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  1. #31

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    I remember being pretty upset when this was first announced, but now, even having not seen the movie, I'm really excited about the night time possibilities this opens up to AK! Not to mention how beautiful the art suggests it will be!

    On a different note, I do agree that this wasn't the best choice of expansion, and Disney's definitely letting the parks stagnate. After all, Epcot opened 11 years after MK, HS and TL 7 years after that, BB 6 after that, and AK 3 after that. It's been about 16 years since, if my mental math is correct, which makes this the longest WDW has gone without an expansion of that size.

  2. #32

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    This is exactly my problem with it. So much potential for the park and they take Universal's bait to develop this in order to compete.

  3. #33

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by LivTC View Post
    I remember being pretty upset when this was first announced, but now, even having not seen the movie, I'm really excited about the night time possibilities this opens up to AK! Not to mention how beautiful the art suggests it will be!

    On a different note, I do agree that this wasn't the best choice of expansion, and Disney's definitely letting the parks stagnate. After all, Epcot opened 11 years after MK, HS and TL 7 years after that, BB 6 after that, and AK 3 after that. It's been about 16 years since, if my mental math is correct, which makes this the longest WDW has gone without an expansion of that size.
    Sometimes things operate as it does because it is by design. WDW mostly caters to international tourism. Thus, the many visitors have visited for the first time. They don't need new attractions to keep them coming. You can argue that the rise of DVC and the ever popular dining plans are attracting repeat visitors that want to see new things, but my feeling is perhaps so, but their numbers are not as big as the number of foreign visitors who also occupy the on-site hotels and accommodations. By design, Disney has ramped up on new DVC and restaurants much more than attractions or shopping.

    What will it take to force Disney to react? Only they will know. The public is complacent. This is an unfortunate situation that causes Disney to delay new projects.

    Thus, I see the competition as in Universal as in not quite enough to make Disney react. Harry Potter was great for Universal, but it didn't affect Disney at all in attendance. Universal gains, but Disney didn't lose. Actually, Disney has improved in attendance by 2% without adding anything. The New Fantasyland was long ago announced before Harry Potter.

    What compelled Disney to go forward with Avatar was mostly Disney's own decisions. They saw Avatar's potential with foreign visitors. That much is true. Executive Staggs wanted to use some new technology so they used the best IP available to fit the technology. Animal Kingdom turned out to be the best fit (even if Disney fans disagree). I see a bunch of internal and external factors were part of the decision to independently evaluate the potential of Avatar that has nothing to do with Universal or the local theme park market.

    Alternatively, I did notice an urgency after Carsland opened in DCA, which was a major mistake that had to be fixed very soon. Carsland rescued DCA from certain doom. Perhaps Disney finally realized that DAK and DHS were stagnant by design. A status quo that can no longer be maintained. Since then, nothing new was announced so I assume the urgency is slightly less urgent.

    While I can't say Universal didn't play a role in forcing Disney's hand, perhaps the Orlando market has changed. It isn't just Universal. Disney made some decisions on its own that will require more attractions. They need more capacity to fullfill Fastpass+ with the MagicBands. They also own Star Wars. They are foolish to not exploit it.

  4. #34

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    To me Disney's biggest mistake with Avatar-land is they haven't got the longevity factor working in their favor. Star Wars caught the public's imagination and was on people's consciousness all the way from first release forward; and then even after the second trilogy films were underwhelming, Star Wars has never really left the spotlight.

    You can't say that about Avatar -- popular as it was, it was more of a fad, where Star Wars was a cultural shift. Disney needs to keep these things interesting for the long term....how "relevant" will Avatar be to people in, say, 2020?

    Of course if things go right into the toilet with the new land, they can always drop another billion dollars and "re-imagine" it, the way they did with California Adventure.

  5. #35

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by cakvalasc View Post
    Just think of it this way, Avatar Land takes the place of Beastly Kingdom from the original design scope.
    Oh what I wouldn't give to see Disney bring Beastly Kingdom to life. That would be a Disney wish worth having. It would also be a Disney property worth visiting repeatedly. Blue...not so much.

  6. #36

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeBlakesley View Post
    You can't say that about Avatar -- popular as it was, it was more of a fad, where Star Wars was a cultural shift. Disney needs to keep these things interesting for the long term....how "relevant" will Avatar be to people in, say, 2020?

    Of course if things go right into the toilet with the new land, they can always drop another billion dollars and "re-imagine" it, the way they did with California Adventure.
    How relevant is Cars? No one cares about the movie Cars. No one cares if we get Cars 3. Are there calls to dismantle Carsland?

    Avatarland will survive regardless of the prospects of the movie. It will be done right. I expect the movie sequels to do well based on James Cameron's record.

    Despite the scare tactics, they won't have fix Avatarland and reimagine the land. How will DAK go into the toilet if they were never in the toilet?

  7. #37

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by Country Bear View Post
    Oh what I wouldn't give to see Disney bring Beastly Kingdom to life. That would be a Disney wish worth having. It would also be a Disney property worth visiting repeatedly. Blue...not so much.
    Universal stole the beastly kingdom idea. It didn't survive. Harry Potter land absorbed it.

    Its time to realize Beastly Kingdom was overcome by events. Disney cannot take back an idea they originated after it was thoroughly discarded for something much better by the competition.

  8. #38

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Just because Universal took some of the concepts doesn't mean that Disney can't come up with a new version of Beastly Kingdom. They just have to come up with something new and different from what was there before. We know they can do it. How do you think Expedition Everest became one of the resort's most popular attractions without relying on a movie tie-in?

