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How to make an Avatar ride?

Walt Disney World: If we can't get into an avatar in real life, then how do you fake it?

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted September 22, 2011 at 4:19 PM
Any thoughts?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Colton McLaughlin
Posted September 21, 2011 at 9:53 PM
I imagine it will be in a helicopter and you fly around and see the sights of Pandora. It will more than likely be in 3D and it will probably be something between Spiderman and Star Tours.

But that's just a guess.

From Alan Hiscutt
Posted September 21, 2011 at 11:02 PM
first off, im not a fan of Avatar hence the non specific language about to be used.

Roller Coaster, that flying bird type thing as a theme.

Yep. Not a fan. Bird Thing works for me :)

From Tim Odom
Posted September 22, 2011 at 10:06 AM
A couple ways I can think of:

~ Rollercoaster - Something Disney really does not have, a true steal beast. Of course it would be heavily themed (cause that is Disney's way) but it could be the most thrilling ride in any Disney park. Don't discount the possibility of dueling coasters (as you could have a Nav'i side and human side.)

~ Harry Potter-like dark ride - This is the main one that came to mind. Really, this license is made for this kind of ride, and if they do a dark ride for this, then I cannot imagine them going any other way (unless they go with brand new technology.)

~ Avatar 'safari' - Think of this like a Jungle Cruise for the 21st century. Outdoor, but everything made to look very alien, with great animatronics. Sorry, no hippos. Probably less corny.

~ Movie - I think it is safe to assume this is, at the very least, on the table. Since Cameron has not started production on Avatar 2, they could film this and the sequels at the same time, with the same cast and effects. Remember, Cameron does have experience with this sort of thing.

From Carrie Hood
Posted September 22, 2011 at 11:10 AM
I think Tim is pretty close but I thought of a few other things myself.

I went back and re-watched the movie and while I was never impressed with the story (Sorry, I've seen Pocahontas before) I still think the CGI is lovely to stare at.

Swiss Family style "Na'vi" tree house tour but done to a log flume style ride. Which takes you around the Fire Pit, Living Hammocks and such. Large giant cat people animatronics showing you around. Another idea sticking with the "Tour idea", much like Tim's is a tour style ride but rather then Jungle Cruise along the lines of Indiana Jones in DLR. I think we all suspect somekind of a "Tour of Pandora" ride to pop up at this point. Now we're just debating the style it's going to be presented in!

A touch sensitive children's and adults play area. In the movie the ground and plants all light up, combine this with a playground style attraction like the old "Honey I shrunk the kids" but with light up and interactive elements. (Something like Hop-scotch but the floor/ground lights up to lead).


Those are the only two I came up with outside of Tim's ideas.

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted September 22, 2011 at 4:20 PM
Any ride they do should include the song "I'm Blue Da Ba Dee"

From Tim W
Posted September 22, 2011 at 4:51 PM
Rofl Daniel :P. That definately made me laugh!

From Giovanny Cruz
Posted September 22, 2011 at 5:06 PM
I think that if is a land they should make 3 rides.
The first ride would be a super advanced technology dark ride the story would be that they are giving a tour to pandora and other kinds of navis attack and you are in the middle of the war.
The second one would be the most thrilling rollercoaster on Disney.
And the third won't be a ride it would be a kids playground with the pandora theming.

From Daniel Smith
Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:49 AM
I think there should be a dark ride AND a rollercoaster AND maybe another type of ride and that like Pandora, they should all interact with each other! As far as I know, this would be a first anywhere in the world. Perhaps a log flume, interacting with the rollercoaster which both in turn, interact with the dark ride and play area, etc.

From James Rao
Posted September 23, 2011 at 8:12 AM
I think WDI should just dust off the plans for Beastly Kingdom. All of the proposed attractions that I have read about (just do a "Beastly Kingdom" or "Beastly Kingdomme" search on your browser to find the concepts) could easily be modified for a Pandora setting....and could be easily modified back if the AVATAR license does not work out long term.

Win-win. //QED (Quite Easily Done)

From Flavio de Souza
Posted September 23, 2011 at 8:10 AM
A 4D Soarin flight over Pandora.

A “Tower of Terror” like attraction, where the guests would fall from the big tree.

