It was April 13 that Theme Park University broke the rumor of Ghostbusters potentially coming to HHN29. And whilst the article doesn’t give any sources for this rumor, we at HHNU thought we would do some digging and see what we can find out.
Jim Hill referenced the article in his show the Universal Joint whilst also expressing he had heard the same rumor. And other than these two sources spreading the rumor, there has been, as far as we can find, no other sources talking it up. So we did some further digging and this is what we could find:
Universal does not own this franchise and the IP holder is Sony who they would need to get approval from to build a haunted house. Luckily for them, Sony is hitting the licensing market hard right now in preparation for the franchises’ 35th anniversary this year.
We found a number of sites promoting the IP for licensing, with one saying that this year alone they have possibly licensed to over 170 different vendors. Some of these most famous vendors being: Playmobil, Hasbro, Funko, Reebok, Halifax Bank, Virgin Media, Compare the Market, Dunkin Donuts and many more. So if Sony are in the market for licensing this property to the maximum they would probably welcome the publicity that HHN brings.
It’s a fun fact that Universal has licensed this property since the 1980s for their parks. Ghostbusters Spooktacular was an opening day attraction at the Orlando park and it ran from 1990 to 1996. The property has also been used in the same park for shows at HHN, meet and greets and even parades over the years since the attraction closed. So in theory, as Universal have had such a long and successful partnership with Sony in presenting this franchise at the parks it would make sense that this relationship could continue and extend to HHN houses?
3. It’s been at HHN before…
In the very first year of HHN in 1991 it featured many many shows and one of which, and the one that received top billing was Beetlejuice Dead in Concert Featuring the Ghostbusters! A video of which is presented below.
And if you include the appearances of the characters and their famous ECTO1 at the Robosaurus Show, Festival of the Dead parades and unofficially spot appearances at Bill and Ted, it would conclude that the property has been successfully added to various HHNs throughout the years.
There’s also the cost-effective argument. We know that Universal have a huge offsite storage warehouse and if they have stored the hundreds of props, costumes and sets that they have produced for this franchise over the years then they could reuse them for a HHN and save building new ones! It’s just a thought…
4. Anniversary Year
This year, as previously mentioned, is the anniversary year for the franchise. Some 35 years since the team donned their famous proton packs and busted some ghosts. And you’d be wrong if you think Sony will be letting this anniversary pass without celebration. So here’s what we found on one licensing website:
Who Ya Gonna Call? Ghostbusters is one of the most successful film franchises of all time. It follows three unemployed parapsychology professors who set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.
Starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Erinie Hudson, Ghostbusters has a loyal fan base and is recognised as a cult property with many TV shows and films referencing it and expanding its appeal further.
For Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary in 2019, Sony Pictures Entertainment is producing a jam-packed year of activations, partnerships and incredible exclusives lined up in celebration of the 1984 classic film.
It hints at the shear volume of licenses that have been granted this year and the dozens of world wide events that are being held to mark this anniversary. And there was a tease on one site that “big announcements will be made in early June.”
We found that on June 11 a new special edition DVD is being released and June 8 is the official anniversary date. June 7 will have an international fan fest convention occurring in California. And let’s not forget another movie to the official canon is being made. So although the teaser could be to do with any of these upcoming events but it *could* be referencing something to do with HHN. And a joint announcement as we’ve seen before with HHN and their IPs would be some grade A synergy!
This is just a fun point but nonetheless truthful; many of the cast have strong connections to Florida. Which is important as many of them likely have some form say over the direction of the franchise.
Dan Aykroyd is regularly spotted in Florida due to his business connections, including Crystal Head Vodka and The House of Blues (yes the one located in Disney Springs). And as we know that HHN houses take years to come to fruition, it was a little strange to see Aykroyd roaming inside Universal Orlando in March of 2015. He allegedly stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and was sighing bottles of his vodka in the evening but it begs the question: was he here for any other reasons?
Likewise, the mysterious legend that is Bill Murray also regularly visits Florida. Not only is he regularly spotted at the glorious and amazing golf courses that are found in Central Florida but his brothers all supposedly live nearby and with them he owns a restaurant in St Augustine. So if he ever gets the message via his infamous voicemail recorder (he supposedly doesn’t have an agent!), then you never know if he’ll just turn up unannounced (wishful thinking surely)!!
So there you have it, just our thoughts on this rumor. But we want to hear your thoughts! Let us know in the comments!!
And remember, this is just a rumor and nothing is confirmed until Universal confirms it!