Max, parked for the night on the outskirts of Rabat, Morocco.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? On the outskirts of Rabat, Morocco.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Crossing from Morocco to Spain on March 26th.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Our List of the Top Five Most Intriguing Movie-Inspired Theme Parks

One of our favorite pastimes to keep ourselves entertained as our beloved Sherman takes us from one destination to another is talking about the places we’d like to visit next – of course! Sometimes, we revisit old favorites on our list, other times we toss around slightly extravagant ideas and, often, we make lists of destinations that revolve around a theme. Last week, for example, we talked about theme parks as we remembered Arsenal Park – that interesting and weird Soviet military theme park that we visited a couple of years back while roaming Romania.

It is well-known that we are not ones to shy away from adventure parks when things get particularly exciting but, for this playful list, we decided to come up with parks with a particularly intriguing – and narrow – theme: movies. So, our Soviet military theme park would not qualify but, amongst all contestants, these five made the final cut as the most appealing.

1. Popeye Malta

We read about this one a while back and we were immediately excited. Who does not love Popeye? After first appearing in a comic strip in 1929, the grumpy sailor quickly became one of the most iconic cartoons of all-time – and, apparently, also introduced us to eating more spinach! During the Great Depression, spinach saw a rise in consumption of more than 30% in the US and was often listed as the third favorite food among young people behind turkey and (everyone’s favorite) ice cream, thanks to Popeye’s popularity at the time. Now, that is a truly great feat!

The cartoon inspired an arcade game by Nintendo and, in 1980, it was made into a movie starring the great Robin Williams. The set for this musical was a real fishing town in Malta, which was later turned into the Popeye theme park! Admittedly, beyond our love for Popeye, it does also help that this theme park is set in an amazingly picturesque seaside town with colorful houses and narrow streets. We’d like to visit Popeye’s Cabin and hang out at the Anchor Bay Lido for a bit of sunbathing.

2. Jurassic World Theme Parks

Dinosaurs and theme parks seem like a match made in heaven – especially when they are linked to Jurassic Park. This movie series saw a reboot recently and it went very well – the 2015 film yielded more than $1.6 million worldwide and its sequel by Universal Pictures will hit movie theatres in 2018 – we are a bit more inclined towards the Spielberg films, but you can’t really go wrong with dinosaurs.

The Jurassic Park movies have inspired all sorts of games, including a console video game by Lego, a range of mobile and PC titles, such as the well-received Operation Genesis, and even an online slots game at the Hippodrome Online casino. There are also no less than four theme parks! The one in Los Angeles seems very promising, featuring a T-Rex that stands at 50 feet tall and an even more daunting 84-foot high waterfall ride but, if we are ever in Japan, we know we’d like to visit the Osaka one just for the thrill of being taken on a ride by a flying Pteranodon!

3. Land of Oz

Speaking of wizards, we would definitely like to see this theme park inspired by L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the 1939 Judy Garland movie adaptation. Interestingly, its official site boasts that it is an “anti-theme park” because it is more about the emotions that the roller-coaster rides. We’d be very eager to walk the yellow-brick road during its Autumn Festival opening and explore the surrounding area – the park sits on a mountaintop of the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina!

4. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

We consider ourselves amongst the ranks of Harry Potter fans and we thoroughly enjoyed the movies during our trip to Mexico a few years back. So, we couldn’t help but find a spot for this one on our list. The books by British author J. K. Rowling need no introduction; they were made into movies, into video games (apparently there is a mobile game coming up that will allow you to experience life in Hogwarts!) and board games like the Harry Potter-themed Cluedo edition and, of course, they got their very own theme park in Florida.

We’d love to take a trip to Diagon Alley and pick our wands at Ollivander’s, board the Hogwarts Express, and make a stop at Hogsmeade to drink a Butterbeer at the Hog’s Head and look around for the trick shop of the Weasley twins (probably our favorite characters on the movie). Apparently, even people who are not fans (and get dragged there by super-excited hardcore Harry Potter fans) thoroughly enjoy the park as the rides and attractions are very well-made – and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to be a wizard or witch for a few hours?

5. Bollywood

The last one on our list opened in 2016 and is not inspired by a particular movie but by a whole genre: Bollywood! Whether you are a Bollywood fan or not, this sounds quite intriguing and well worth a trip – plus, we’d get to see exotic Dubai! We expect the surroundings and the buildings to be mesmerizing and, apparently, there are all sorts of shows, performances, and Bollywood dances going on every day – including the Mumbai Express train rooftop ensemble dance, which is a homage to the Indian train as a set for Bollywood movies – very exciting!

This is our top five list at the moment! Which one would you find the most intriguing? Any thoughts or suggestions?


  1. I'd rather visit "23 Lord of the Rings Locations You Can't Miss in New Zealand." Not quite a theme "park," but it would be an interesting travel adventure.

    1. One day when we get to New Zealand we will look up some of the locations from Lord of the Rings. :-)


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