Saturday, October 12, 2013

It's This Again?! Avatarland at Walt Disney World.

With all the material we got for new articles on our trip to Walt Disney World a couple of weeks ago, you may be wondering why I'm revisiting the topic of Avatarland at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Well, so am I, but for some reason, since reading an Avatar "First Look", on the Disney Parks Blog, I'm compelled to.

I'm sure many Disney fans are aware, in September of 2011 Disney announced that Disney World will be building attractions based on the James Cameron film "Avatar" in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Then there were rumors the project was delayed, maybe even dead. I actually thought that was for the best, they should concentrate on other Disney/Pixar projects.
But then just a few months ago it was announced that Festival of the Lion King would be moving, and construction would begin!

I did not see the movie in it's theatrical run. 
Oddly, despite the fact that it is the highest grossing movie of all time, I only know a couple of people who did see it in the theater.

A couple of weeks after the initial announcement, I rented it from Netflix. While I have a 3D television, at that time, Avatar was only available either with a Panasonic 3D television, a Panasonic 3D glasses kit, or on the secondary market for a price I am not willing to pay for any movie. So I saw it in standard Blu Ray. Now that it's been released to the general public in 3D, I intend on re-renting it. 

The movie is absolutely stunning visually. And while the story is very simple, and, as many reviewers have pointed out, derivative of several other films, I enjoyed it, and was even touched emotionally by it. My wife, however, was left totally cold, and has absolutely no desire to "waste time on it ever again."
The only issue with the movie for me is, while I enjoyed the film initially, it was almost immediately forgotten.

I'm guessing at how the imagineers will fit this into Animal Kingdom. The film has a preserve the environment message, and that's a good fit for Animal Kingdom. And, although I have heard several arguments that the planet in the movie, Pandora, is being destroyed by humans, what I feel is overlooked is, that without humans who were against the destruction of the environment, the native people, the Na'vi, would have lost. Working against the threat together is what saved Pandora. I am just surmising that this will be the message for the new Avatar section of Animal Kingdom. We must all work together to save the planet.

But will this bring in guests? What kind of following does "Avatar" have? What kind of attractions can be built?

Maybe a "Soarin" type attraction featuring the very dragon like "Mountain Banshees"? The whole area can almost be a "Beastly Kingdom", which was meant for the area occupied by Camp Minnie Mickey originally. The images Disney just released in the aforementioned article are certainly beautiful.

Despite denials that this is an answer to "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, I can't believe it isn't. Does Disney actually believe that Avatar has the longevity of Harry Potter?
I am very cautiously optimistic.
What is your opinion?


  1. I believe there is going to be two more installments of the Avatar franchise. I do think if this project is a go, AK is the best place to have it, and I do agree that the message would be about preservation of our planet.

  2. I would love to be a part of the design team on this one. It would be quite a challenge to re-create the visual effects of the movie and come up with rides and shows that are relevant to the story and draw Guests to the parks.

  3. Avatar has absolutely no draw for me. Zero, nada, zip. The only good thing about it will be that it might draw the crowds to it, leaving the rest of AK to be enjoyed in peace. The fact that John Cameron is an arrogant pompous a#@ makes Avatar something that I will avoid. He just doesn't embody anything Disney to me at all.

  4. Disney's Avatar is truly a remarkable place!

  5. I just rented the movie from Netflix, but haven't watched it yet. I have a feeling I'm going to be like Barbie and Gaylin. Not much interest here. But if Disney building Avatarland means I'll get to ride EE over and over, I'm all for it! Haha!! :-D

  6. I'm in total agreement Amber- it means we'll get to ride all our favs without much hassle hopefully. Fingers crossed!


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