WotC It's time for a D&D Theme Park

aco175

Legend
Closed in 1994, but the site is just a park now and right outside of Hasbro HQ.
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Clint_L

Hero
A theme park is massively expensive to build and operate, so this only happens if the brand gets enormous and Hasbro gets bought out by one of the Big Boys, because they aren't likely to build an entire theme park based on a licensing agreement.

And I think it would be cool. The IP seems incredibly suited for the theme park experience. But really, this only happens on a corporate scale if the movie is a huge success and spawns a major franchise.

What rides/experiences would you love to see? I agree that The Yawning Portal would be super cool. A Ravenloft haunted mansion ride would be awesome. What else?
 







ROFL because that went so well.

Amazing video on Evermore strongly recommended watch despite 3+ hour length (it is worth it I promise lol):


Obviously an Evermore done right would be amazing but it would also be pretty hard to do it right.
That video's definitely what I thought of with Evermore.

To summarize some key points (based on memory from months ago) for those who don't have the three hours: Evermore has never really come together, has, as the primary attraction, interactions with costumed cast members and occasional landmark events which, while very cool for a few frequent visitors, may well not really be happening when you are there. They are very good about making amazing, in no way typical, experiences happen for any visiting influencers or media, which is why many of us have gotten positive impressions in whatever stray references we've seen to them. The owner-managers, while not exactly villainous (they mostly just seem pretty desperate to make a cool but expensive and probably unworkable business work), are occasionally a little sleazy and generally rather manipulative of very dedicated employees, as well as volunteers. Construction stalled out on most things long ago.

Now, while the specifics have to do with being a small park in Utah put together with millions of dollars rather than the billions of dollars of a major theme park, there is some hard truths in the story about what any "D&D park" could be. Honestly it is a lot closer to "park as roleplaying game" than any imagined not-Disneyland with rides and a giant corporation behind it is want to be, and the hard truth is that "you can do whatever you want" games do not lend themselves to theme parks, which are best at providing a buffet of set experiences. Evermore staged something for one of their media visitors where they dug up a magic sword that had been buried for them to find. That's awesome, but obviously that's not the sort of thing you can just have guests be doing, if you don't want your park destroyed in a week. Evermore's experiments with having free-wheeling, impromptu storytelling with costumed employees have, while sometimes amazing, resulted in both problematic demands of employees and safety concerns, as well as a vast number of underwhelming dud experiences.

So sure, a megacorporation could make a D&D-themed theme park happen. And if enough people like that aesthetic it might be successful. But a conventional theme park experience is less like playing a tabletop game than playing a somewhat anti-social MMO, where you cue up to do a bunch of set, pre-programmed experiences, possibly with some friends, and there are a bunch of randos around trying to do mostly the same pre-programmed experiences in a different order. Evermore highlights all the reasons why tabletop gaming, a gaming experience curated by a live person to react to whatever you want to do and create a story starring you and your companions, sadly, does not translate well into a theme park.
 


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