First details leak about Disney World's Avatar 3D movie ride
Over the past few days, I've been hearing more and more buzz from industry insiders about Disney's Avatar theme park project. And last night, people started sharing some of the same news on Twitter, so it looks like Disney's made some decisions about the project.
Here's what shaping up: It appears that Disney's looking at something that might be described as a cross between Soarin' and the Carousel of Progress. The core Avatar attraction would comprise multiple 3D projection theaters, with visitors in some ride vehicle that would give the impression of flight (like Soarin's "hang gliders" do). What I'm not certain of, given all I've heard, is whether visitors will ride from one theater to the other, as on Carousel of Progress, or if the additional theaters are there just to provide extra ride capacity, as on Soarin' or Universal's The Simpsons Ride.
The Carousel of Progress option excites me more, but it raises the question of why Disney would need multiple theaters if the attraction's based on a 3D movie. After all, a screen's a screen. If you're spending the money to move people into different theaters, one would presume it would be because you had different, essential physical elements in each theater, such as props or animatronics.
Of course, ride vehicles moving from 3D screen to 3D screen is Universal Creative's big thing. (Think Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and Transformers.) So I'd be very interested to see Disney's take on that concept.
Lemme throw in one more twist. Last week, Al Lutz sparked a rumor that Disneyland would build an Iron Man ride in the Innoventions building in Tomorowland (bottom of the linked article). That's the old Carousel of Progress building, so people are putting two and two together and wondering if Disneyland's Iron Man might be a smaller-scale version of the Avatar ride at Walt Disney World. (The Innoventions building accommodates two stories, while Avatar is said to be a taller, three-level theater, a la Soarin'.)
Mouse Unlimited seems to have heard the same rumors I have, but they throw in an additional element: a "C-Ticket boat ride (or at least what appears to be a boat ride)" that will be part of the Avatar development, too.
Clearly, progress is happening. The buzz is loud enough that I'm convinced construction on the building for these attractions will begin soon. But let's not forget that attractions can change substantially in development. In our interview last year, Universal Creative's Mark Woodbury revealed that Universal was making substantial changes to its design of Islands of Adventure's Harry Potter ride until pretty late in the development process. So much can change. Still, Avatar's moving forward.
So it could be a Soarin' meets Spiderman meets COP ride? Let's make this happen!
Basing any attraction on Avatar is a recipe for disaster.
I think that the Iron Man ride will not replace Innoventions in Disney Land but will be put in the Carousel of progress ride, baking cookies.
Very good news, Robert. I am excited to hear Pandora/Avatar is proceeding. And with the rumor that they are combining two of my favorite WDW rides with the imagination of James Cameron and the unparalleled 3D of Avatar.... I'm stoked!
Terrible news. I though the project had finally died when it was made pretty clear that Orlando would be getting a Cars Land. Not excited about this in the slightest.
I'm stoked on the Iron Man ride but could go either way on Avatar. Its about time Disney added an immersive 3D hybrid ride of their own.
Couldnt be happier now all we need is for disney to do it right
Sounds good. Maybe it will be like Forbidden Journey but with larger screens. Will they play 'I'm blue da da di da' around Avatar Land?
That's good news!! Finally some movement on Avatar. Al thought at this point and knowing how much time Disney takes to do things, I'll be interested in seeing if it comes before James Cameron brings us Avatar 3. 2017-18? Maybe?
Daniel, totally!! They'll should build a dancing animatronic too, it could dance on the walkway!! (Nice reference by the way.)
From the looks of the plans, it looks to be like a glorified Soarin' but in 3D. If DL really does reuse this technology for Iron Man, I'll be very disappointed. I was hoping along the lines of a ride that would involve more physical sets.
I find the timing here interesting.
I think it's funny that the possible Avatar blueprints showed up the same day that possible details about the Hogwarts Express and Gringotts were revealed.
This is better than carsland coming to Orlando. Because avatar will be unique to disneyworld and that'll leave carsland unique to DCA. That's way better than having a cars copy in Orlando, even if avatar is a strange franchise to pick. As carsland proves, a great land/attraction can be successfull regardless of the franchise it's based on if it's done right. Come on disney, hit another home run like you did in DCA!
I was a true unbeliever, totally convinced this would never happen.
Great news can't wait
I've seen the 'leaked' plans that everyone is talking about, and it's clear that this is not anything like Carousel of Progress, let alone Universal's Spiderman or Transformers. There will not be that level of 'travelling' and movement. This will be more like Soaring crossed with the Simpsons ride. It will have improved screen projection technology and 3D undoubtedly, but this is hardly 'exciting'. I'm much more intrigued by the desriptions of the two new E-Ticket rides that will be a part of Phase 2 of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
I wish Avatar land was anything other than Avatar. But since for whatever reason Disney has decided that it is better to spend big money to pay James Cameron. So Disney can build a land based on a series that in my opinion has no chance to match its previous success or even get close. IT still seems like any of their original ideas that WDI themselves developed (we have all heard several rumored ideas)would be a much more cost effective, and a better overall fit to AK which desperately does need something. Having said that I know they will do something that will improve the park, and I will be excited about seeing. However knowing Disney's previous history with Soarin. I expect to go to AK walk through an immersive world based on Pandora. Walk up to the new "E" ticket ride and board my gondola, to then be lifted up in the air and watch that same exact, cut-scene filled, Soarin over California ride film, that is in the other two soarin rides. For my ride to then be concluded as we soar over Disneyland fireworks. And I then get off the ride exit the building and walk back out to a well themed Pandora. Seriously wasn't that one of the great things about the technology, that Disney could easily adapt, update and change the ride film. I wonder how the Jurassic Park helicopter ride or whatever Universal had planned would have been like.
Check out Vekoma's site and look for Pandora Box. This looks like what this ride will be about.
I think Universal must be delighted they have managed to smoke Disney out of the long grass with the Transformers announcement. This kinda leaves Disney with very little to announce(leak) to try and steal Harry Potter phase 2's thunder. Leaking Ironman and Avatar in order to try to grab some attention from Universal who have succesfully stolen the spotlight off of FantasyLand shows a small bit of panic in the Disney camp and is a mistake Disney management of old would not have made. More importantly it shows that Disney are now responding to Universal !!!
Flavio, I think you could be onto something! That Pandora's Box ride system looks fantastic. Combine it with WDI, Cameron, and the kind of budget only Disney can manage, and theme park fans will be rejoicing!
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