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.
I guess the animals in the Avatar land could be a projection of the original beastly land since they are definately mystical in nature.
I really hope that they do Avatar land right and have at least two really good rides for the whole family -- i.e. the old E ticket calibar rides. Plus now it sounds like Animal kingom will be open extended hours. Closing at 5pm during the winter was quite early.
I have been looking/antipating for Disney to produce a new "Disney Classic" ride and I have hopes that may be in the new Avatar Land. By "Disney Classic" ride I mean a ride that lasts more than 5-10 minutes, and has lots of audio-animotronic characters and is rideable by all ages -- think or rides like Pirates of the Carribean, Splash Mountain, It's a small world, The Great Movie Ride, etc. Most of Disney's newest big rides are not in this mold -- Expedition Everest, Tower of Terror, etc.
I have some real questions about if they are pulling an Antarctica on us, but I'm happy with what they're showing, which is better than not liking the concept art.
1. So far it looks like Avatar Land will have a boat ride (admittedly, a lovely looking boat ride, but still a boat ride) and a re-boot of the most over-rated ride I've ever been on.
2. Yes, the concept art makes it look amazing, but, as someone else mentioned, remember the lesson of Antarctica.
I'm not saying it won't ultimately wind up being something very impressive, but after waiting this long for concepts, I was expecting something a bit more ground-breaking.
It is cool to see that Animal Kingdom will eventually have night time hours.
So... I'm looking forward to Avatar Land. And actually I don't mind that the two attractions won't be at the edge of human endurance. I suspect the boat ride will be visually and immersively stunning, and kudos to Disney for making the E-attraction accessible to all, and I'm willing to give the Banshee Ride a chance. It wasn't the concept of Soarin' that I find so poor but the execution - the 'cut and paste' tour of nice bits of California. With the right film and decent movement synching it could be exciting and deeply involving, especially if they found a way to do it in 3D....
And taking the opportunity to turn the Animal Kingdom into a proper full-hours park with a visual show to rival any of their others... nice one :)
So... Wow. Well done Disney. Now, just make sure you deliver what you've promised....
And I'm very happy they took the opportunity of Avatar Land to make DAK into a nighttime destination. Avatar Land will be even more gorgeous at night, and I'm extremely excited about the prospects of a World of Color type show on the river around the Tree of Life.
I can't wait until 2017!!!
What I love about this artwork is that it ramps up the "park as a platform" approach to themed entertainment. This looks magnificent!
(@Ryan, totally off topic, but I disliked almost all of the HP movies because I DID read the books first and the movies paled in comparison - but I am just being snarky since you said "everyone" loved them).
I'm not concerned with the anartica mishap with Sea World, because Sea World is no Disney or Universal in theming and making it unique. I'm concerned that Disney World in general is staying stagnet in their innovation and "magic" if the boat ride is going to have animatronic navie waving at you at the end of the ride mispronouncing your name I'm going to be upset because although probably beautiful it's been done in various boat rides.....small world, little mermaid, Potc, ET, and etc and etc. it's been done. So too the soring duplicate. I spent 15 dollars going to see Avatar in a 3D IMAX (only movie I thought was worth it) and now I'm going to spend a lot more money to go experience something that has been done before.
Most visitors travel a long way to these parks and yes they want to ride tried and true rides that are classics but also want to ride rides that feel new to them and these rides don't to me because they are new but duplicates of other rides that almost everyone's ridden before. I'm disappointed by these pictures.
I hope that they are not going to do a soring thing with a Tie Fighter, or a boat ride through an ewoke village and the next scence be in Naboo and have an animatronic Jar Jar Binks waving to you mispronouncing your name as you exit the ride......
I just want to make sure that your griping is equal-opportunity and applied to all theme parks, not just Disney.
Anyways, I don't think there will be floating mountains at DAK, but it should be spectacular when they complete this in 2036..
AppleButter.... that was funny....
