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Answering Your Questions About AVATAR at Disney Parks

posted on September 20th, 2011 by Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts


Answering Your Questions About AVATAR at Disney Parks

I’d like to thank all of the Disney Parks Blog followers who left comments or sent in questions regarding our AVATAR announcement today. We got a lot of great questions and while I won’t be able to answer all of them, I’ll do my best to get to as many as possible.

1) TIMING

We got quite a few questions about the timing of our first AVATAR experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including this one from Adam, “Any idea when the experience will be open to guests?”

We’ve just begun the design phase on our Animal Kingdom project and we expect to begin construction in 2013. From start to finish, a project of this size and scope takes about 5 years to design and build. We can’t give you an exact date but we know that when it’s complete, it’s going to be a truly unforgettable experience.

2) IS THIS A PARK EXPANSION OR WILL “LAND” REPLACE SOMETHING?

Several of you asked a similar question, including Doug from Utah – “Will it replace any existing attractions in Animal Kingdom, or will it be built in a new parcel of land within the park’s boundaries?”

Well, Doug, we’re just beginning the Blue Sky process so I don’t have much to share about how we are going to execute our vision for our first AVATAR land but we’re focused on this being an important addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I look forward to sharing more details as our plans progress.

3) SPECIFIC ATTRACTIONS

Jenna from Winnetka, Ill., asks, “What types of attractions will be in AVATAR land?”

This was hands-down one of the most popular questions we got and understandably so. While we’re still in the very early stages of design and planning, we expect this land to be anchored by multiple attractions, entertainment, merchandise locations, restaurants and other immersive elements. Our AVATAR lands will give guests the chance to see, hear and touch the world of Pandora and we can’t wait to dive in with James Cameron and his team as we create new experiences that will delight and thrill our guests.

Answering Your Questions About AVATAR at Disney Parks

4) FILM IS PG-13, HOW DOES THIS MATCH W/FAMILY-FRIENDLY PARK?

Some of you, including Logan in Carnesville, Ga., asked about whether AVATAR was a good fit for a family-friendly brand like Disney.

Thanks, Logan, I appreciate your candor in asking this question. At its core, AVATAR is a film that embraces strong, positive themes of family, loyalty, living in harmony with nature and belief in oneself – all values that we share at The Walt Disney Company. You can be sure that these are the same themes that we will explore throughout our AVATAR lands. They will be places where friends and families can spend time together getting lost in a fantasy world, one of the true hallmarks of any Disney theme park experience. And with two sequels in the works, we feel this is a creative property whose potential is limitless.

5) AVATAR AT OTHER DISNEY PARKS?

We got several questions about whether there will be AVATAR experiences in parks/sites other than Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Kyle from Ontario asks, “Are there plans to add Avatar attractions at any other Disney parks?”

Well, Kyle, the only land we are announcing today is at Walt Disney World Resort but AVATAR is a possibility at any of our other locations. The first film AVATAR is a franchise with massive global appeal and its success at the box office both inside and outside of the U.S. – I should also note that as we determine our future locations, we look forward to working with our international theme park partners as our plans evolve.

Answering Your Questions About AVATAR at Disney Parks

6) ATTRACTION THEMING

Many of you, including Justin from Orlando, want to know, “How does AVATAR fit in with the Disney theme?” and more specifically, how does it fit in with the Animal Kingdom?

As I mentioned in a previous answer, AVATAR is a uniquely powerful franchise that has global appeal with audiences of all ages. With its spectacular settings, intriguing characters, imaginative creatures and strong themes of family and loyalty, it’s a great fit for the Disney brand and our parks.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the perfect place for our first AVATAR land because at its core, the park gives guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature – real and mythical – in whole new ways. With AVATAR, we’ve found the perfect opportunity to let our guests explore one of the most compelling mythical worlds ever conceived. Animal Kingdom also celebrates adventure, living in harmony with nature and environmental stewardship – themes that are deeply rooted in the story of AVATAR.

