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Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thread

P. 73: Earth Week Celebration offerings announced!

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My personal thoughts on the project- I don't like it. It feels like a forced move in response to Harry Potter. While it is nice that Animal Kingdom is getting something new, It is a bit upsetting that this will make such a dramatic "leap" to a different subject. Animal Kingdom is based on the real world- Even Camp Minnie Mickey is based on the Adirondack mountains. Dinoland while fantasized is at least made to be a "real" place.

 

From what I have read Animal Kingdom was supposed to open with a land dedicated to mythical creatures (Beastly Kingdom) and was supposed to have a dragon themed coaster but all scraped with budget cuts (IOA stole the idea and hence Dueling Dragons). Tree of Life even had a unicorn and dragon carved in there somewhere.

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My personal thoughts on the project- I don't like it. It feels like a forced move in response to Harry Potter. While it is nice that Animal Kingdom is getting something new, It is a bit upsetting that this will make such a dramatic "leap" to a different subject. Animal Kingdom is based on the real world- Even Camp Minnie Mickey is based on the Adirondack mountains. Dinoland while fantasized is at least made to be a "real" place.

 

From what I have read Animal Kingdom was supposed to open with a land dedicated to mythical creatures (Beastly Kingdom) and was supposed to have a dragon themed coaster but all scraped with budget cuts (IOA stole the idea and hence Dueling Dragons). Tree of Life even had a unicorn and dragon carved in there somewhere.

 

 

Yeah Animal Kingdom actually has some "tributes" to that project around the park, in the form of rock formations.

 

If anything I hope Disney can do to Avatar what they did to Star Wars. An attraction where everyone can enjoy it, even if you haven't seen the movies. We'll just have to wait and see.

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Right off the bat I thought that Animal Kingdom was the perfect fit for this - if they create a real replica of Pandora (which they will - it's Disney) then there's no better place in the WDW resort to immerse yourself in a sort of jungle utopia than at Animal Kingdom. And I doubt that they'll go the route of branding every last shop and ride (here's to hoping for a good, major ride to compliment Everest). I think this'll be more of a themed experience where you're being immersed in this untouched-by-humans land - which is the entire point of Animal Kingdom to begin with, really.

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Frankly I'm very surprised. I thought Avatar was just, ok. At the same time I'm not a big Harry Potter fan but I was blown away The Wizarding World. I'm sure they have pretty big plans having roped such a commercially successful movie, which is something to get excited about from my perspective. I still hope they could get that yeti to work reliably before any major things are added

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I haven't seen the film, nor do I have any intentions to, but I'm genuinely stoked AND intrigued! Much like the others, I definitely imagined a B&M Wingwalker as well, although I think they would go with a much tamer Intamin version, seeing as Intamin have given them full control on California Screamin'. I can't wait to see how this transpires.

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Avatar sounds like a good fit for AK. The natural setting of Pandora fits better at AK then at DHS in my opinion, besides there is probably a lot more space at AK then DHS. Hopefully DHS will get an expanded Star Wars area or an Indiana Jones ride in the future. Avatar is definitely Disney's answer to Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While the new Fantasyland was never going to hold a candle to WWOHP, this Avatar land might if its executed correctly. I'm pleased with what Disney did with non Disney properties like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, so I'm looking forward to what they do with Avatar.

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If anything I hope Disney can do to Avatar what they did to Star Wars. An attraction where everyone can enjoy it, even if you haven't seen the movies. We'll just have to wait and see.

 

Star Tours in my opinion is one of the worst attractions at Disney, I think it's a terrible ride experience that if not for being somewhat of a Star Wars fan I would completely avoid every trip (I still do for the most part). I'm hoping this Avatar section is far better than Star Tours.

 

On a side note I never understood why everyone assumes that the Dragon Tower attraction for Animal Kingdom was supposed to be exactly like Dueling Dragons. I know the concepts were very similar, but all of the artwork I've ever seen for Dragon Tower was of a sit down or suspended style coaster, not a dueling inverted. Also I've read about the imagineeers working on the attraction being let go and left to go develop IOA, but I think they went to IOA and built a bigger better version of Dragon Tower using the Inverted B&M ride system that Disney wouldn't use. Disney has never built a B&M ride and I was under the impression that there was a very specific reason why they haven't, and because of this I don't think the Dragon Tower was never designed as a B&M inert. (If I'm wrong, sorry).

 

But back on track here the fact that this is being announced as a whole land and not a single attraction already makes me think this will be much better and more elaborate, than Star Tours ever could be. I know I just said that Disney has never built a B&M, but I sure hope that they can find a way to make a wingrider work., or I hope Vekoma has one in development as we speak!

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Creatively, I think this opens up the possibility to lots of cool ideas for attractions.

