Published: October 12, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Robert asked what we think and I can report for my family. First of all, I thought the Avatar movie was dumb. My son says it is Pocahantos in space with giant cats. When I first heard they were bringing Avatar to a Disney park I just thought it was Disney buying Avatar so Universal could not have it. It felt like the executives who were too stupid to buy Harry Potter were trying to keep their jobs by not letting Universal buy another property.
I am someone who has always resented that DAK never really got any of the mythical animals that were promised. That's what I thought was cool about DAK's concept: real animals like in zoos, extinct animals recreated using robots, and mythical animals created somehow. Really, all we got was a really nice zoo...with that junky ugly "Dinoland". I just hate Chester and Hester's and I think Everest looks cheap and small instead of majestic and that the broken Yeti inside is sad.
I have always wanted a Hercules-type ride featuring the Greek myth creatures and an area with other creature of legend but it looks like we're never going to get that at DAK. I hope there is a computer game some day where we can build one, like a Jurassic Park with myths. But I doubt that will happen either.
The more I thought about it, the more I warmed up to the idea of Avatar because it would be life on other planets. Even though the movie was dumb, it was certainly pretty and interesting. I can see myself and my boys being enchanted and them asking questions about life on other planets. There's never been anything like that to visit before.
Whenever I see Disney concept art, I kind of cringe because I worry about value engineering later in the process. I hate Disney executives because i feel like they are so incredibly stupid and nickel and dime everything. But the fools don't understand that when they actually spend money and do something right (like Carsland) that they get a bigger return on their investment instead of value engineering. I wish someone would fire 80% of Disney executives and replace them with actual Disney fans.
I have heard repeatedly that James Cameron is a real stickler for details and is obsessive and OCD. I also heard that Universal wanted to go cheap with Harry Potter but that JK Rowling forced them to do the Harry Potter attractions right and spare no expense. So I have high hopes that Cameron will force Disney to do something spectacular with Avatar.
Now, I want to be clear that Disney did lose a vacation day to Universal with Harry Potter in terms of my family. When we go down, we do six days in Orlando...and those used to all be at Disney. Now, we do one day in the middle of our trip to see Harry Potter. Disney lost a water park day for us to go to Harry potter instead...but I think the rest of the Universal parks are junky so we don't even spend the whole day there. When the new Harry Potter area opens with Diagon Alley, we'll be spending the whole day doing a park hopper at Universal but it will still just be one day. Aside from a little time in Jurassic Park, we'll be spending all our time in Harry Potter. I can see us eating lunch in the Three Broomsticks and then dinner in the Leaky Cauldron or another restaurant in the Diagon Alley side. Before Harry Potter, it would have been unthinkable for us to spend a day at Universal. It's just not my family's taste.
When we do DAK, we usually would leave around 4 or 5 at the latest because my kids see it as a zoo and get bored learning about animals after a while. We then spend the rest of the evening at the hotel pools. Avatar looks like it will get us to spend the whole day at DAK and stay into the night. That will be fun. I especially like that boat ride. Reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean, but with animals. I hope there is a restaurant inside that like the Blue Bayou.
I really wish that DAK would get rid of Rainforest Cafe. Everything in there is covered in dust. I wish they would build a version of the Adventurers Club there instead. DAK always felt like it could have the Adventurers Club headquartered there.
I am really excited about the concept art for Avatar, but it also makes me angry in a weird way. I am angry about Chester and Hesters. I hate that place! Why can't they make that area like you stepped through a time portal and were encountering real dinosaurs in a prehistoric environment? I love that we will be able to walk on an alien planet with Avatar...but I wish we could maybe go to a prehistoric forest in a nicer dinosaur area than that ugly Dinoland.