7) WHY BUY SOMEONE ELSE’S IDEA INSTEAD OF LETTING WDI COME UP WITH SOMETHING?

Some of you asked why we would choose to collaborate with an outside partner rather than use our own Disney characters and stories to expand the parks. We are as committed as ever to creating attractions and entertainment around favorite Disney characters and stories – with Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park and our expansion of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park being two great examples. At the same time, we like to look beyond our own walls at non-Disney properties, like STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES, creating some of our most popular attractions. At the end of the day, we are focused on creating a great experience for our guests and I truly believe that this unique partnership with James Cameron and AVATAR gives us an entire world of imaginative creatures, fascinating locations and intriguing characters with which to do that.

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99 Comments

1

Michelle on September 20th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

:(

2

Nicolo from CA on September 20th, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Thank you for taking the time to respond to our questions, Tom! The news has certainly been big and interesting, and cannot wait to see how it all develops the next several years.

3

Joel on September 20th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

So in short, they are excited for the project,they are very early in the planning stages and have no information aside from a AVATAR themed land IS coming to Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World and is most likely going to be explored at various other Disney parks around the world.

Was there any real point in having these questions answered so quickly? Not feeling any better about this.

4

Tim on September 20th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Great to see all this info. Has the location of this new land been determined? The fan community is well aware of the Plot south of Camp Minnie Mickey and the plot north of Asia. Has it been established which of these plots will be used?

Thanks,
Tim
WDW Fan Boys Podcast

5

Stephanie on September 20th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

Still not sure how it’s a good idea to have entire ‘lands’ based on a film that a lot of kids won’t be allowed to watch because of the foul language and other PG-13 elements. You can’t ignore that these elements are in the films. Why not give it a single attraction, as was done with Indiana Jones and with Star Wars?

I don’t feel like any questions were really answered. I’m sorry Tom, but you’re breaking my heart here.

6

Justin on September 20th, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Will this call for Disney to do more hiring in jobs with creating a whole new land will more imagineers, operations managers, and the normal park jobs be needed?

7

Robert from FL on September 20th, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Since no one asked.. good for Animal Kingdom, but what about Epcot? It has empty country pavilion spaces!

8

Daryl on September 20th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

So it’s obviously still in the Blue Sky stage… But what are the possibilities of this expansion at Animal Kingdom adding some attractions and nighttime experiences that would allow the park to remain open later? Pandora had some amazing visuals at night when everything lit up, and it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity because the park closes so early.

For that matter… Would something like World Of Color be a good fit and provide some much desired evening “sendoff” for the Animal Kingdom. Since Pyrotechnics wouldn’t be needed, you’d avoid the concern of startling the animals.

9

Fred from CA on September 20th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Tom, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions. I for one, appreciate how open you are to the Internet community.

I have to say, while I have not seen Avatar, I am very intrigued by this, and I look forward to hearing more details when they become available.

10

Amanda from CA on September 20th, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I wish it was ONE attraction and maybe a few walk-around characters instead of an entire land. It just seems like too much to me. Although I know Uncle Walt loved technology, frankly, I not sure he would have approved of this on a large scale.

On another note, I also don’t understand how Disney’s going to market the merchandise of a PG-13 movie to such a young audience. Should toddlers really be wearing AVATAR shirts and costumes?

11

ryan from FL on September 20th, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Wow, this really didn’t answer anything that wasn’t already known or obvious. Not even a mention of why Avatar instead of Beastly Kingdom?
Please give the fans a chance to have a voice Disney. Please?

12

Norbert on September 20th, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Wow, this is pretty disappointing news! I was really hoping for something a little more unique from Disney. Something more like Mystic Manor. Is this the response to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Seems like a pretty big gamble or risk to take when the next two movies in the Avatar franchise aren’t even close to filming yet. I can’t help but think that this might just end up like Narnia.

13

Fred from CA on September 20th, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Amanda–
From everything that we know about him, I’m sure that Walt would not mind this. He was no stranger to purchasing the rights to outside properties and using them.
In regards to the film being rated PG-13, I wouldn’t worry about it. One of the Star Wars prequels is rated PG-13, and the Star Wars franchise still has a place in Disney parks and kids love it.

