New Mattel Theme Park Might Compete With Disney

mattel theme park concept art showing stores and waterfront
Credit: Attractions Magazine

The all-new Mattel theme park, built in partnership with Epic Resort Destinations, will offer Guests the chance to experience exciting new attractions utilizing some of the toy company’s most popular and nostalgic intellectual property… but could it lure fans away from Disney Parks vacations?

With the opening of Disneyland Park in 1955, Walt Disney revolutionized the amusement park industry, elevating standards to a previously-unseen caliber by combining exceptional Guest service with Hollywood “illusioneering” and his already beloved Walt Disney Studios IP. Since then, competitors like Knotts’ Berry Farm, Universal Studios, and Six Flags have tried to keep up by offering their own immersive IP experiences, either utilizing original media characters or licensing them from popular franchises.

Mattel Adventure Park coming to Glendale in 2023

Credit: Mattel

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For example, attendance skyrocketed for the Universal Orlando Resort when it opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida, later adding a second themed area at Islands of Adventure, and the company recently announced construction for a year-round haunt maze themed around its classic monster movies. As a result, an entertainment company called Epic Resort Destinations has now partnered with Mattel, the toymakers behind Barbie, Hot Wheels, and the American Girl Doll franchises, to create a new one-of-a-kind theme park that will genuinely invite Guests to become babes in Toyland!

Like the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood, Mattel Adventure Park will focus on offering top-tier experiences which feel transportive and draw on an established audience bond in the same way that The Wizarding World, Pandora: The World of Avatar, or Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge does according to reports. In fact, Mattel announced in a press release that the new theme park will feature attractions, along with retail and dining experiences, allowing visitors of all ages to step inside the world of toys.

First-ever Mattel Adventure Park opening in Arizona in 2022

Credit: Attractions Magazine

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For instance, Chance Rides will design a double-looping launch roller coaster inspired by the infamous orange-banded Hot Wheels racing track, along with a smaller family coaster and multi-level Go-Kart racing themed around the die-cast cars. Moreover, beyond thrill rides, families will enjoy the indoor Thomas & Friends area, featuring Thomas the Tank Engine.

In addition, the park will feature other amusements, such as board game-themed mini-golf inspired by classic titles such as Pictionary and Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, and a massive climbing structure where Guests jump on giant Uno cards in a race to the top. Plus, fans of He-Man action figures will enjoy laser tag at the Master of the Universe’s Castle Grayskull, now an over 4,500 square foot arena where Guests “have the power” to fight for Eternia.

Hot Wheels roller coaster; Mattel theme park

Credit: Fox News 8

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Of course, the pièce de résistance has to be the Park’s Barbie Beach House area, allowing Guests to live their doll-like fantasy and, just like Barbie, be anything! According to Mattel, the Barbie area will include the following:

the Barbie flying theater, taking riders on a journey from deep underwater to outer space; the Dream Closet Experience, where Barbie, through state-of-the-art hologram technology, is brought to life to help curate the ultimate wardrobe; and the Barbie Rooftop where guests can enjoy a selection of signature pink beverages perfectly paired with sweet and savory snacks while enjoying panoramic views of the property.

Afterward, Guests can finish their day at a shopping, dining, and recreation area similar to Disney Springs, Downtown Disney, or Universal Citywalk.

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While Mattel Adventure Park does not have an official opening date, we know the Glendale, Arizona, location will open later this year! And certainly, it seems to pose some competition for its older neighbors, which may explain why they’ve invested in new projects such as DisneylandForward in Anaheim, Universal’s Epic Universe in Orlando, and the new Frisco, Texas family Park.

Are you excited to visit the world of Mattel and have your own adventure?





About Spencer Johnette

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the Walt Disney Family Museum halls and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @gothelsflower.