Oh, and for the record.... I think a boat ride is a boat ride, no matter how well themed... if you close your eyes, you are on a boat ride..... C-Ticket at best.
As for Avatar Land, Disney is taking too long to complete this project. Four years until opening?
Universal is making you look bad!
We support equal opportunity park bashing on TPI, you have to divide your negativity between Disney and Universal, even if you have never been to Universal.... Annette says so....
So remember people, if you have something bad to say about Avatar Land, please find a problem with Potter and post that too. Thank you.
If you look closely the mountains have 'trailing' vines and indeed trunks of trees falling off the sides down to the earth. If these conceal the appropriate strength of supports and the 'mountains' themselves are suitably light in weight Disney can produce a real 'wow' effect of a huge mountain that appears at first glance to be floating. And most people won't really notice the branches and supports...
Clever and practical and bound to impress....
Bill & Ted's at HHN this year does take a jab at Disney with James Cameron announcing that Avatar is coming to a theme park in 2065
As for Avatar I do enjoy a well done boat ride...
And not going to complain about a Soarin 2.0 as I do enjoy Transformers and Spiderman and many would just call Transformers to be Spiderman 2.0
I've heard Disney is going to start charging for parking at their resorts to help finance this project...
It always makes me feel like Universal and its superfans have a complex. Disney just does its thing...but Universal feels a need to "take jabs" at Disney as part of its identity. I think that's what makes Disney the Oreo and Universal the Hydrox...or Disney the Coke and Universal the RC Cola.
I think if Universal really thought what they were offering was world-class that they wouldn't be so obsessed with taking jabs at what's going-on on the other side of town.
First of all I love Animal Kingdom. I love it as a garden. I like the zoo aspect of it and I don't care for the rides because the are all lame and short.Disney now adding Avatar is a perfect fit for Disney. The movie stole it's ideas from many intelligent movies resulting in a pretentious movie lacking story, characters and hart. It all presented it in a nice package that in the end wasn't enough to support it but was it's only selling point.What we see Immaginering doing here is what they did with new Fantasy land, creating a nice picture without substance, without original rides and anything to blow you away ending up to be lifeless and soulless. As I said it's a perfect fit for Disney.What really bothers me is we don't see anything resembling Avatar. Non of the animals, non of the blue penis hair aliens, no village in a huge tree and just a hint of the arches we've seen in the movie but where never explained.Even the market doesn't resemble the alien planet. Again as the movie it's a pretty picture lacking story, soul and hart. I'm also wondering how all these fake plants are going to hold up with the real plants in AK. The tree of life looks really fake between the real greenery but makes up for it's beautifully sculpted base but what if we walk from the real thing into a Rainforest cafe version of Avatar?The rides look predictable. I hope the boat ride at least has a few drops to add at least some fun and it's longer then the 2 minutes most rides last in AK and the sourin ride is better then the immersion stopping scene changes of it's original brings.
I still have hope for immaginering. They build an amazing mansion and Cars land offers place making and combines it with an exiting e ticket ride that doesn't rehash the movie but adds to the universe. So I won't write it of but more rockwork and face plants just won't do it.
Anyways, I think the concept art looks very promising. People always claim that Avatar doesn't fit into DAK, but I think it does. It has that strong conservation element to it. It seems like it will be a beautiful addition to the park, and I am excited.
Disney will do a very good job with this. They did fall behind Universal, mostly because Universal has done recent planning under the radar and ahead of schedule. (They were likely planning the 2nd Harry Potter expansion before the first was even finished). Like Apple with the original iPhone, Universal changed the industry with HP, and it will take time for Disney to catch up. But they will, I don't doubt. They have the capital and the artistic talent, and a single visionary (James Cameron) to serve as the JK Rowling for the Avatar project. He will be the one to sign off on the correct flavor for blue butterbeer...
All style, no substance. Visually beautiful, but I don't think a boat ride and a Soarin' clone is going to cut it for me. The nighttime event looks good though. We'll see in 2017, I guess.
