Middle-earth-inspired theme park to open in Spain...sort of

A 'Hobbit-inspired' theme park is in the works in Spain. (Troy Wegman/shutterstock.com)

A 'Hobbit-inspired' theme park is in the works in Spain. (Troy Wegman/shutterstock.com)


, Last Updated: 9:49 AM ET

Before you get too excited about the prospect of a Hobbit and 'Lord of the Rings' theme park opening in Spain this year, best read the fine print.

News that a theme park called La Comarca (The Shire) inspired by the LOTR series was in the works launched a quiet storm of excitement among Tolkien fans in recent weeks, with fan sites hurriedly announcing the big news.

But as pointed out by eldiario.es, development of The Shire faces a major snafu. The City of Rincon de la Victoria, a seaside town in Malaga in the south of Spain, has yet to acquire the rights to use the characters, places or names from the series.

That means that the hobbits, orcs, elves and dwarves in the theme park may be 'inspired' by the series --  rip-offs of the iconic JRR Tolkien characters.

So far, plans include a 120,000-meter park that will include a lake, walking paths, picnic area, forest area, and two lookout points, at a cost of 1.7 million euros, adds eldiario.es.

In other theme park news this week, Disney has posted a teaser video that provides a peek into the land of Pandora from James Cameron's blockbuster hit "Avatar."

Pandora is set to open at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando in 2017.