Who remembers the 1990s, when fans of “Star Trek” could venture to the closest Kings Dominion and pose with members of the Federation and Klingon Empire? It’s true! Paramount bought the theme park chain, which had locations across the United States. These parks were rebranded under the Paramount banner. They positioned Paramount Parks as a direct competitor to the Six Flags theme park chain.
The chain of parks included Paramount’s Kings Island (in Cincinnati); Paramount’s Kings Dominion (in Richmond, Va.); Paramount’s Great America (in Santa Clara, Calif.); Paramount’s Carowinds (in Charlotte); and Paramount Canada’s Wonderland (in Toronto).
Fans could also enjoy an immersive sleepover at “Star Trek: The Experience” at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel. They could experience the Promenade and Quark’s restaurant from “Deep Space Nine,” battle both the Klingon and Borg in 4D rides.
All of these featured rides which were based on Paramount’s films and intellectual properties, like the “Wayne’s World” roller coaster named The Hurler, The Italian Job coaster, The Outer Limits: Flight of Fear coaster, and the Paramount on Ice event, which featured skaters dressed in “The Next Generation” costumes. This all came to an end in 2006 when CBS sold their parks to Cedar Fair for $1.42 billion.
“Star Trek: The Experience,” however, kept on rolling until 2008, when it too shut down for good.
‘Star Trek’ in China
Now a new theme park is set to get underway in China, which will feature many of these same ideas will live again. According to Variety, Paramount is planning a resort in China which will span 643 acres and will feature rides dedicated to “Mission Impossible” and the “Italian Job,” with sections of the park dedicated to “Peanuts,” “Dinotopia,” and a Final Frontier “Star Trek”-themed area.
“I think what Paramount really wants is just to get one of their branded theme parks all the way to opening day and beyond, and show that one can be developed using this business model where it’s mainly a licensing situation,” John Gerner told Variety. Gerner represents the theme park consultancy Leisure Business Advisors.
Variety says this will be the third largest of the U.S.-based theme parks in China, followed behind Shanghai Disneyland (at 963 acres) and Universal Beijing Resort (at 990-acres).
‘Star Trek’ in Germany
This will not be the only spot where “Star Trek” fans can enjoy rides. In Germany, folks can ride a “The Next Generation”-themed roller coaster at Movie Park Germany. “Star Trek: Operation Enterprise” ride puts fans on a coaster which challenges them to escape from “the evil Borg.”
Could ‘Star Trek’ Be in a Theme Park Near You?
While “Star Trek” theme parks in the United States have not been a ‘thing’ since 2006, some have ideas of where it could return. Thanks to speculation by Trek Report, there could be a way for Trek to return.
According to this opinion, Universal Studios should license “Star Trek” from Paramount to remove the Marvel Super Hero Island from their Florida theme park. Currently, there is a deal between Disney and Universal that allows the latter to use the Marvel characters at their park. Eventually, this deal could end, and Universal might have to look for a new storyline to fill this area.
“Universal could convert the Super Hero island to Vulcan, Kronos, or even — Deep Space Nine,” the article from Trek Report states. “The current Spider-Man 4D ride could easily be revamped into any number of ‘Star Trek’ experiences. Dr. Doom Fearfall could be rejiggered into Kirk and Sulu’s dive onto the Romulan drill rig from ‘Star Trek (2009).’ The Hulk rollercoaster could be remade into an Escape from the Borg.”
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