  9. #39

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by toonaspie View Post
    Just because Universal took some of the concepts doesn't mean that Disney can't come up with a new version of Beastly Kingdom. They just have to come up with something new and different from what was there before. We know they can do it. How do you think Expedition Everest became one of the resort's most popular attractions without relying on a movie tie-in?
    I think the twin racing roller coaster was the whole point of Beastly Kingdom. Without the featured roller coaster, they don't have much else to pursue.

    Beastly Kingdom must also resort to the same tired King Arthur back story. It was tired for a very long time. We have moved forward to The Avengers as the heroes that kids aspire.

    This development will be secondary to the big projects of today. If you want a sort of throw away perfunctory Beastly Kingdom, maybe it could be done like what they did with Dino-land.

  10. #40

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
    How relevant is Cars? No one cares about the movie Cars. No one cares if we get Cars 3. Are there calls to dismantle Carsland?

    Avatarland will survive regardless of the prospects of the movie. It will be done right. I expect the movie sequels to do well based on James Cameron's record.
    This is exactly how I feel about it. I've never really been a big fan of the Cars franchise, and I hate how its now being milked for all its worth by making the spin-off Planes movies. But, with that being said, I love Cars Land.

    Theme park rides or areas don't have to be based on movies that "last" or will always be "relevant" because theme parks themselves are a much different beast than movies are. Its easy to forget a movie, because movies are more a less a passive experience. But with a theme park, you almost never forget it. As long as its done right and designed well, the mere spectacle of being in a place that you might never visit or a place that shouldn't be real but exist only in your imagination is enough to make it last. And you can't say that an area themed to Pandora won't provide that spectacle.

    Plus, there's 3 more Avatar films on the way...

  11. #41

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    And worst case scenario, they can just stop saying "Navi" and start saying "Smurf", no further work required.
    Credibility is to be sought for. Credulity is not. Sadly the latter is our normal human state.

  12. #42

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Well, like it or not, the Avatar ship has sailed and we're going to get "something" based on this franchise. But seriously, for Disney to shell out such a boatload of theme park money based on only one movie is pretty surreal.

    I honestly can't recall one character's name from Avatar and I generally enjoyed watching the film, it's not that I'm anti-Avatar. I know the actors and I know the name of the blue tribe and the planet's name but that is it. Seems like if a company was spending upwards for $350 Million based on intellectual property that they'd want everyone in the world espousing that intellectual property by buying must have merchandise and using catch phrases from it, but these days I don't hear anyone talking about Avatar at all.

    I know Avatar's intellectual property was purchased first but Disney now has two futuristic themed intellectual properties on their hands, Avatar and Star Wars, why not focus on doing one right (and I think we all know which on we'd prefer).

  13. #43

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by disneytom View Post
    Well, like it or not, the Avatar ship has sailed and we're going to get "something" based on this franchise. But seriously, for Disney to shell out such a boatload of theme park money based on only one movie is pretty surreal.
    I remember a time when movies were not franchises and one was enough.

    I honestly can't recall one character's name from Avatar and I generally enjoyed watching the film, it's not that I'm anti-Avatar. I know the actors and I know the name of the blue tribe and the planet's name but that is it. Seems like if a company was spending upwards for $350 Million based on intellectual property that they'd want everyone in the world espousing that intellectual property by buying must have merchandise and using catch phrases from it, but these days I don't hear anyone talking about Avatar at all.
    If you're looking for better reasons to create a theme park attraction, then I'm at a loss. This
    is purely subjective. Merchandising is never a requirement for theme park attractions. I don't get this "catch phrase" requirement. Did we have this expectation with Indiana Jones? I don't recall buying any Indiana Jones merchandise EVER and I don't recall any catch phrases from that attraction.

    I know Avatar's intellectual property was purchased first but Disney now has two futuristic themed intellectual properties on their hands, Avatar and Star Wars, why not focus on doing one right (and I think we all know which on we'd prefer).
    Avatar was announced way before Disney bought out Star Wars. I think it is unfair to delay or cancel Avatar for Star Wars when Avatar is further along.

    The problem with your thinking is this is a zero-sum game. You can pick one or the other. I know people want Star Wars, but they are not ready yet. However, why can't they proceed with Avatar? Why only focus on Star Wars? Animal Kingdom still needs to be fixed. It is clear that people want Beastly Kingdom instead of Avatar in Animal Kingdom. Tough, the decision was made.

  14. #44

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by disneytom View Post
    ...for Disney to shell out such a boatload of theme park money based on only one movie is pretty surreal.
    Keep in mind, Disney is going to get the HUGE advantage of free publicity from the 3(!) Avatar sequels bankrolled by FOX. Each Christmas will be a new movie in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Each movie will be a giant ad pointing vacationers to Animal Kingdom. I could see a Disney AK ad/trailer running in theaters before the movie.

    Also note that anyone who has bet against James Cameron has come out on the losing end. Titanic was going to be the largest budget flop ever. Avatar ended up with $2.8 billion in box office gross. As much as I think some of the material is derivative, the man knows how to tell sell a story.

  15. #45

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    Re: Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    Quote Originally Posted by VulcanCafe View Post
    Keep in mind, Disney is going to get the HUGE advantage of free publicity from the 3(!) Avatar sequels bankrolled by FOX. Each Christmas will be a new movie in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Each movie will be a giant ad pointing vacationers to Animal Kingdom. I could see a Disney AK ad/trailer running in theaters before the movie.

    Also note that anyone who has bet against James Cameron has come out on the losing end. Titanic was going to be the largest budget flop ever. Avatar ended up with $2.8 billion in box office gross. As much as I think some of the material is derivative, the man knows how to tell sell a story.
    Amen to that!
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