14

Eric on September 20th, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Whoa, whoa…We’re talking about “Avatar LAND” already? What happened to “Possible attraction”?
Let’s hold back on the Armchair Imagineering, people, until we know the facts!

(And it’s usually those fans who ask “Animal Kingdom is so boring, it’s just animals and scenery–Why can’t we have another thrill coaster, like Everest?”
I’m an AK fan, and I KNOW why: It’s not that kind of park, and it shouldn’t be. Although it is an adventure getting around those winding jungle pathways after dark.)

15

Victoria on September 20th, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Very interesting and exciting news for sure! I am really looking forward to this in the upcoming years!

If James Cameron is a part of the Disney Family now, can we expect to see something Titanic related as well? Something at Disney’s Hollywood Studios could be great.

16

Tsz Leung from ON on September 20th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

I agree with Daryl, AVATAR has some very memorable nighttime visuals in the movie, I would love to see something like that in Animal Kingdom park after dark, a night time parade maybe?

17

matt from MO on September 20th, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Thank you for your quick response. You stated, “at its core, the park gives guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature – real and mythical – in whole new ways.” I agree with this statement, however not with its interpretation. How can a recent piece of fiction about alien species be compared to a gryphon, sea serpent or unicorn? Please consider moving these future great attractions to the more appropriate park, Hollywood Studios.

18

Dustin on September 20th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Thanks Tom for the clarification, the openeness and dialogue certainly helps (for some to allay any concerns, for others to pique our interest and give context to what to expect).

I think this is a fantastic direction Disney is taking, and am looking forward to some fantastic results!

19

Ashleigh from MN on September 20th, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Very disappointed with today’s news. Animal Kingdom is a park where history, culture, and nature work in harmony to tell the story of our planet. I want to see lands based on the mythical stories of our people, not of the Na’vi.

20

Brian on September 20th, 2011 at 10:43 pm

For everyone expressing discontent over the PG-13 rating of Avatar, please keep in mind that all 4 movies in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise have been rated PG-13.

21

Regina on September 20th, 2011 at 10:43 pm

While Avatar is not in my top 10 of movies, the idea of creating a land for it is intriguing.

I also find the PG-13 argument to not be so great and rather ignorant. Did we forget that the Pirates movie franchise was PG-13 and certainly NOT family friendly? And that is a DISNEY franchise! And a couple of the Indiana Jones movies were PG-13 yet the show is in DHS and we have 2 popular attractions in DL and DL Paris. So…who cares? LOL

22

Doug from UT on September 20th, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Thanks for posting my question, Tom!

This is gonna be fun to see take shape.

23

Joel on September 20th, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Count me in as one of the people who’d feel better about this project if it was a single attraction opposed to a whole land.

Is there no way of incorporating Avatar into a Mythical Creature Land of sorts..? It would give Imagineering a chance to flex their ‘originality’ muscles, while at the same time ensuring Avatar has a strong presence in E-ticket attraction. Similar to how Indiana Jones and Star Tours have been included in Adventureland and Hollywood Studios. You can synergize a Avatar theme through eateries and merchandise locations without taking over an entire land. Indiana Jones is the best example of this. It’s a huge ride/experience with merchandise and food that fits perfectly in a land that continues to take you all throughout the world of Adventures.

I know Disney is trying to capture the same all-inclusive experience that Universal Studios has done with Harry Potter. But it doesn’t need to be done the exact same way. A lot more people would be happy with a outcome that included Avatar AND original ideas.

24

Edward on September 21st, 2011 at 12:07 am

@Amanda I would have to say that I’m really excited about this announcement. I love AVATAR and couldn’t wait to have a themed land of it, who better than Disney and at Animal Kingdom, where both values are similar. Like Tom stated above it couldn’t be a better fit. As for toddlers wearing AVATAR shirt, why is that a problem?

