Vote of the week: Has Disney changed your mind about Avatar?
Typically, theme parks fans cheer when companies announce major new attractions. But Disney's Avatar project, now under development for Disney's Animal Kingdom
in Florida, has divided the fan base. Not since California Adventure has a new Disney project under development angered so many potential fans.
Disney fans turned on California Adventure when they saw the underwhelming plans and heard rumors, later proven true, of meager budgets for underdeveloped attractions. But no one's suggested that Disney won't bust open Scrooge McDuck's bank vault for Avatar. It's the IP -- the characters and story of James Cameron's 3D movie -- that's made some Disney fans hostile to the project.
(And, might we suggest, it's almost always Disney fans? People who consider themselves theme park fans, rather than Disney fans foremost, seem to be more accepting of Avatar, at the least, taking a "let's wait and see" attitude.)
Disney's relative silence after its first announcement that it would develop the land din't help win over skeptics. An attraction line-up leaked earlier this year, but we didn't see any concept art for the project until last weekend, when Disney released several images during its D23 Expo in Japan.
Has that changed your opinion about Disney's Avatar? Is what you are hearing and seeing now about it causing you to reconsider what you've thought about this project? Are you looking forward to the 2017 debut of the world of Pandora with excitement or dread? Let's make this our Vote of the Week.
In the comments, please tell us which new theme park developments -- anywhere in the world -- most excite you, and how they would rank next to potential new theme park attractions you'd like to see, but that haven't happened yet.
Loved it before, still love it now. We're talking about a collaboration between some of the most imaginative people in the world. The possibilities for this expansion are endless. Disney's choice to invest in this project was brilliant. I am already planning and budgeting my 2017 excursion.
I was more confused than anything. I wasn't sure how Disney was going to pull it off. I like the plans
The plans look great (despite my concerns about all the MagicBand rumors), but I wonder how much of it we'll see. When the budget starts getting high, will they stay focused and not pull back? That's been the story with DAK so far.
I'm not going to follow it too closely, and I doubt I'm going to be out there the first week, first month, first year, but I'll get around to going eventually.
I wonder if pushing the opening date out to 2017 is a way of dispersing the projected budget out over an extended timeline so as to help absorb the huge investment it will take to build this land properly. It's already been two years of R&D with initial expenditures for construction taking place with regards to land prep and the removal and construction of a new home for the Lion King show. From this point going forward steam is about to pick up, but with a large expansion also looming for DHS with Star Wars Land being constructed in and around the same time, extending the projected opening date could be a way to money manage the project on a longer time line so they can minimize cutting as many corners as possible. Lets face it, a half hearted attempt at Avatar or Star Wars is to going to be an epic let down since both projects are automatically going to be compared to WWoHP the moment the first guests step foot in each land.
I think Disney purists may be against the Avatar expansion because it is not Disney IP and the movie they are basing the new land on was very violent. I'm not sure Walt would approve if he were alive today.
Speaking as someone originally lukewarm on Avatar, I have now gone to piqued interest. However, after the whole Antarctica debacle, I will remain in "wait and see" mode as I always do.
Let's see when we see.
It's not that I don't like the artwork, no one can deny it are nice pictures. But I see multiple problems.
The problem I have with Avatar Land is that the original movie proved itself as a money maker at the box office, but hasn't resonated quite as well with the general public. Everybody saw the movie, but nobody is talking about it any more. I would defy most people(outside of the geek elite - of which I'm one) to provide me the name of a character from the movie, other than, perhaps, the main hero.
I am "exited."
What I'm most looking forward to is probably WWOHP in LA. Being based in Australia, its unlikely I'd get to Florida anytime soon for diagon alley (although it looks awesome). LA is much more realistic in the short term, and I would probably wait until star wars land was built before venturing to the east coast again.
I found the movie Avatar moronic but visually entertaining. As far as what Disney has released about what they plan to do with the intellectual property, I'm impressed. From what I've seen so far, I believe this will be a winner.
I am not a fan of Avatar at all and I am disappointed that Disney decided to go with another movie tie-in. I'm all for tie-ins to films at the studios but I am tired of Disney's philosophy of everything at every US Disney park being tied to a film instead of an original idea. I hold strong to thought that Disney really dropped the ball by not entertaining the idea of using this expansion for an original theme. Such a missed opportunity to bring the Society of Explorers and Adventures to US parks. I am fine with the StarWars expansion at the studios, that makes sense and if it will kill American Idol, I'm all for it. The fact that Cars Land probably will not make it to the east coast is also disappointing, but if they decide to go with StarWars as east coast exclusive and Cars as west coast exclusive, I'm ok with it.
I thought Avatar was a well made mediocre movie. I didn't think it warranted a theme park attraction.
