Theme parks around the world depend on attractions based on popular movie franchises like Marvel, Star Wars, and Harry Potter to attract guests through the gates, but some movie-inspired theme park rides cost more to build than the films on which they’re based cost to make.
The latest Best Value Theme Parks Report compiled by the personal finance experts at Money.co.uk (a free U.K.-based online financial products comparison service) looked at 34 movie-inspired theme park rides and determined which movie has the most expensive ride counterpart based on the cost to build vs. the film’s production budget.
Top Movie-Inspired Theme Park Rides That Cost More than the Films They’re Based On
The report concluded that 1989’s Splash Mountain (currently located in Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Magic Kingdom, but soon to be replaced in U.S. parks with “The Princess and the Frog-” themed rides) had a construction cost of £162,502,875 (about $223,084,017), but the 1946 film “Song of the South” that inspired the attraction had a budget of just £1,535,514 (about $2,107,954), resulting in a -99% cost difference.
In second place is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Walt Disney World Resort, which cost £18,038,625 (about $24,763,432) to construct, while the budget for the original 1937 film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” — Disney’s first animated feature-length film — was only £1,082,420 (about $1,485,947), a -94% cost difference.
Rounding up the top three is Saw: The Ride, a steel roller coaster inspired by the horror franchise located at Thorpe Park in England. The ride cost £10,833,525 (about $14,872,268) to construct, but although the original “Saw” movie released in 2004 is one of the most profitable horror films ever (and inspired nine sequels), it had a budget of just £867,114 (about $1,190,374), a -92% cost difference.
On the opposite end of the list is The Simpsons Ride at Universal Studios parks in Florida and California. That attraction cost £54,200,625 (about $74,407,867), while “The Simpsons Movie” cost approximately the same amount at £50,527,050 (about $69,364,699) for a difference of only +7%.
And if you’re wondering what topped the list as the most expensive of the 34 movie-inspired theme park rides, it’s Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, costing £721,815,000 (about $990,924,267) to construct — and Disney built two.
How Does Your Favorite Ride Compare to The Film It’s Based On?
|Attraction||Park(s)||Location(s)||Movie||Film Budget||Ride Cost||Difference|
|Splash Mountain||Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, Magic Kingdom||California, Tokyo, Florida||Song of the South||£162,502,875||£1,535,514||▼ -99%|
|Seven Dwarfs Mine Train||Magic Kingdom||Florida||Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs||£18,038,625||£1,082,420||▼ -94%|
|Saw: The Ride||Thorpe Park||England||Saw||£10,833,525||£867,114||▼ -92%|
|Jaws: The Ride||Universal Studios||Japan||Jaws||£25,254,075||£5,054,665||▼ -80%|
|Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril||Disneyland Paris||Paris||Indiana Jones||£57,721,200||£13,004,190||▼ -78%|
|Indiana Jones Adventure||Disneyland||California||Indiana Jones||£36,075,750||£13,004,190||▼ -64%|
|Transformers: The Ride||Universal Studios||Singapore, Hollywood, Florida, Beijing||Transformers film franchise||£288,818,000||£108,314,250||▼ -63%|
|The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure||California Adventure, Magic Kingdom||California, Florida||The Little Mermaid||£72,178,500||£28,904,200||▼ -60%|
|Pandora – The World of Avatar||Animal Kingdom||Florida||Avatar||£360,925,000||£171,273,975||▼ -53%|
|Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage||Disneyland||California||Finding Nemo||£122,817,350||£67,890,090||▼ -45%|
|Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy||Disneyland Paris||Paris||Ratatouille||£194,809,050||£108,314,250||▼ -44%|
|Test Track||Epcot||Florida||Tron: Legacy||£216,645,000||£122,817,350||▼ -43%|
|Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure/Jurassic Park: The Ride||Universal Studios||Singapore, Orlando, Japan||Jurassic Park||£79,399,650||£45,524,115||▼ -43%|
|Radiator Springs Racers||California Adventure||California||Cars||£144,433,000||£86,694,000||▼ -40%|
|Cinderella Castle||Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland||Florida, Tokyo||Cinderella||£3,391,120||£2,094,076||▼ -38%|
|Justice League: Alien Invasion 3D||Warner Bros. Movie World||Australia||Justice League||£6,500,115||£216,645,000||▲ 3233%|
|Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey||Islands of Adventure||Florida, Japan, California||Harry Potter||£94,601,650||£834,689,625||▲ 782%|
|The Dark Knight Coaster||Six Flags Great Adventure||New Jersey, Illinois, Mexico City||The Dark Knight||£16,234,087||£133,644,925||▲ 722%|
|Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster||Warner Bros. Movie World||Australia||Scooby-Doo||£9,386,585||£60,697,980||▲ 546%|
|Twister…Ride it Out||Universal Studios||Florida||Twister||£11,552,720||£66,432,740||▲ 475%|
|Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure||Islands of Adventure||Florida||Harry Potter||£216,645,000||£834,689,625||▲ 285%|
|Superman: Escape from Krypton||Six Flags Magic Mountain||California||Superman||£14,435,700||£39,732,275||▲ 175%|
|Batman Adventure: The Ride 2||Warner Bros. Movie World||Australia||Batman||£9,386,585||£25,254,075||▲ 169%|
|Haunted Mansion Holiday||Disneyland||California, Tokyo||The Nightmare Before Christmas||£5,050,605||£13,004,190||▲ 157%|
|Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride||Universal Studios||Florida||The Mummy||£32,500,575||£57,721,200||▲ 78%|
|Shrek 4-D||Universal Studios||Florida||Shrek||£25,254,075||£43,360,500||▲ 71%|
|Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!||California Adventure||California||Guardians of the Galaxy||£72,178,500||$122,817,350||▲ 70%|
|Terminator 2: 3D||Universal Studios||Florida||Terminator 2: Judgment Day||£43,301,700||£73,705,710||▲ 70%|
|Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run||Disneyland||Florida||Star Wars||£721,815,000||£1,180,013,965||▲ 63%|
|Incredicoaster||California Adventure||California||The Incredibles||£43,301,700||£66,432,740||▲ 53%|
|Top Gun: The Jet Coaster||Carowinds||North Carolina||Top Gun||£7,581,473||£10,833,525||▲ 43%|
|Iron Man Experience||Hong Kong Disneyland||Hong Kong||Iron Man||£72,178,500||£101,136,700||▲ 40%|
|Men in Black: Alien Attack||Universal Studios||Florida||Men in Black||£50,527,050||£65,034,450||▲ 29%|
|The Simpsons Ride||Universal Studios||Hollywood, Florida||The Simpsons||£50,527,050||£54,200,625||▲ 7%|