25

Paul on September 21st, 2011 at 1:31 am

It is great that you have attempted to answer questions about this. And I also agree that Indiana Jones and Star Wars are properties that are not a part of Disney but I feel it should be added that Star Tours and to a lesser extent the Indiana Jones properties were well introduced into what were already “fantasy” oriented settings (one being Science Fiction and the other being Adventure).

Now you are taking a park, that has been painstakingly created to be as authentic as possible to the venues that it attempts to display, and adding a mediocre fantasy element that has no basis in any Disney story or even the planet Earth for that matter. Even if there is a message buried deeply in what I would bluntly say is mediocre storytelling that is shared with AK, I think it will be lost in any attraction put in place and detracts from the value that AK has been attempting to create these past years. What about Australia and some of the other lands that have been discussed? Our family would love to see some of these authentic experiences with some Disney Magic sprayed on.

I think this is a slippery slope that you are walking on with this decision. As I stated in the other thread, how long will it be before we have Spiderman swinging from the Tree of Life? I am a long time fan of Disney and yes change and evolution is needed, but Avatar is not the right fit here. Disney has so much in the way of creative talent. It was difficult to swallow the Marvel acquisition, but this is over the top.

26

Jenna on September 21st, 2011 at 2:19 am

I hate to say that I’m very disappointed to hear this news. I am absolutely not a fan of Avatar, I don’t think it belongs in the Disney family, and I think Disney is putting a lot of faith in a franchise that has only had success with one film.

27

Steve from CA on September 21st, 2011 at 3:30 am

@Amanda: Did you forget that all 4 Pirates films are rated PG-13??
I for one think it is an interesting partnership. Some people say it’s Disney doing their own version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but even if it is a less popular franchise, we know Disney will do an amazing job theming a land to Avatar. You will be immersed, I’m sure of it.

28

ryan from FL on September 21st, 2011 at 3:53 am

Is this a done deal and a permanent plan?
Or is there still a chance Disney may not go with James Cameron’s Avatar?
Also shouldn’t it be called James Cameron’s Avatar? So as not to be confused with Nickelodeon’s Avatar?

29

ryan from FL on September 21st, 2011 at 4:20 am

Let me just offer one argument to the proposed James Cameron’s Avatar land. I understand some fans are excited, but for Disney’s sake everyone just consider this…
Walt Disney World is about to celebrate it’s 40th anniversary. 40 years and still much of the parks remain unchanged, most attractions remaining timeless and relevant to today’s audience.
Will James Cameron’s Avatar still be relevant 30, 40, even 50 years from now? Lands like Africa, Asia, and Dinoland can last as long as Walt Disney world stands, with the ability to adapt to anything you or your partners come out with in the next century.
But will devoting an entire land to single movie series pan out? Will the sequels do as well? Disney certainly felt Chronicles of Narnia would, what if you had made an entire land based on that franchise instead of just a ride?
James Cameron’s Avatar was a huge hit and sold well, but that shouldn’t mean it will be a hit forever. It didn’t even win an Academy Award for best picture (which both Star Wars and Indian Jones did) and does any retailer even sell James Cameron’s Avatar toys in stores anymore? Do you think you’ll be able to market these in park?
The point I’m trying to make is there’s no reason not to make an attraction based on the movie, those can be replaced as time goes on, to to devote an entire land to it just doesn’t seem like your thinking ahead. Please consider this Disney.

30

Philip on September 21st, 2011 at 4:26 am

Well for one thing, Amanda, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are rated PG-13, yet they make shirts, costumes, toys, etc. of those films’ characters as well, so why should this be any different?

31

James on September 21st, 2011 at 6:00 am

I appreciate the scope of this attraction, not just to the footprint of Disney’s Animal Kingdom but to the economy in Central Florida. Like the new addition to Fantasyland, when Disney brings something big to Walt Disney World, it becomes something big for the entire Orlando community.

Exciting news!

Disney at Work

32

Thor from CA on September 21st, 2011 at 7:11 am

Well, this sounds interesting! I will have to maybe rent the DVD of this movie as I never saw it in theaters and really don’t know what it’s about. Who knew it was such a popular franchise?

I can’t wait to see how they fit this in at Disneyland! Disneyland needs more rides to help with the long lines, but where could it fit thematically at Disneyland? Maybe in the big unused space between Frontierland and Fantasyland?

33

Charles on September 21st, 2011 at 7:20 am

Oddly I watched Avatar last week and sat musing on the depth of potential for a theme park environment… simultaneously lamenting how profoundly unlikely it would ever be realised.

If anyone can do it, WDI can (especially with James Cameron persuading the sharp pencil boys not to cut any budget). I am by no means sold on Avatar as a whole film / intellectual property (let’s face it Potter actually has emotional depth and superior storytelling). That said, is that important? Pirates of the Caribbean (the original attraction) did not have clear story arcs. Attractions by their very nature don’t afford deep character development. Above all, theme parks are about a sense of place, of immersion. Normally this is to a specific place and time, and if that it is to the lush, complex beautifully realised Pandora then all the better (even if Pocahontas can stroll around the area complaining of deja vu).

Please let this be dripping with luminescence / interactive lighting and be open at night… then this would be a true winner.

Why on earth would there be a problem marketing this toddlers when the Smurfs movie has done so well internationally at the Box Office. The world of Pandora (minus the humans) is U not PG13.

Lastly – Tom Staggs gives me, and I am sure many others, a lot of faith in the Disney Parks and Resorts’ stewardship. Thank you Tom. And good luck to everyone on this project!

34

Christopher from TX on September 21st, 2011 at 7:20 am

@amanda, post #5. i’m sure you have seen kids dressed up as captain jack sparrow or other pirate characters?? all 4 movies are PG-13…so yeah…and doing anything less than a full land would be a injustice to what Cameron and his team have created. it would come off as cheap and uncaring. just my opnion.

35

Wendy from CA on September 21st, 2011 at 9:59 am

I think you’re making a mistake on this one.

36

Chris on September 21st, 2011 at 10:08 am

I must say, I really admire Tom for taking the time to actually address the fan community. Especially given the fickle nature of any fanbased group. Some are thrilled, some are not thrilled. And that’s okay. However, we need to stop pulling out the “Walt card” everytime something happens we don’t personally like. Walt didn’t create all of his ideas – perhaps we need a reminder that Winnie the Pooh and Mary Poppins were not Disney creations. A collaborative effort between James Cameron and Disney could push boundaries and create an experience only Disney could create. This is great news – I really hope more people can decide to enjoy the ride, rather than criticize it every step of the way.

37

Diana from NY on September 21st, 2011 at 10:25 am

I cannot understand the negative backlash toward this announcement. This is a major partnership with one of the leading creative minds in Hollywood today – this is extremely excited for Animal Kingdom (a park I love, and that is incredible, but could use some more attractions, in my opinion)!

Also, with CarsLand in DCA, and the FL expansion in WDW, I can’t understand why people are upset their toddlers can’t watch Avatar (how many toddlers watch Star Wars and Indiana Jones? I didn’t think so…). Undoubtedly, there will be things for little ones to experience in this new area, but why should it be “aimed” at the toddlers? Walt imagined Disneyland as a park where parents and children could have fun together. This new announcement fits into that sentiment perfectly.

And let’s not forget that, right on the Animal Kingdom sign, mythical creatures are represented. The ideals and themes of Avatar are a fit for Animal Kingdom, as it was originally conceived by Imagineering. This park has just passed the 10-year mark – it is still growing and expanding. Let’s watch and wait as this amazing announcement comes to fruition, instead of waiting to heap unwarranted negative feedback!

38

Ann on September 21st, 2011 at 10:38 am

I remember going to Disney World back in the 70′s when it was just the Magic Kingdom off I-4; every expansion, from theme parks to hotels down to miniature golf sites, has been graced with the well- planned magic that only Disney can create. Whether the proprietary material is Disney based or not shouldn’t be an issue; there should never be artifical constraints placed on their ability to create magical spaces for all of us to enjoy.
James Cameron is just as visionary as the team at Disney; I can’t wait to see what two creative forces like that can create.

