I would personally take the wait and see attitude, but I think some of the concept art is impossible. Somehow, I don't think Disney is going to allow guests to roam around to touch millions of dollars worth of illuminating plants and will rely solely on RF for interaction.
Are there going to be handrails / barriers to keep people on paths? I just don't get that artwork they posted...
Can you imagine a group of 300 Brazilian teens, who typically have no consideration for other people or park property let loose to walk around Pandora and interact with the scenery?
The new 3D(?) ride has to be groundbreaking in order to win people over. Then again, Disney shies away from rides that are intense in favor of the "family" aspect.
Since you asked us to post what we are most excited to see, I think HP London at USF is at the top of most people's lists. Whether you love or hate USF, you have to admit, the people in charge have no problem signing checks.
By comparison, the Star Wars characters were household names by 1979, and have stayed as such for decades. Much like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Snow White, etc, etc,
If the sequels to the Avatar movie are huge hits, then the themed land will hold some long-term term investment value. But, does anybody remember the Matrix sequels? Two followups to an amazing, major, visually-game changing sci-fi movie hit, that did nothing but tarnish the memory of the original (for many).
Now, I have faith in James Cameron and his ability as a filmmaker. I just wouldn't have enough faith to invest a billion dollar theme park land on his future plans. I hope Disney's gamble pays off.
And, for the record "Jake Sully" is the main hero in Avatar...In case you were wondering.
OT, I know we've butted heads before about this, but I truly believe you're short sighted regarding Disney. I completely agree that avatar doesn't offer a rich storyline to feed off, but the immersive environments indicated at by this artwork more than make up for that,and considering the theme of Animal Kingdom is more about nature and animal's, avatar fits well into this.
The 2 rides both have World class potential. The dark ride, whilst not necessarily a thrill ride shows such incredible environments in the artwork, when mixed with a reasonable narrative and some decent animatronics could be awesome.
The flyer ride, whilst potentially a little mundane using Soaring technology, could be incredible and "revolutionary" when using the Pandora, as has been strongly hinted towards.
As for a 'signature drink', whilst that has done extremely well in WWOHP, this is by no means a prerequisite for a successful land, Cars has done just fine without it. And the idea that merchandising would be be as problem for Disney I find unlikely.
Prior to this artwork I was skeptical of avatar, but seeing this artwork with James Cameron's obvious involvement, I am excited to one day visit the place.
Hopefully, this will turn AK into a full day park, and I can finally plan a visit since I refuse to pay full price for what has been a half-day park.
I also thought Cars was a well made mediocre movie. I didn't think it warranted a theme park attraction. Cars Land at DCA is so freaking good it made me appreciate the movie more.
If Disney can pull that off again, I'll be happy to reap the benefits (but I'm still not sitting through that movie again).
Oh, and much like TH, I am "exited" as well ;o)
Universal has done a superb job with their newest attractions such as HP and the Forbidden Journey, King Kong 360:3-D, and Transformers and that instills a lot of confidence in me that Gringotts will be beyond awesome.
I had never been more hyped for an attraction than I was for Transformers, and Universal exceeded my expectations.
I don't know where some people think the budgeted minded executives will cut the Avatar project. We are way beyond the "accounteers" taking over the project. How is any budget cutting going to happen when Disney needs to satisfy James Cameron? Only when Disney debates with itself will such a thing happen such as with the Carsland project or the Star Wars project, but with Carsland, the advocate was John Lasserter, and with Star Wars, the advocate is Kathleen Kennedy, George Lucas' right hand man. These high profile projects will have to be done right or some heads will roll.
I already think the New Fantasyland was a huge mistake; however, I am not holding the results against it. The situation is completely different. That project wasn't owned by anyone who gave a damn, thus the results.
Sadly Universal only makes rides on popular properties, I wish they would embrace average movies with little plot or story like Disney.
I never realized how great Cars was until they took the Test Track ride and added eyes to the cars. Soarin plus blue monkeys will be freaking amazing.
I Respond: Actually it was. Maybe not for every age or demographic. But ...
The Ledger.com: "Disney officials say this (the Disney princesses) has now morphed into a $4 billion dollar industry that draws girls of prime princess age, three to eight years, and their families to the Disney parks and has helped propel a new Fantasyland renovation in the Magic Kingdom that will ultimately include more princess experiences."
Next time you are in NF stop for a moment, count the number of strollers and multiply by $1,000.
Either project wasn't doing the trick. I can't believe how they took a land of that size and made it small. Barely anything new, but plenty of restaurants, stores, and meet and greets.
With the success of Harry Potter Disney has revisited it's food options and every new project has it's signature food (or redressed from other parks). Unfortunately they fail to live up to the success of Potter but I'm glad food is getting a second thought at the parks because the food at Disney has gone from ok to unbearable.
I don't see Avatar bringing in the food revenue that Disney needs to call it a success unlike Star Wars land where bars and dinners are part of the experience of the movies.
One, wasn't even the most successful film of it's calendar year, the other is the most successful film of all time....that's getting sequels.
For all the complaints that everyone has about Avatar, it still managed to do well critically AND it broke records when it was released on Blu Ray / DVD (so somebody, somewhere wanted to watch this at home again) and it's not like Disney has chosen something like John Carter of Mars.
I was always on board with Avatar, but would have been equally on board with something else.
It's an entirely a new themed land....regardless of the property, if it's done well, why is this a bad thing?
There's been plenty of instances where a theme park attraction has surpassed it's cinema counterpart....for those who despise the film, the land could surprise you (since personal expectations are already low :-)