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    Podcast Show Notes: Will Avatar Fly at Walt Disney World?

    Will Avatar Fly at Walt Disney World? by MouseStation Crew
    MouseStation Episode 436
    Mark and Mike talk about the announcement of Disney's deal with Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the universe of Avatar to Disney Parks.

    Read it here!


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    It sounds like you guys have been keeping up with the main Avatar Land discussion thread, so you're probably already well versed in my staunch anti-Avatar Land stance, so I'm going to try to keep this brief. I agree with what you said, that Imagineering typically does excellent work and that they, at least, deserve the benefit of the doubt (there have been a few failures, Superstar Limo and Enchanted Tiki Room Under New Management spring immediately to mind, but over all they have a fairly spotless track record). If WDI came up with a really unique concept for an Avatar ride I think it could stand the test of time and end up outliving the popularity of its source material (I don't expect Avatar to remain a culturally relevant property beyond the end of the decade, with or without sequels). For instance, The Twilight Zone was not exactly a hot property when Tower of Terror was built, but the attraction has gone on to become a classic in its own right and has likely done more to raise interest in the great, but mostly forgotten show than anything else since Twilight Zone: The Movie tanked. However, the idea of a Twilight Zone Land would be absurd because it would be seen as creatively limiting and dated.

    Similarly, the idea of Avatar Land is just downright terrible. You're dedicating a large amount of space to a property that's already seen a fairly substantial drop off in cultural relevance after only two years, not only that but your limiting that whole space to revolve around ideas based on a property devoid of interesting characters or stories. Wizarding World of Harry Potter was a natural choice for a theme park land because there's so many memorable locations and ideas that could be easily adapted into a theme park; you could go to The Three Broomsticks for a butter beer and some food, shop around Diagon Alley or Hogsmead, you could head to the Quidditch Pitch for either a show or some kind of attraction, visit Hagrid's Hut and the Great Forest, and, of course, Hogwarts Castle itself. On the other hand, Avatar really doesn't have a lot of specific memorable locations that could be recreated in a theme park setting. Oh yes, Pandora was a neat creation, and visually beautiful, but it didn't have a lot of specific landmarks. Essentially you have the tree of souls and the human research/mining facility, neither of which exactly lend themselves to shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Even Radiator Springs has more memorable landmarks to recreate in a theme park environment than Avatar does.

    Oh dear, I've ranted for a lot longer than I wanted to. Please don't read this whole post on the show because it'll eat up all of your listener feedback time. Instead I'll try to summarize my points in a neat little paragraph for you to read on the show and if people care enough about the long form version of my thoughts you can send them here

    I just don't see Avatar Land having the longevity or creative potential necessary to sustain a theme park land. If Disney had made the deal with Cameron to include one Avatar ride as the flagship attraction of Beastly Kingdom 2.0 I could get really excited for this, but an entire Avatar Land seems like a major waste of money, space, and the Imagineering's talent. I seriously hope Disney scales back their plans on this one because the less space that it occupies is less space they'll be forced to re-theme 10 years down the road. So on a scale of 1-10 how excited I am/how much I approve, I'd say a 2 at best; if you were asking the same question regarding a single Avatar attraction I'd give it a cautiously optimistic 8/10. Avatar Land just reeks of a knee-jerk reaction from Disney and knee-jerk reactions almost never end up being good in the long run.


  4. #3
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    I actually like the idea of Pandora. The movie scenes are great, and as long as there's none of those animals that want to kill me and the air is breatheable, I'd love to see Pandora in real life. I only have one big beef with Pandora coming to WDW - the fact that it won't be here until 2016. That, to me, is stupid. Start builing it now. It'll be done by early 2014 or even sooner. By the time it's here, the anticipation of seeing it will be faded, if not gone.


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