 

Marketing? Not so sure how this is going to work out. I don't think anybody thought Avatar was a good movie, but its popularity came from being the first movie to take 3D to the next level. Now with 3D movies popping up left and right (some even using the same production techniques as Avatar), it will be interesting to see how much the sequels will gross.

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Creatively, I think this opens up the possibility to lots of cool ideas for attractions.

 

Marketing? Not so sure how this is going to work out. I don't think anybody thought Avatar was a good movie, but its popularity came from being the first movie to take 3D to the next level. Now with 3D movies popping up left and right (some even using the same production techniques as Avatar), it will be interesting to see how much the sequels will gross.

 

I think Avatar could be better as a theme park land/attraction than it ever was as a movie (see Mummy, Men in Black, Jurassic Park)

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Creatively, I think this opens up the possibility to lots of cool ideas for attractions.

 

Marketing? Not so sure how this is going to work out. I don't think anybody thought Avatar was a good movie, but its popularity came from being the first movie to take 3D to the next level. Now with 3D movies popping up left and right (some even using the same production techniques as Avatar), it will be interesting to see how much the sequels will gross.

Yeah, see this is a valid argument, as opposed to whether Harry Potter will have any staying power. Bottom line returns talk though, and if Disney inked the deal, God knows they'll make it work somehow.

 

I just wish George Lucas would quit farting around with a million different ways to release 3 good movies, etc., and seriously consider the thought of expanding the studios with his mega brand. There's absolutely NO way a Star Wars themed "land" wouldn't trump the piss out of both Potter and Avatar combined.

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Interesting idea, though we really know nothing at this point. The construction date is far enough away that only about a billion things can change.

 

I agree that Studios DESPERATELY needs one or more new major attractions! That park really seems neglected. And yes, a Star Wars land would be hugely popular.

 

I am still holding out hope for the announcement of Dinosaur 2: More Dinosauring, though I'm probably alone on this one...

 

dt

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Am I really the only one whose first thought was about the people committing suicide over how colorful and pretty the movie world was and that the park could be worse... Or maybe that all is in the past by now.

 

I honestly would love to see the X style S&S Free Fly concept for something like this. I think that would be a near perfect ride as it could much more easily be a family ride and could traverse scenes leaving the rider more free to look around than holding on tight.

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This is fantastic news. The IP is flexible enough to adapt into many different attractions. With AK having a dedicated land to Avatar, the potential is pretty high. Given the time frame mentioned, the "ballpark" of Avatar 3 release, that would put it out 4-5 years from now? Quite a wait!

 

I am not sure Disney would ever pay Lucas more money to expand the Star Wars presence in the parks. I totally agree a well-executed Star Wars land in Florida would be amazing. Heck, they even have one ride already built.

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Creatively, I think this opens up the possibility to lots of cool ideas for attractions.

 

Marketing? Not so sure how this is going to work out. I don't think anybody thought Avatar was a good movie, but its popularity came from being the first movie to take 3D to the next level. Now with 3D movies popping up left and right (some even using the same production techniques as Avatar), it will be interesting to see how much the sequels will gross.

 

I think that that's a bit of self-projection. The critical and audience reviews are generally favorable and its hard to forget that the movie was an international phenomenon and the most financially sucessfull film of all time by far. The internet has become an echo chamber of complaints about the movie but I guarantee it has many fans and the sequels will do quite well.

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Agree with much of the positivity from earlier folks:

- Avatar was the biggest movie of all time, in the world, period. Yes, the storyline was derivative, and I don't feel a lot of need to re-watch it, but it is still a big deal.

- Huge future potential with 2 more movies in the pipeline

- Attractions live and die by being good attractions, not just tied to a good movie, especially as the lifetime of most major theme park attractions are 20+ years

- Wingrider coasters (from whatever manufacturer) would be a natural major attraction. Disney needing to aim for a wide audience means the ride can't be "World class" in forces, but the opportunity to theme the HECK out of it will hopefully more than make up for that

 

Thoughts:

- AK is absolutely the right place for an Avatar land thematically (nature, green spaces) though I already really enjoy the park as is, and yes, the Studios desperately need more family & minor rides

- Cameron has delivered pretty awesome attractions before (remember how cool T2:3D was when it first came out?) and is personally invested in making the Avatar franchise work going forward

 

Questions:

- When they say land, how many other attractions? Any thoughts on what these could be (other than a 4D movie?)

- How will the crazy flying dragon/banshee/whatever patent fit in? Live stunt show?

- Is there any potential for a VR attraction (you design then walk around Pandora in your own Avatar body?)

- How immersive will the theming go as far as the land, shops, restaurants go?

- Will the ride(s) tie directly to the second and third movies?

- Has anyone at Disney figured out what the Pandora equivalent of Butterbeer is yet?

 

 

Like someone else said earlier, I had to double check whether it was April 1 or not...

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