Avatar land really happening

Jeff's avatar

Well, Festival of The Lion King closed last week so it can move, and now this is really happening. I guess I still can't believe it.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Raven-Phile's avatar

You're making a big mistake, Disney.

Tekwardo's avatar

They own Marvel and Star Wars. They can more than afford this mistake.

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

Jeff's avatar

But I think that is the mistake. Granted, they can't do Marvel attractions in Orlando, but if you wanted to get the butts in the parks, you have the ultimate science friction IP of all time.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

...and that might end up in Studios, if it ever gets the green light. It's not an either/or proposition.

And, yes, I'm still optimistic about the Pandoraverse.

rollergator's avatar

Tekwardo said:

They own...(snip)...Star Wars. They can more than afford this mistake.

They own Star Wars. That's *why* this is such a huge mistake...

IMO. ;)

Jeff's avatar

Of course it's not an either/or situation... I don't think anyone is arguing that. I think that the argument is that, while Avatar may be one of the highest grossing movies of all time, it is, at best, a fad. I wouldn't base an entire section of a theme park on it. Visit your local Target and find the Avatar merchandise in the toy section. You won't find any.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Tekwardo's avatar

Well, you likely won't find Star Trek toys at target either and that's much a stronger property than Avatar.

I think Avatarland is stupid.

But as long as they're not paying a but load for the IP, it doesn't have to be a popular property in order for people to enjoy it or visit it.

At a company that built a park to promote their own IP, I just can't say they're making a huge mistake at this point. They obviously see value in it.

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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

We've been over and over this, but I'll try one more time, and hopefully I will then cure myself of trying to convince anyone.

I agree with everything given as a reason why this isn't a good idea. The Avatar story is lame (and Pocahontas). The property does not move merchandise.

I also don't claim that the fact that the movie was a big seller is any reason at all why it might be the basis for a good theme park land.

I think it could be the basis for a good theme park land because it provides WDI with an amazing visual and kinetic palette, populated with interesting flora and fauna, with which the Imagineers should be able to do something very interesting. If you were going to name a single core competency that makes Disney Parks what they are, it's "the creation of themed immersive environments." They've just been given great raw materials to create such a thing. Let's see how they do.

The biggest thing you'll find at Target these days is stolen identities.

I dont care if Avatar is relevant lately or not, my gut tells me its going to be a huge hit. I don't know why, necessarily, but I'll use myself as an example of someone who's 1) never seen the movie, 2) probably never will, and 3) knows little about it- however I think the artwork renderings look cool as hell, and even if I don't "get" a lick of it I know I'll enjoy experiencing the environment. That may sound strange, but it's true. I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan, either, but I really liked the Disney attraction at Studios- maybe even as much as my friend who was really grooving on every nuance and reference.

I think the biggest plus/boost to having Avatarland at AK will come in the push to transform the park to an all-day into night time experience. The night time visuals they include in the artwork look stunning, and Disney World as a whole could use another evening spectacular, not only to add value, but to pull visitors in another direction. These days, as it is, the most popular parks for night shows are MK and EPCOT and even on a slow week the crowds for those two shows are practically unbearable. I say give us yet another place to go, spread the crowds a little thinner, and we'll stay out late more nights.

Last edited by RCMAC,
slithernoggin's avatar

I don't disagree that Imagineering can create something amazing with Avatar.

But to me, if you have a licensed property (Avatar) and an owned property (Star Wars), you would go with the owned property.

Then again, I'm spending my Sunday night posting to Internet sites while listening to Guy's Grocery Games while Bob Iger counts his fortune.

Last edited by slithernoggin,

On one hand I did not care very much for Avatar and have little interest in the continuing of that story.

On the other hand Animal Kingdom is by far the weakest of the WDW parks in its offerings IMHO, and I'll take any kind of new addition there. Especially one that would result in the park being open later and having night time offerings.

Plus, although I am not a fan of the Avatar theme/story, I admit it is visually impressive and I am excited to see what immersive environment is put together (and I'm sure it will be visually amazing).

I would much rather see a Star Wars expansion, but oh well. And I really have no clue what my two cents on this sort of things is worth. I remember thinking "Harry Potter, pfft, that's not going to be that great or popular" not too many year ago.

