Both Disney and Universal have been running theme parks, stores and hotels for years. So why shouldn’t Warner Brothers want a piece of the pie?
Warner Brothers characters have been seen in theme parks for decades – Bugs Bunny & friends wandered around many Six Flags parks, on and off, from the 70s to the 90s. And that became even easier to do towards the end, since Time Warner, the parent company of Warner Brothers, owned Six Flags theme parks from 1993 to 1998 (they also owned Jungle Habitat, an animal-themed theme park in New Jersey, from the early to mid-70s – I went when I was 6 or 7ish – but hardly anybody remembers that).
There were also Warner Brothers stores in malls and a small handful of standalone flagship stores in the mid-1990s to early 2000s. I remember when I worked at The Disney Store in ’96 to ’98 (Store #535, Staten Island Mall, 1995-2021), we were required to accept literally ANY returns…including the Tweety Bird plush that someone had bought “across the street.”
But there’s never been a WB hotel. Until now.
Warner Brothers World, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is the world’s largest indoor theme park. Owned and developed by Miral Asset Management, it opened in 2018. The 1.65 million square foot park features 21 attractions in six themed lands; Gotham City (themed to Batman), Metropolis (Superman), Cartoon Junction (Looney Tunes), Bedrock (Flintstones. And I bet it’s better than Bedrock City, LOL!), Dynamite Gulch (more cartoons!) and Warner Bros. Plaza (the Hollywood of the past).
Back in 2018, the hotel had been announced to open in 2020. By December 2019, it had been delayed until 2021. With that, the Abu Dhabi Media Office (ADMO) recently announced that the WB Abu Dhabi hotel would open to guests beginning this November. It will be located on Yas Island, which is right next to the park.
The hotel features the iconic “Friends” fountain out front and has 257 rooms. Each room has curated artwork that reflects three different themes devoted to the studio’s history of storytelling.
“The first theme, ‘From Script to Screen,’ highlights standout moments from Warner Bros.’ movies and shows and documents the journey from the written page to the final shot,” the hotel said in a recent press release. “The second theme, ‘Artist Confidential,’ celebrates a variety of talent in front of and behind the camera in some of Warner Bros.’ favorite productions. The third theme, ‘The Vault’ features rarely seen images from Warner Bros.’ most memorable archives.”
“Opening the doors to the first ever Warner Bros. branded hotel is a moment that we have long dreamed of, and it’s truly magnificent,” said Pam Lifford, President of WarnerMedia Global Brands and Experiences. “The Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment team and our incredible partners at Miral and Hilton designed this with fans in mind and have curated an outstanding hospitality experience that gives guests from around the world a unique way to further connect with the iconic Warner Bros. brands, franchises, and characters they love. The WB Abu Dhabi truly is the perfect experience to enjoy and relax while visiting Warner Bros. World right next door.”
“We are proud to be launching another first with the opening of the only Warner Bros. hotel in the world,” added HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Miral. “This new story-driven hospitality experience is set to excite guests from all over the world, further reinforcing Yas Island’s position as a global entertainment, leisure and business destination and supporting Abu Dhabi’s ambition to attract greater numbers of local and international tourists.”
Guests of the WB Abu Dhabi hotel will be able to access a wide range of amenities, including signature WB restaurants and stores, a premier spa and fitness club, kids club, family pool and an exclusive rooftop pool overlooking Yas Island’s distinctive skyline.
Reservation access is “Coming Soon” and will be available at curiocollection.com.
Feature Image: Miral & Warner Bros.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary