Disney Parks Reveals Additional Animal Kingdom Expansion Details
by, 10-12-2013 at 08:44 PM (1161 Views)
Early this morning (or late last night depending on where you live in the United States), Disney posted concept art and information on the upcoming changes at Animal Kingdom, mainly focused on the addition of the AVATAR-themed area. The Disney Parks Blog post includes more specific details related to attraction that will be part of the movie's Pandora brought to life. A boat ride will take visitors through the nighttime world of Pandora's bioluminescent forest.
Another attraction will allow visitors to "discover what it feels like to soar into the sky riding a banshee."
More interesting to me than the AVATAR artwork is the announcement that there will be new entertainment as part of the expansion, including a nighttime event that will make use of the long-neglected Discovery River. The as-yet unnamed nighttime entertainment will feature live music, lanterns, and water screens. Adding nightly entertainment will extend the time that visitors will spend at Animal Kingdom into the evening hours beyond the time when most would have departed.
This announcement was made by Tom Staggs at the D23 Expo in Japan. Those who attended the D23 Expo in Anaheim just a couple of months ago will recall that there no Parks & Resorts announcements at all. Inside the Imagineering exhibit there was a fake cubicle dressed to look like someone was working on AVATAR material, right next to a display of shipping crates that teased the Star Wars additions coming to the Disney Parks. Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix previously wrote about this tease in the Disneyland Park Update.
Making an announcement about the US park expansion in Japan is a bit of a slap in the face to those who spent the money to attend the D23 Expo in Anaheim expecting to hear about all of the cool upcoming projects at the Disney Parks. It's understandable that D23 schedules its events without consulting all of the various business units about their announcement time tables, however the lack of announcements at this year's Expo may affect future attendance. If the Expo merely becomes a very expensive way to spend more money on merchandise and view movie trailers that have already been shown elsewhere, my interest in it will certainly wane.