39

Adam on September 21st, 2011 at 10:42 am

Whoa, thanks for answering my question!

40

Randy on September 21st, 2011 at 10:52 am

I think this is a great idea and this will be successful for Disney. I don’t understand the negative backlash. I am always happy when Disney invests in new experiences at their parks. Harry Potter has brought guests to Universal that had never been there before. Using the popularity of Avatar ( and the upcoming sequels) will broaden the popularity of Disney’s parks to new guests.

I have confidence that whatever Disney and James Cameron do for this land is going to be spectacular.

41

Danielle on September 21st, 2011 at 10:53 am

thank you for posting these questions and answers! I had mixed feelings about this announcement, mostly negative, to be honest! but pointing out that disney has collaborated with outside vendors like star wars and indiana jones helped me realize this isnt so out of left feild afterall….im still apprehensive about this huge change and hope it doesnt overshadow my beloved animal kingdom park or WDW in general! but i am hesitantly positive and eager to hear more :)

42

Pete on September 21st, 2011 at 11:10 am

Ahhhhh, knee-jerk AND thoughtful reactions, both Positive AND Negative. What more is needed to see that this partnership has the potential to generate huge public interest for years to come. James Cameron, like Lucas and Spielberg, is a catalyst of major proportions… able to attract investors and sponsors to projects that might otherwise die for lack of funding. As for AK… I have long maintained among my friends that the decision not to continue with the “Beastly Kingdom” portion of the park significantly weakened the entire concept. The addition (and success) of EXPEDITION EVEREST (featuring a mythical Yeti at the core of it’s storyline) was a step towards bringing AK back to its roots, and the proposed addition of the PANDORA environment with an AVATAR experience/attraction/??? is another such step.

Various points:
• Cameron is an innovator who associates himself with top quality, boundary-pushing projects… a perfect Disney fit.
• FOX has deep pockets and a strong self-interest in building enthusiasm for PANDORA/AVATAR-related projects (sequels, attractions, merchandise, etc.).
• AK has the available footprint for a significant project (replacing the Camp Minnie-Mickey area that is located where the “Beastly Kingdom” was intended), unlike the Studios park where, it can certainly be argued, a movie-based attraction or land would fit more coherently with the existing theme.

While the Press event was certainly disappointing in its lack of specificity… what else would you expect? The ‘Blue Sky’ process is just beginning and all the parties involved have a vested interest in continuing to build public interest… there will be plenty of info coming out!

43

Emily on September 21st, 2011 at 11:17 am

After reading through the comments on the initial post and this post, I’m disappointed in the Disney fan community’s negative response to this announcement. Throughout the years, the Disney company has paired itself with other brilliant and creative people, like Jim Henson, George Lucas and John Lasseter, to make great attractions, so it seems to me that is exactly what Disney hopes to do with James Cameron.
When I first heard the announcement, I was a little unsure because I’m not a huge fan of the movie, but when I thought about it more, the themes are a great fit for Animal Kingdom, and I think it has a lot of potential to be something great. I also think this has the makings to remove the dreaded “half-day park” label on Animal Kingdom.
As for standing the test of time, I understand the concern, but I’m staying positive on this. I think Disney is filled with creative people who have the best interest of the guests in mind, and I’m putting my trust in them during these very early stages of the project.

44

Fred from CA on September 21st, 2011 at 11:51 am

Chris–
I absolutely agree with you! I’m so sick and tired of people using the “Walt card” whenever they don’t like something. I mean, if you don’t like something, fine, but don’t make the claim that “Walt would not approve”. Whenever someone makes that claim, it almost always means that they themselves don’t like something, and they are just trying to justify their opinion, and elevate it to a higher status.

I also find it funny that some assume that is news was met with “‘overwhelmingly’ negative feedback”. One can easily see from the comments on the Disney Parks blog that there are SEVERAL people that are indeed excited about this.