Regardless of what WDI and Cameron produce, I am anxious to see the results. I cannot imagine it will be anything less than amazing.
And, O T, my apologies for not mentioning it specifically, but I am very excited about all the night time festivities planned for DAK. The night time show, additional live performers, the night version of Kilimanjaro Safaris, and the extended hours are all part of an exciting package that should catapult DAK to over 10M visitors a year. Very few parks reach such stellar numbers - in the US only MK, DL, Epcot, and (soon) DCA have such amazing attendance numbers. There is no doubt in my mind DAK will be joining that prestigious group of parks once all this work is complete a few years from now.
Personally, I have never had an issue with Avatar and Disney, and I definitely do not see a downside to this announcement today. It is a good decade to be a theme park fan, fo' sho'!
It turns out that the real e-ticket will be the boat ride, not the "Soarin".
That is very wise since Universal and independent companies like Sally Corp can match Disney in 3D simulator, but no one can come close to Disney in detailed animatronics and decor.
This could be a RSR + Mistic Manor boat ride!!!
Since they will not (hopefully) tell any story, I think the Soarin ride will be just a Soarin ride. Disney will save Vekoma's Pandora to Marvel/Star Wars.
Regardless, I am pretty sure the 3-D (4-D?) simulator attraction will be the E-ticket in this expansion.
If you want to compete with Harry at least stay true to the source material. They should have giant military Mechs with machine guns. Not impressed
I Respond: If you really believe that, you're an idiot.
Annette writes: "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."
I Respond: And who exactly have you "heard" that from?
Disney have learned a lesson from Potter over at Universal and that is that spending on world-class attractions pays dividends, and I don't expect them to skimp on the cost for Avatar Land.
The big test, for me, is if these changes can make DAK a whole day park.
@Annette Cameron isn't OCD or obsessive (like some certain Disney fans) but is a perfectionist. T2 3D is an amazing show/4Dmovie and I'm sure his eye on excellence is giving immaginering headaches.JK Rowling didn't get along with Disney because Disney wanted character photo ops and huge stores that don't serve the reality of the world of Harry Potter. Universal went along and went all the way and it paid off. They sure didn't go cheap and if they went wrong Rowling would tell them. I remember the entrance after the class house. It was a nice arched one but after her visit they pulled it out and made it more grand.
Everyone who is excited about the great place making shown in the artwork and saying THAT'S what Disney is about, it is seemingly not what AK needs. Most of AK has got place making coming out of it's ass in a huge way and still Disney guests call it a half day park because 'there is nothing to do'. To pump $0.5 B into 2 rides that aren't spectacular just isn't going to lift the problem and is a bad investment.
If that's a part of the ride, it automatically becomes an E-ticket.
I could see it now.... Team member at the entrance saying "Welcome to Pandora here's your gas mask and don't touch anything cause you can die. Have fun and hope to see you back if you survive. Oh and by the way although Mechs, battle aircraft, and fortifications can help there is no guarantee of you coming out alive. Have a good trip bye bye now."
James Cameron has never loved Fox and will be looking for a new studio after he funds his Avatar films. I think Igor will do anything to get him because John Carter and Lone Ranger are not helping the bottom line. Films drive the whole Disney machine.
That is the only logical way that this 2011 project that is just getting blue sky concept art now makes any sense.
Otherwise they would be building something that would actually bring tons of passionate fans like LOTR or a Villains land. If I cannot even name one character from Avatar why would I buy merchandise or food?
If that is the tree of life that is worse then the tree of souls. Lets hope that Disney passed on the giant hat, pink birthday cake or tacky sign above the park icon this time.
Disney is out of touch. Not impressed
How do the presentations work? I can't imagine Tom Staggs, Disney execs, and Imagineers being fluent in Japanese, but probably the vast majority of attendees are Japanese speakers. In Japan, people are familiar with English words and phrases, but most people don't have a high comprehension level of spoken English.
