Local

‘Jumanji’ attractions coming to Merlin Entertainment properties across the globe

Merlin Entertainment Group, the company behind Central Florida attractions such as Legoland, Madame Tussauds and Sea Life, has announced a wild new business venture.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

Earlier this month, Merlin announced it had entered into a formal multi-territory exclusivity agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment to develop and operate attractions, rides, lands, retail stores and themed hotel rooms based on the blockbuster franchise “Jumanji.”

The “Jumanji” attractions will appear across Merlin’s theme parks and waterparks in Europe and North America, but it was not immediately known if any of Central Florida’s attractions will be among them.

READ: World’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park opens in Central Florida

The first “Jumanji” ride under the agreement will open in April at Merlin’s Gardaland Resort in Italy, the company said. A second attraction is “already in development at a different theme park for a 2023 launch,” according to Merlin.

“We are excited to be taking our relationship with Sony Pictures Entertainment to the next level with this strategic partnership,” said Mark Fisher, chief development officer with Merlin Entertainment. “Sony are one of the top movie companies on the planet and Jumanji is a multi-billion-dollar brand which has appealed to guests of all ages, for over two decades. Our Merlin team are already hard at work developing brilliant creative concepts, which will bring to life the blockbuster-famous Jumanji film across our theme parks and waterparks. We can’t wait to deliver thrilling rides and experiences for guests and film fans alike! The game is certainly on!”

SEE: Ariana Grande wax figure debuts at Madame Tussauds Orlando

The “Jumanji” franchise began in 1995 with the late Robin Williams, then continued on with follow up blockbusters in 2017 and 2019 starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan. “Jumanji” is Sony’s biggest wholly-owned film franchise of all time, raking in more than $2.1 billion at the global box office.

READ: Meet Gibson, Fender, Ibanez & Martin: Guitarfish will soon call Orlando aquarium home

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.