Today Disney announced a partnership with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the universe of Avatar to Disney Parks in a long term development contract at a press conference at Walt Disney Imagineering.
Construction will begin in Orlando, Florida at the Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Result. The Disney Parks Blog stated,
We believe Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great fit for this project because it was created to give guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature – real and mythical – in new ways. Disney’s Animal Kingdom also celebrates adventure, living in harmony with nature and environmental stewardship – themes that are deeply rooted in the story of AVATAR.
Cameron noted at the press conference that the “the scenes people like best were the creatures and settings. People just wanted to go to Pandora.”
Construction will begin in 2013 and the land should be open in five years. The two sequels to the original Avatar open in Christmas 2014 and 2015 with elements of these films possibly making it into the new land. Eventually Avatar elements could be included at other Disney parks worldwide. The cost of this new land was projected by Disney to be on par with their cost of Cars Land at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim California.
Personally, I’m underwhelmed. I agree that Animal Kingdom could use a splash and new land. And I am willing to accept fictional and mythical animals at Animal Kingdom. But I’m unimpressed with Avatar and will personally never watch the movie again. If Disney is going to spend on a major capital project, I would prefer a Superhero Park, a Star Wars land building on Star Tours, on even an Indiana Jones land which had been proposed with the original development of the Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye attraction at Disneyland. In fact if Animal Kingdom is the next park in need of expansion, an Indiana Jones land would be an excellent fit.
Are you excited about Avatar Land? Are you a fan who wants to visit Pandora?
There is a lot of mixed reaction. Some believe this is Disney’ attempt to challenge The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with theming, but others question why Animal Kingdom and why this movie.
“I am willing to accept fictional and mythical animals at Animal Kingdom” — Not me. I’ve not been to Animal Kingdom, in the interest of full disclosure; but I thought the point was to get people excited and concerned about real animals in the real world. Mixing in Avatar stuff seems misguided. I didn’t think much of the film, either, which I’m sure does nothing to get me excited about the prospect of a “real” Pandora.
Originally the Animal Kingdom plan included Beastly Kingdom which would feature dragons, unicorns and etc. But it was never developed. But the racing dragon coaster did show up at Universal and now Wizarding World. It seems those fired when Beastly Kingdom was killed were hired at the other park.
I did not know that — interesting! Thanks for the information.
Great podcast discussion Avatar Land
It appears that Lord of the Rings was actually in play and rejected by Disney.
In other news, Ben Debono sighs!