Do they have interpreters for most of the presentations? Do they have Japanese subtitles projected onto the screens? It sounds like no big deal to have a D23 Expo in Japan, but there is a huge language barrier between presenters and audience members.
The theme of AK is ironic to me. An upside down oil rig made into a huge fake plastic concrete tree, an Everest concrete mountain and now a floating concrete mountain. Save the Earth by destroying it.
The CO2 emissions and green house gases have to be huge.
For a respect nature themed park they sure do not seem to care much. I thought James Cameron cared about the Earth. Avatar inspired me to plant a home tree.
Epcot at least uses solar power and green building techniques.
Now, it appears that WDI is reutilizing the Soarin' ride system . . . didn't at one point Imagineering pride itself on developing unique rides? Also, the Avatarland boat system looks like Pirates, though perhaps it will have some upgrades.
I don't like Avatar, it was a very un-memorable movie that was hip at the time due to CGI and 3-D, WDI should have pushed for Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, before this as these franchises are much more timeless. Universal was/is full of franchises well past their prime, such as how long Jaws stayed in that park . . . I think Avatar will be dated rather quickly.
So the Pirates of the Caribbean ride means nothing to you? Same idea.
I can get excited about any ride in any vehicle if done right.
"It's funny that almost non of the above reacted on the night-time show"
You must have missed my comment. I am excited about the night time show, although I don't know what the heck it is about. The lighted tree seems like a good idea especially when you consider that it is falling apart. It is due to for an extensive rehab.
This news is different than the rumored "World of Color" coming to Animal Kingdom, which might seem logical considering that fireworks won't work with all the animal exhibits.
"Authenticity means though every human would have to wear a gas mask when they enter Pandora"
Not if you're an Avatar. Goodness. That's the lamest counterargument that I've heard.
2017? Considering how long Fantasyland has taken... really?? I hope to see my scepticism proved wrong.
And, could James Cameron be the thorn in Disney's side rather than the man to get this to happen right and happen fast?
Perhaps they will open Avatar in 2017, with additional attractions to open in phases.
You said "James Cameron be the thorn in Disney's side". A thorn he might be, but not to prevent a ride from opening. In every film project, he might have delayed it, but the outcome is significantly better than expectations. In the Terminator 3D ride, it was the most advanced 3D ride at the time. Disney still haven't surpassed it.
It doesn't seem to be happening fast. 2017 is actually quite leisurely. 2017 is 4 years away. A lot of things can happen in 4 years like another two Avatar sequels and a third one to come.
I'm kind of shocked how much Florida palm trees look like plants on Pandora. I was afraid it would be another load of rockwork and waterfalls and although I like those a lot its exactly that. Seeing plastic plants and with fiber optic harts look cheesy and predictable.Seeing Cameron telling how wonderful his relationship is with Disney is really funny. Why does he feel the need to say that? Also seeing Joe Rohde telling us they now we want to go to Pandora is just sad. When I check the forms they want a working Yeti, a fixed tree of life, the removal of the Dino mess and Beastly kingdom but he also knows Avatar fans...
The only conclusion I have is Disney Imaginering lost it. No trackless ride, no exciting new attractions with new ride systems but the most conventional and predictable rides imaginable.
As for New Fantasyland, I believe MK attendance rose 2% to 17.5 million last year. While modest, we have to remember that the purpose of the NF expansion is to better accommodate the staggering number of people already coming to MK in droves each year, therefore I would consider the expansion a success even if there was no increase in attendance (a drop in attendance would be a bit concerning, though!). Further, since the most anticipated piece of the expansion opens in 2014, the project looks to be a gift that keeps on giving.
And I would agree with the anonymous poster above about the ride technology being used. It is a mistake for us to presume WDI is just rehashing what is already in place when every rumor points to something new. We'll just have to wait and see.
