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  1. #1

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    September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    A major expansion of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is long overdue. But is AVATAR Land really the best concept?

    This is Yesterland, so we’ll start in the past before we look at the future.



    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
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  2. #2

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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    I'm not big on this idea but to be fair, a huge amount of money spent on DAK is put into plant and animal care. All in all $400 million can only get us one attraction in a land fully themed which isn't a whole lot. DAK is a VERY expensive park to maintain in comparison to MK or the others.

    Again I can only see myself getting on board with this idea if it's done well and doesn't try to make itself obvious as a tie-in. In fact if WDI names this "Avatarland" instead of "Pandora" (and they would if we know Disney), I will fly to WDI headquarters and start punching people in the face. LOL okay maybe not, but let's get serious here.

    This is a bit ironic but I'm hoping that the dinosaur-themed film that Pixar is currently making turns out to be a hit so that film could motivate a redo of Dinoland USA into a more respectable land similar to Carsland. We can only hope.
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  3. #3

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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    Is it April Fools again already?
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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    Werner, your readers might enjoy my 6 part in depth look at DAK. I have not written a seventh part yet, but Avatar addition demands one! Anyway, interested readers can go here: Insights and Sounds: Disney's Animal Kingdom Collection
    Mark

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    www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    I would also prefer a "beastly kingdom" which had various mythological animals. I feel that Avatar might be a great theme for a ride, but not for a whole land. Disney can do much better.
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  6. #6

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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    I too would rather have a land based on Mythical Creatures than on a sci-fi movie franchise.


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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    I don't see where there's much in Australia to justify anything on the scale of Asia or Africa. The kangaroo is the largest animal there I can think of, although there could be some significant reptile representation. Still, not much more than the oasis would be needed in terms of space. I'll judge Avatar when it actually exists.

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  8. #8

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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    Quote Originally Posted by ralfrick View Post
    I don't see where there's much in Australia to justify anything on the scale of Asia or Africa. The kangaroo is the largest animal there I can think of, although there could be some significant reptile representation. Still, not much more than the oasis would be needed in terms of space. I'll judge Avatar when it actually exists.

    A bientot.
    It doesn't matter to me that there are no native animals in Australia as large as an elephant. Australia has some of the most interesting and unusual animals on Earth. I mention some of them in the article.

    And many Americans have a fascination with Australia, a sparsely populated country on its own continent, with both an aboriginal culture and the culture of those who came from elsewhere.

    I think the Imagineers could do a wonderful Australia section at Disney's Animal Kingdom. However, my guess is that it never happen because it will ever be funded by the executives who decide such things. (I hope I'm wrong.)
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 09-24-2011 at 08:56 PM.
    Werner Weiss
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  9. #9

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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    This might get me flamed or accused of being anti-"nature" and being too "political" and other such crap. but I don't care, I just have to get it out.

    I absolutely HATE this idea. I hate it for two main reasons:

    1. I despise the source material. Avatar was anti-American hippy trippy crap. It was fascist/communist propaganda. Typical Hollywood radical environmentalism in which Man (even though he is a part of nature himself) is supposed to just knuckle down to some imaginary Gaea Earth Goddess and put animals and freaking trees and freaking inanimate objects ahead of his own well being and enjoyment. Far left goon of a director Cameron has blatantly admitted that Avatar is supposed to be an anti-capitalist anti-corporate "subversive" movie. (Note the hypocrisy though, Cameron doesn't mind paring up with an "evil" corporation like Disney if it serves his self interests.) Such an ideology does not belong in a Disney park anywhere at anytime, period. Avatar only made as much money as it did because it was hyped to the moon and back. It's a cardboard plot with bland cardboard characters with overly slick production values which hide a sick, twisted subversive message. Evil Americans go and kill a bunch of self-righteous emasculated vapid tree hugging Smurfs. Wow, I couldn't care two craps. Trust me, this piece of garbage will be forgotten in two years, so matter how many crappy sequels they spew out.

    Now I know what you're saying, "But...but...Animal Kingdom already has a strong environmental theme!" True, but it's nowhere near as radical as Avatars version and it's sold much more softly and subtly. I can stomach AK's current environmentalism. It's often misguided and based on many of the time worn false premises of 'environmentalism' but in the end it's harmless and not entirely devoid of merit. Avatar style anti-modern civilization environmentalism isn't harmless and asking me to stomach it...I just can't.

    (By the way, I don't hate wild animals (but don't unilaterally "love" all of them) and I enjoy learning about them, but I just don't swallow this whole idea that animals and trees are just as or more important then human beings.)

    2. God, they would and can do so much better with an imaginary world (such as Beastly Kingdom) that the Imagineers would create themselves. Then they wouldn't be so rigidly tied down to a particular franchise and it's characters and storyline (such as they are) and they would be truly free to come up with their own ideas and backstories. This Avatar idea is just so damned limited and has such narrow appeal, whereas an original concept could use universally loved and known fantasy creatures like dragons and unicorns which can be used however the Imagineers desire. Also, they wouldn't have Cameron breathing down their necks and telling them what they can and can't do.

    "Avatarland" or whatever it will be called is just a horrible idea. Why or why couldn't they have stuck to finally bringing the highly promising Beastly Kingdom concept to life?

    P.S. Avatar made 3-D "standard" in move theaters? Really? 3-D was already becoming standard long before Avatar infected the world and I would argue the use of 3-D in box office fantasies like Harry Potter is what really made it take off, but I digress.