Last edited by Capitalize,
Jeff's avatar

Obviously the financials of Animal Kingdom tell some story not obvious to me, because I really like the park as it stands today. As usual, my perception may have a lot to do with having a preschooler. The park has easily two of the best shows at WDW, in Nemo: The Musical and Festival of The Lion King. Kilimanjaro Safari is fantastic, and different every time. Expedition Everest is far more remarkable than people give credit. Primeval Whirl might be a stock Reverchon, but it's one of the best in its genre. The TriceraTop Spin is lots of fun. The food options are easily the best outside of Epcot (though another table service restaurant would be welcome). I dunno, I spent eight hours there with my mom a few weeks ago and had a blast. Even got to see the park at night, which is pretty rare given its operating hours.

Speaking of which, with the animals having early bed times, and lighting habitats being a bad idea, short of building an entire night time park, I don't know how much there would be to do late anyway.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

bjames's avatar

Avatar wasn't Star Wars Episode IV. I'm not going to rewatch it nine hundred times. It's just another movie, with uninteresting characters but great graphics.

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

I've been one of the biggest Avatar nay-sayers as well, for all the same reasons: Could be good immersive environment, but the IP doesn't seem to translate into souvenir sales, no one remembers the characters, hell it was violent, etc.

However, I just had a long Trans-Pacific flight, where Avatar was one of the movie options. I had only seen it once before, in 3D IMAX, so was watching it only to see how it held up as a potential DAK I/P.

Call it Dances with Smurfs, Ferngully 2, or whatever, but I was just as sucked into the environments on a tiny plane screen as I was when I saw it in the theater. Yes the characters are less than one dimensional. The writing sucked. But I didn't care, as I was still (this many years on) mesmerized by the scenery.

As someone up thread posted, it might not be THE IP that everyone picks as their number one, but if it's executed correctly, totally immersive (Cars Land or Wizarding World style), it just might work. I never would have thought that Cars Land would appeal to adults the way it does (and adults buying savage) but I was pleasantly surprised.

If it's the investment that extends the operations of the park, keeping people around for that extra meal, etc, then there are synergies that may pay off beyond just our thoughts of limited souvenirs.

Again, the movie is full of flaws, we have no idea what sequels 2-4 will look like, or whether they will suck. However, after re-watching the film, I came away convinced that It would be cool to see what Disney could do with it, IF they don't value engineer it. If they cut corners, (whatever those might be), it will be epic fail.

Last edited by CreditWh0re,
LostKause's avatar

When the movie came out, I had a very high opinion of it. I find it kind of strange looking back on my movie review and seeing how I gushed about how great it was. A few years later, I might like the film, but it really is just another movie to me nowadays.

Jeff's avatar

You had me at "Dancing with Smurfs."

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

slithernoggin said:

But to me, if you have a licensed property (Avatar) and an owned property (Star Wars), you would go with the owned property.

Who says they're just limiting it to one? (I think someone has already said that.)

Timber-Rider's avatar

I also think it's not the best idea. I think since they are now in the process of making new Star Wars films, I think Disney should scrap Avatar, and send people into the Star Wars universe. Maybe focus on places like Cloud City, Endor, or Hoth. Maybe even construct a globe to resemble the Death Star, That puts on a crazy lazor and fireworks show at night. Blowing up fun! For rebel scum! LOL!! They could certainly have a cantina bar. Maybe they could even have a video chat with Yoda, as they have done with the finding nemo characters. Maybe build one of those motocoasters with a jet bike theme, and an inverted coaster called the Falcon.

But, then again, fans of Star Wars may expect too much in a recreated world. Where as they could do whatever they wanted with Avatar, and I think most people would go to see it, and it would not have to be too over the top. There really was not too much to the Avatar, other than home tree, blue people, floating mountains, and flying dragons. That, and it all took place in one location, where as Star Wars and Star Trek has an multitude of places to consider. But, who knows, maybe they are making a second Avatar movie that we don't know about.

I didn't do it! I swear!!

LostKause's avatar

Yeah. Who knows? They could be planing a second Avatar movie right under our noses and saying absolutely nothing at all about their plans. ...Maybe even a third, or possibly a fourth. Right under our noses...

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