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MGM For Garden Grove’s Theme Park?

As John posted earlier, the City of Garden Grove, California, which is just south of Anaheim, is trying to get a Hollywood studio to participate in a proposed theme park project. Deepa Bharath of the Orange County Register drops in the MGM name in an update article today.

MGM representatives seemed impressed with the city’s proposal and feasibility study, Yoshizaki said. The study identified two sites that could be developed into theme parks – the 100-acre Willowick Golf Course and 30 acres adjacent to the course, and 139 acres adjacent to the Garden Grove (22) Freeway at Harbor.

The study, released in October, says the park could attract 4.6 million people and generate about $350 million a year.

A spokesman for MGM in Los Angeles said Wednesday that his company has no immediate plan for theme parks in Southern California or elsewhere in the country.

Keep reading for my analysis.

When you get down to it, how many options are there, really?

Disney probably wouldn’t be interested, unless the property could be connected to the Disneyland Resort via monorail, and since Disney isn’t even connecting the developments at Walt Disney World Resort by monorail anymore, how likely would that be?

Time Warner has been tied to Six Flags for years, though I think the connection may be merely licensing at this point, and this location is far from Six Flags California.  Time Warner is selling off assets anyway.

Viacom (Paramount) just sold off its theme park properties to Cedar Fair earlier this year, and even if that deal allows Viacom to develop something new, would they want to?  Cedar Fair operates nearby Knott’s.  Perhaps CBS, which split from Viacom earlier this year, and has been considering film production, would be interested.

Dreamworks Animation has a distribution deal with Viacom (which bought the rest of Dreamworks), but I’m not sure if theme park attractions are part of that arrangement.  That may be in the hands of NBC Universal, which of course already has Universal Hollywood nearby.

I would have though Fox would have been a more likely candidate than MGM, because of MGM’s previous forays into theme parks (Las Vegas) and the arrangement with Disney.  Maybe MGM’s sister studios at Sony Pictures (Columbia and Tri-Star) would be a better fit, plus sony could showcase its other products such as electronics.  Then again, Sony has also been bitten by difficulty in the Location Based Entertainment business.

Lucasfilm?  Their most popular themes are already used at Disney parks.

Perhaps Garden Grove should be thinking out of the Hollywood studio box and look into a deal with a company that has the rights to popular interactive games?  As a Disney fan, I’d love to see more in the area from Disney.

2 thoughts on “MGM For Garden Grove’s Theme Park?”

  1. I don’t know if MGM would be interested in this. They seem to have their hands full with designing a mainland China park at present. Don’t count out some of the major- and up-and-coming players in the amusement industry. The Blackstone Group (Legoland) has really been making waves recently, buying out a lot of European parks, and expansion might come here if land is limited in Carlsbad.

    Herschend Family Entertainment Company (owners of Silver Dollar City, Celebration City, Dollywood, Ride the Ducks, and a ton of water parks) has submitted a bid to purchase all the Six Flags properties for sale (except Magic Mountain). Building themed attractions has worked for them in the past, and it might work here.

    Don’t forget the other big American park project going on right now: Hard Rock Park. While it remains to be seen if it’ll be a success, seeing how fast the Hard Rock Cafe chain expanded, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them look at properties to build on.

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