in an article published a month or two before it then went on to open to rave reviews ; ) just sayin…

  • i think they should make this into a park. i loved the hobbit and also the lotr movies to. i even think disney should buy a place in wv or ohio for a big themepark there too, geuaga lake is up for sale they need to buy that for a big themepark. you can call for further info at 1-800-288-0808