Jumanji is transformed into a theme park ride

The Jumanji family movie series is being turned into a new theme park, with potentially more to come in North America and Europe. A new deal could see Jumanji used to create rides, attractions, entire theme parks, hotels, and more.

Sony Pictures has officially partnered with Merlin Entertainments, UK tower operators Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Madame Tussaud’s and Legoland, to bring Jumanji to life with a new range of experiences.

The first of these is the world’s first Jumanji ride – which will open in April 2022 at Gardaland Resort in Italy. A second ride is also being developed at a separate location for launch in 2023.

Jumanji – The adventure’s teaser image. Credit: Sony Pictures/Merlin Entertainments.

“The attraction will be called Jumanji – the Adventure,” read an official statement. “It will transport guests to the fantastical world of Jumanji, where an exhilarating adventure awaits: a journey fraught with pitfalls, surprises and dangers through the wild jungle.”

Alongside the new ride in Gardaland are fully themed Jumanji hotel rooms. You know, if you’ve ever wanted to live in a perilous jungle-themed board game.

“Our Merlin team is already hard at work developing brilliant creative concepts,” said Merlin Development Director Mark Fisher. “We look forward to providing thrilling rides and experiences for guests and moviegoers! The game is definitely on!”

Jumanji was a huge hit in 1995, starring Robin Williams as Alan Parrish – a young boy trapped in a supernatural board game decades ago, which has since been reopened by two friends, sparking a game dangerous in the world.

It was recently rebooted with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – a video game-inspired remake starring Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black, which has since spawned a sequel.

It’s unclear if the new parks and rides will be based on both versions of the popular franchise. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised. The Jumanji franchise has grossed over $2.1 billion at the box office to date.

Elsewhere, Disney plans to create entire communities inspired by its theme parks, while Nintendo will open its upcoming Super Nintendo World in the US next year.

Ryan Leston is an entertainment reporter and film critic for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

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