From Tim Odom
Posted September 23, 2011 at 8:51 AM
@Carrie - Another way for it to be done would be in land vehicles (like Kiliminjaro Safari, but WAY more futuristic) with animitronic animals. There are many ways to do a tour of Pandora wilderness, either via boat or land vehicle, or a walking tour, or even a normal dark ride (though I still think the best bet for a dark ride would be with newer technology), but I think we can safely say such a tour ride would be there.

From Eric Malone
Posted September 23, 2011 at 9:43 AM
Personally, I'd be amazed if they didn't make a dark ride. As someone mentioned earlier, this kind of license is pretty much screaming for a solid dark ride. The other ideas I'm not too keen on, but I'd imagine we'll get some lesser rides to fill in the gaps.

From Andrew Mooney
Posted September 23, 2011 at 12:10 PM
Whilst a 4D show would be amazing to see further into the world of Pandora, I don't really understand how it would work. As for my wishes I hope they can somehow include pressure sensors on paths at night to allow the floor to light up. I also hope the trees have fibre optic branches and the land features lots of animatronics. Hopefully Disney can incorporate these beasts into the skies over the pathways (http://www.google.com/patents?id=W5bZAAAAEBAJ&printsec=drawing&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false) and really embrace LCI in this land. This is the level of detail that would break the bank so I'm not hopeful.

As for rides, I would like to see a rollercoaster based on your first Banshee flight even though my stomach won't be able to handle it. I'm confident the other movies will take us further into the ocean - as Cameron said they would - so a beautiful ride like Fantasia from Beastly Kingdom can be realised. From the BK archives, I really liked the idea of a maze but I'm not sure if that would work into Pandora...

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:20 PM
Guests use sensors over their bodies and stand in front of a screen which has their avatars in 3D!

From Andy Milito
Posted September 25, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Probably a KUKA ride. I have a feeling they'll use the similar technology in the Haunted Mansion with the ghosts that seem to sit in your lap or whatnot to turn you into a Na'vi.

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted September 25, 2011 at 2:07 PM
The machines that humans use in the movie to enter into their avatars look like an MRI. I hope Disney don't use a similar device because it's claustrophobic.

From Andy Milito
Posted September 26, 2011 at 1:01 PM
If the ride was in one of those machines, I'd die from claustrophobia. Hear me out, Disney!

From Manny Barron
Posted September 26, 2011 at 9:19 PM
I have no idea what Disney will put in. I'm pretty sure it's going to be great and I am really looking forward to it. But I strongly believe Disney will avoid putting a huge steel coaster or even a "dueling" coaster. AK just doesn't seem like the park for this, especially considering the movie was made famous for its visuals, and its attractions are sure to take advantage on that.

From Jack Curley
Posted September 27, 2011 at 11:21 PM
They should have a 3D movie of James Cameron laughing and rolling around in a giant pile of money.

From duncan henny
Posted September 28, 2011 at 12:59 AM
my brother stuart told me of this link http://uk.games.ign.com/articles/119/1196331p1.html
seems cameron favours a soarin' type ride which would be awesome especially in immersive 3d

From Andy Milito
Posted September 28, 2011 at 2:16 PM
Woo, a Soarin' clone. With Smurfs.

From Giovanny Cruz
Posted November 1, 2011 at 3:48 PM
What up with the hate

From Matt Babiak
Posted November 1, 2011 at 4:56 PM
So I'm not the only person on earth who likes the Avatar Land. I think that it is screaming for a dark ride, and nobody does dark rides better than disney (unless the dark ride is named after a certain boy wizard).

From Andy Milito
Posted November 2, 2011 at 12:01 PM
^ What about the friendly neighborhood superhero?

From N B
Posted November 4, 2011 at 1:59 AM
The good news is, by the time they have the Avatar area constructed, the third installment should be hitting theaters. They are filming 2 and 3 back to back similar to Back To The Future and Lord Of The Rings.

I think Avatar 2 is set for 2014 and 3 will probably land a year later. If the new Avatar land / area turns out to be spectacular, I may have to check it out.