I too, am disappointed with all of the negative feedback from the online community. I am very intrigued by this news. Again, this is no different that the presence of Star Wars or Indiana Jones in the parks.

Tom, once again, I thank you again for addressing some readers’ questions. I hope you aren’t too shocked or discouraged by some of the knee-jerk, negative reactions. Welcome to the online Disney fan community.

45

Chris from CA on September 21st, 2011 at 11:53 am

I am a huge fan of the Disney parks and really like the Avatar movie. I can see how the theme of conservation and environment fit with the Animal Kingdom park. I am excited to see how this turns out when it opening in about 5 years, but I do have some concerns.

1. “Beastly Kingdom” and the original plans for AK were to include mythilogical creatures like dragons and unicorns and stuff. Avatar is a recent made up movie and has it’s own unique creatures, but not mythilogical.

2. Why not go with a franchise that Disney actually owns for another land? Maybe theme it from some of the other Disney/Pixar film/cartoon characters. Avatar is not a Disney related movie just like Star Wars or Indiana Jones, so it could be a good move.

3. Speaking of Star Wars…. why not a whole Star Wars land (not in AK park). They can also do a whole Marvel Comics land or park somewhere, not in the AK park.

either way, I am sure it will be killer and I will check it out when the time comes. They kept using the plural word “LANDS” when they were answering questions, so I am sure they are planning to do more than just AK park. Maybe a new park is in the works for Disneyland since they have obtained so much more land in the surrounding area.

46

Christopher on September 21st, 2011 at 11:58 am

So I am confused. Why is it that WDI is spending all this money to add to Animal Kingdon when EPCOT is stuck in the mid-90s and Hollywood Studios has not hardly changed since it opened. With the exception of Rockin’ Rollercoaster and Toy Story, I cannot find any differences since I started going there 15ish years ago. I think that WDI would better serve the public by spending money doing major upgrades of EPCOT and Hollywood rather than add to a “brand-new” park. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to see this, but I would also like to see improvements done before anything new occurs.

47

Fred from CA on September 21st, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Everyone, please be a little more understanding. OF COURSE there are very few details at this point, this project is in the Blue Sky phase, Details are still being developed and decided on.

48

Lori from NY on September 21st, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Just wanted to comment on what I thought was a superb idea from Joel at #24. Although I am so excited about experiencing Pandora, I’m not sure if Avatar can support an entire land (as others have commented, it has not yet stood the test of time). However, I feel that incorporating the magic of Avatar into other attractions at the long-rumored Beastly Kingdom would be a home run.

I also would like to vote for an experience that a wide age and health range can enjoy (not just a thrill ride). Something like Soarin’ over Pandora would be awesome!

49

Dana from FL on September 21st, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I am also a little dissappointed in this move, but for some different reasons. Amanda brought up a good point that these movies are rated PG-13, and do we really want our young children exposed to that? Many of you have commented that the Pirates movies are PG-13 as well, and that makes it ok.
However, why are these movies rated PG-13? Avatar has intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking. My big red flags are sensuality and language. In my personal opinion, there is WAY too much of that already, and why I strive to make sure my children watch wholesome shows (mostly from the Disney family itself).
Pirates on the other hand, has scary content that may be too intense for the young audience, minimal language, and references to alcohol. Parents have to use discretion when showing these to their children. You can definitely tell the difference in a Disney movie that’s rated PG-13, and other movies (like Avatar) that are rated PG-13. I would definitely not want any children below the age of 13 watch Avatar, no matter what “family values” are in it.
Disney, please just consider the implications of making an entire land. James Cameron, as amazing as he is (and I am a huge fan), does not have the same standards Disney has. Keep the family in mind when making plans!

50

Stephanie on September 21st, 2011 at 12:23 pm

With all due respect, I think this is a bad idea. Avatar has hardly proven it’s staying power the way Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or even James Bond have. I think your money would be better spent on something that is more likely to still hold the publics interest in 10+ years.
I hope this doesn’t wind up being a very expensive version of the now defunct Who Wants to be a Millionaire-Play It attraction!

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