    ---------- Post added 09-26-2011 at 03:08 AM ----------

    "I think the Imagineers could do a wonderful Australia section at Disney's Animal Kingdom. However, my guess is that it never happen because it will ever be funded by the executives who decide such things. (I hope I'm wrong.)"

    I think your cynicism toward the current executives is unfair. The current team have given the green light to a lot of worthy and great ideas, with the exception of this half-baked Avatar idea of course.
    Last edited by Dref; 09-26-2011 at 03:11 AM. Reason: Fix grammer/syntax issue

  10. #10

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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    Quote Originally Posted by Dref View Post
    P.S. Avatar made 3-D "standard" in move theaters? Really? 3-D was already becoming standard long before Avatar infected the world and I would argue the use of 3-D in box office fantasies like Harry Potter is what really made it take off, but I digress.
    AVATAR hit the theaters in 2009 when digital 3-D had already been rolled out to one or two screens at most multiplex movie theaters, but when digital 3-D was still something relatively new. The first digital 3-D movie I ever saw was Meet the Robinsons (2007). For many infrequent moviegoers, AVATAR was their introduction to digital 3-D. Regardless of your opinion of the merits of the plot or message of AVATAR, you have to admit that the movie used digital 3-D brilliantly.

    Digital 3-D also contributed to the success of Alice in Wonderland (2010). It appears that the novelty of 3-D is now wearing down. 3-D is no longer a theme park novelty. And even at movie theaters, customers' willingness to spend the extra dollars for 3-D is diminishing.

    AVATAR's timing was perfect within the initial burst of digital 3-D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dref View Post
    I think your cynicism toward the current executives is unfair. The current team have given the green light to a lot of worthy and great ideas, with the exception of this half-baked Avatar idea of course.
    I'm not sure I would call it cynicism.

    With $400-500 million reportedly going into the Avatar land, it seems reasonable to me that the executives are not also going to greenlight any other major expansions at DAK over the next decade. In addition, there seems to be a belief that large theme park investments need to be tied to well-known movie properties. Finally, Disney management has chosen not to expand the presence of real animals at DAK since Asia opened — and Asia was already under construction before DAK opened in 1998.

    So, although I wish DAK would add Australia, I don't ever expect to see it happen.
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 09-26-2011 at 12:55 PM.
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  11. #11

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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    If they absolutely felt they had to base it on a movie, I still think Avatar is an... odd choice. Yes, it was a sensation at the box office, but it could easily prove to have been a flash in the pan. And, speaking as someone who can't see 3-D movies, without the gimmick of the 3-D, Avatar was a ho-hum movie at best.

    Narnia would probably have worked better as a land than Pandora. It's got a long, rich history across several media (like that thing that rhymes with Parry Hotter), not to mention a history with Disney. There are several generations of people out there who grew up loving the books and watching various film and TV adaptations. Although it's less animal-centric, and it might be harder to get the rights, Middle-Earth would have worked better, too.

    It just seems that if you're going to sink that kind of money into something based on a movie franchise, you ought to be pretty sure it's not a one-hit wonder, and that it was even a hit in the first place for reasons that will translate well. It should also appeal to people who haven't seen the movie - has Avatar spilled over into the general cultural consciousness enough to do that?.

  12. #12

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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    Quote Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
    If they absolutely felt they had to base it on a movie, I still think Avatar is an... odd choice. Yes, it was a sensation at the box office, but it could easily prove to have been a flash in the pan. And, speaking as someone who can't see 3-D movies, without the gimmick of the 3-D, Avatar was a ho-hum movie at best.

    Narnia would probably have worked better as a land than Pandora. It's got a long, rich history across several media (like that thing that rhymes with Parry Hotter), not to mention a history with Disney. There are several generations of people out there who grew up loving the books and watching various film and TV adaptations. Although it's less animal-centric, and it might be harder to get the rights, Middle-Earth would have worked better, too.

    It just seems that if you're going to sink that kind of money into something based on a movie franchise, you ought to be pretty sure it's not a one-hit wonder, and that it was even a hit in the first place for reasons that will translate well. It should also appeal to people who haven't seen the movie - has Avatar spilled over into the general cultural consciousness enough to do that?.
    My guess is that Iger and Staggs believe they have a winning property based on AVATAR's box office results in 2009. But I share your concern that AVATAR may be a one-hit wonder, not a long-term franchise that captures the public's imagination for decades.

    The folks at WDI are probably very happy that there's a $400-500 million project for DAK (plus possible future versions for other worldwide Disney parks). That said, whatever WDI does will have to be much less grand than what's in movie — unless WDW can synthesize unobtainium to make mountains float above the flat terrain of Florida. To me, that's the biggest difference between making Hogsmeade and Pandora "real" for theme park guests. Just building a rainforest with twinkling lights in it won't cut it. But truly recreating the environment of the movie is impossible.
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 11-05-2011 at 06:08 AM.
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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    I am huge Disney fan but I admit that is diminishing!
    The POOR customer service and higher prices and lack of new movies
    and rides, BUT I don't think this is the way to go!!!! It is getting
    away from Disney roots and based on a PG13 movie that a lot of
    children were not even allowed to watch that has very questionable
    content in it. I know there are some out there who will bash me for
    saying that but it is true and they will loose a LOT of business in
    TRYING to gain it by COPYING universal. Wow, sad. Come up with
    something DISNEY and NEW. I really hope they listen to their guests
    and care how they feel and not just trying to make a buck!!! There is
    so much more they could do with that money and so many people did
    not even like the movie! it was a top earner because people watched it,
    doesn't mean they liked it!

  14. #14

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    Re: September 23, 2011: Disney's AVATAR KINGDOM

    i fully support AVATARLAND

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