On the heels of everything that has been accomplished in the last several years in regards to immersive themed environments, from Harry Potter, to Cars and then New Fantasy Land, I have no doubt in my mind that this land will be a culmination of everything that has been learned from recent developments and blow the doors off of everything we have seen before. WDI has to be chomping at the bit to really let loose and earn back the respect and adoration of the fans who have been lamenting the fact that Disney hasn't given them anything truly ground breaking and awe inspiring in years on the East coast. Fantasy land was a nice first step in the right direction, but Avatar and Star Wars are 2 behemoth IP's that call for nothing less than spectacular experiences to be created.
I think this will at least be better than Camp Mickey. Camp Mickey was sort of a thing that was put there at the last minute. After all the land was supposed to be beastly kingdom. It should be a big improvement.
This is great. The only dissapointment when they announced Avatar-Land was the lack of information on the project. Now we got something to see and talk about and it looks brilliant. As for the IP, are Disney fans expecting to see attractions on John Carter or Prince of Persia? Avatar is the most popular movie of all-time for a reason, people loved the film. You don't get to make 2 billion dollars at the box office unless you have great word-of-mouth and reviews. It was a critical(was a finalist for Best Picture Oscar) and commercial juggernaut.
As for which attractions I'm looking forward too, Avatar ranks up there, but my most anticipated attraction is by far the Gringotts coaster opening up at USF.
All of you guys complaining about Disney acquiring the rights to use IP's in their parks and to produce more movies instead of coming up with something original do realize that a vast majority of the "Disney Classics" are works created by other people that Disney acquired the rights to, so they could produce movies and use those IP's in the parks right? It's been a practice of this company to do so for the last 80+ years. Nobody is suggesting the original Avatar story will be retold in any of these attractions. So those literary geniuses here who have authored so many finely crafted, celebrated stories for all to consume, that take issue with the meager, paper thin story and cliched characters need not worry. The world of Avatar is a huge sandbox to play in, which will continue to expand over time as the sequel movies are produced in tandem with the construction of this land. There are many stories yet to be told and dreamt up, hell, some of them may actually be compelling enough to excite some of the nay sayers. A theme park attraction needs to only tell a story for 5-7 minutes mostly, sometimes longer depending on the ride system. I'm sure WDI and Lightstorm can craft something fascinating and exciting enough to hold the attention of people for that period of time.
I have a feeling that almost everyone will love it once it actually opens. That is, if Disney lives up to what this concept art suggests. If the land truly is that fantastic and immersive, people won't care that it is based off Avatar, and will love it for what it is, an incredible land. Again, that is only if Disney goes all out and makes it amazing. Which I predict they will since it is taking so long and they are building up so much hype about it. Not to mention Joe Rohde is in charge, who generally does fantastic stuff like Expedition Everest (before the Yeti broke).
Disney hasn't changed my mind. It reinforced it. I am glad for Avatar and I will continue to look forward to the project.
I agree with everything Anon Mouse said, but....
I'm not excited for Harry Potter and future Jurassic Park attractions.
Anonymous Poster writes: "Sure, New Fantasyland wasn't a great new addition ..."
You are right TH! The main thing I was trying to push was that it wasn't a mistake. I agree that for younger children this expansion is awesome! Some people assume that because it doesn't please the older age groups it's a failure. (It should also be noted, that the vast majority of people I have seen in New Fantasyland have loved it, including the parents)
Avatar isn't a movie I feel like watching over and over again, but it was visually interesting. If they integrate RFID tech into this and the environment is interactive people could really love this area and it could be a huge draw. I still think Star Wars lands will make a lot more money and draw in a lot more people. There is a larger and much more dedicated fan base because the children who were awed by those movies are now adults and want to relive that childlike wonder which is why I think it is cool for Disney to have it in the parks. A lot of dedicated Star Wars fans don't care about Disney or are openly hostile, but I think they'll still visit the Star Wars lands so they are bringing in new people in by adding more Star Wars to the parks. I can't wait for Star Wars land!! I think adding the monsters inc area to DCA will be cute. My kids love those movies and the ride that is there now. It seems like there are never any people in that part of the park so it will be nice to have something fun there.
The original New Fantasyland was more attractive to pre-teen girls. The fairy land portion that featured Tinkerbell was cut. The revised project was more catered to young boys with the dwarf coaster.
My BIG problem is with the IP. The concept art looks good, but it's not that I didn't like Avatar, I HATED it or more accurately, I LOATHED it. I was rooting for the STUPID blue idiots to get killed during the final battle and I was hoping that the main character was going to get killed. MAYBE (and that's a BIG maybe) the sequels will be better, but I also thought the Matrix sequels would be good too.
Fundamentally, my confidence in the Avatar was bolstered by the extraordinary success of the New Fantasyland. It's remarkable how WDI took a land of that size and added so many new attractions. From Disney's signature character experiences to state-of-the-art attractions, to great restaurants and retail outlets, NF is a home run!
hi I love the lion king a lion king theme park will be a good idea four Disney word
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