From Giovanny Cruz
Posted November 4, 2011 at 3:49 PM
The wizard boy and the super hero are the best dark rides in the world.And The dark rides of Disney are more with aumatronics (dont know if I spellded right)and Universal its about technoligy even though disney is really good at dark rides they are better at theme rides so thats why I think the real expert at dark rides is Universal.

From Tom Cunningham
Posted November 8, 2011 at 10:55 AM
It will be Soarin with Shrek 4D effects,A Themed roller coaster(the theme being a mountain AGAIN) and something with animatronics think Dinosaur with the Dinosaurs being replaced by Avatar animals and their you have it Avatar Land O and somekind of Jungal cafe loads of gift shops and food stands and somewhere that charges a fortune to paint kids blue

From Skipper Adam
Posted November 8, 2011 at 11:10 AM
Givoanny (sorry is that's spelled wrong), Disney's newe dark rides like Dinosaur are more high tech than most Universal rides. It's just different kinds of tech. Spiderman and FJ don't really use any new technology at all, nothing Disney hasn't used be fore, just in a new combination.

As for a dark ride, technically a dark ride is what those old Fantasyland rides are, then the term grew to cover things like pritates and mansion, the to cover Dinosaur, then ToT...it's a loose term nowadays refering to any ride inside. So for your use, there is no difference between a themed ride and a dark ride.

From N B
Posted November 8, 2011 at 12:27 PM
@Skipper

As opposed to a Dumbo ride you can find at any carnival and go-carts? I love how you try to downplay everything at USF to ordinary when if fact, the Magic Kingdom is full of antiquated & mediocre rides / attractions.... which is why we don't go there anymore.

Reading your posts is quite entertaining. You have an obvious bias based on employment rather than an objective opinion based on experience.

From Skipper Adam
Posted November 8, 2011 at 4:27 PM
Is it a game to find every comment I post on accuse me of hating USF? On a few other threads I explained my situation, so as not to further mislead you into think that I worship Disney as a god and that USF is the devil.

Here, with my last post, I was saying that a dark ride was anything that was inside, and a theme ride, can be outdoors but but still themed. But what Giovanny (again sorry if spelled wrong) was using them in not so accurate contexts.

I said Disney dark rides are different from Universal's because they use different school of thoughts with technology. Disney focuses on animatronics and ride vehicles and story. Look how far ahead of it's time the Indiana Jones ride vehicles were. They are called EMV or enhanced Motion Vehicles, a tech that Univeral borrowed for Spiderman.

FJ, as all of the technology goes, has no big breaking revolutionary top secret tech. Disney used the robotic arms first, and were planning to use it for an UP themed ride. The demontors in the ride are the same arms.

FJ animatronics look impressive, and sometimes look better than Disney's. The difference is Disney tries to build the most complicated AA's while Universal makes simple ones look great. Like the dragon, it's simple, but looks perfect. Sometimes this is not so good for Disney, like the Yeti, which in the end was too complicated for it's purpose. Sometimes its bad for Universal, where the dementors on FJ look like stuffed burlap sacks with a hole in the face.

On a more technical nerdy note, FJ uses the Pepper's ghost effect with digital projection. Some assumed this was new, but Disaster was already using it, and before that Disney figured it out with Nemo, doing it underwater to boot.

I do give credit to Universal for using the arms on a track for a ride. But those arms have been on a track in factories before.

On another note, Universal has One Fish, Two Fish-their version of Dumbo, as wall as a carousel. But if kids want to ride them, who are we to say they are bad?

From Brandon Mendoza
Posted November 12, 2011 at 8:50 AM
Please don't let this degenerate into a "Disney's better" or "Universal's better" argument. Besides, new technology doesn't always mean better.

I'm not an Avatar fan, but enjoyed watching the movie once in the theater. I would hope that any attractions/ lands wouldn't require visitors to know ANYTHING about the Avatar Universe. It should appeal to people that know nothing about it. Seeing that place light up at night would be awesome whether or not you've seen the movie.

From James Rao
Posted November 12, 2011 at 10:54 AM
It's neither here nor there, but I think Legoland in California utilized that Kuka tech first with their Knight's Tournament attraction.

There's nothing new under the sun, just variations on a theme. However, I am sure whatever the imagineers develop for Avatar Land / Pandora, it will be worth a visit.

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