And to your other point about what DAK fans would prefer, I love DAK, but I would much rather have an Avatar expansion than a fixed Yeti. I hope to have both at the end of the day, but if I had to choose, Avatar gets my vote.
(Assuming you believe the TEA/AECOM report).
As for the validity of the TEA, who knows? They are probably no more valid than the Golden Ticket awards, but what other basis for attendance numbers do we have?
Back to Avatar...I love it!!!! ;)
I guess there's nothing more we can really do but cross our fingers, and then plan to go and see it 2 years after it actually opens so as to not line up for 7 hours for each attraction :-)While we're on it - how come Disney havent said we can pre-book fastpasses now...is that not what they want from us? (hahahahaha sorry - had to be cheeky)
I admit its not something that had made me sit up and be amazed, but I am totally open to it after seeing this artwork. With a touch of 'believe it when I see it' still, I like to be cynical to keep it real.
@James. "New Fantasyland held its Grand Opening on Dec 6, 2012. So, that fact means Magic Kingdom's attendance numbers actually grew during the construction process - which almost never happens!"
What fact?!!! You may want to ask TH if he believes it as a fact.
"As for the validity of the TEA, who knows?"
Well, if you really think so... then we can safety ignore what your wrote previously.
I would argue that while the attendance numbers is in the ballpark (within expected ranges), the actual numbers are unknown. You're better off evaluating the numbers relative to the parks, or year to year using the same survey. However, since you didn't say this, your review was flawed.
Further, the context in which I posted on this thread places its dependency on Mr. Rao citing the 2% increase in attendance, not me. My response to the Rao-Bot assumes HE has expressed faith in the stats -- as he is the one who originally brought up the increase.
And for the record, while I have expressed concern about the accuracy of the stats based on TEA/AECOM's failure to detail their methodology, in both 2012 and 2013 I said flat out that I might be wrong to express such concerns.
Anon Mouse writes: "... you are taking the opportunity to exploit favorable data and ignoring bad data... just like what Disney does on a regular basis."
I Respond: You use the words "on a regular basis." Can you provide an example of when Disney has exploited favorable data and ignored bad data?
5 posts down, an article in the Orlando Sentinel.
"That helped Disney World spokesman Bill Warren look on the bright side. "While we didn't provide these numbers, it's always nice to be recognized as having the top five theme parks in the U.S. by an established publication."
He would not comment directly on the reported declines. The theme parks historically don't release attendance figures, citing competitive reasons, and they don't confirm or deny the calculations by Amusement Business."
Um ... okay.
>>Regular (definition): 2.happening frequently: occurring or doing something frequently enough over a period of time to establish a pattern, though not necessarily a strict one<<
Regular does not necessarily mean recent.
If you knew the facts, you never would have doubted me. You're not the Disney authority that you claim to be.
I will keep monitoring Disney's communications. When this occurs again, I'll let you know. You can stew in your ignorance.
Anon, the fact that I referred to was: "New Fantasyland held its Grand Opening on Dec 6, 2012." Not sure how that FACT can be refuted unless the Official Disney Blog is wrong.
As for the validity of the TEA, I do not have an opinion one way or the other. I merely typed the question sparked by TH's previous post. Furthermore, if we don't "accept" the TEA what is our other option? There isn't one. So, the TEA report is the BEST option available to us currently, ergo all of my points are valid. XOXOXOXO
BTW, I can't wait for Pandora: The World of Avatar to open in 2017!
How are people going to be able to walk on what appears to be a dirt path with millions of dollars of illuminated plants within reach and no barriers?
Where is Pandora going? The location towards the entry or in the space towards the back of the park?
They make it look wide open like you can walk anywhere you want, but I somehow don't think that will be the case. It will have to be all lookie / no touchie.....
I understand the boat ride could be easily controlled and the Soarin' type ride system (even if they are using the new Pandora's Box) wouldn't allow guests to roam around freely, but I don't think some of the pics are accurate as to what the end result will be.