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Doubting Avatar

Pixiedustmaker

Well-Known Member
From the limited chatter I've heard, Avatarland is currently being reassesed. There has been some friction between Pixarians and those at the Mouse House. Lasseter is only the principal creative advisor for WDI, but guess what? His stock has gone through the roof recently as some suits thought that Carsland wouldn't be as big as it has turned out to be. Disney/Pixar will be releasing Brave soon, the inside Timmy's brain movie, and others, plenty of material for a new land/attraction anywhere, AK included.

Avatarland was Iger's idea, something he thought would be an immediate response to Potterland, and he naively believed that Avatar, being a blockbuster, would be appropriate for a Disney Park. He's going to be stepping down anyway, so I think the prospects for Avatarland are seriously diminished, especially since Skipper John will be hanging around WDI a lot longer than Iger. Similar to DCA, Avatarland was cooked up by a suit who has too much power and not enough creative experience.

Here's why I don't think Avatar would work for a Disney park, similar to complaints others have had.

1. One of the characters smoked in the film, this little controversy will come-up as Disney wants Avatarland to appeal to families, and the film itself doesn't promote the Disney image. Some have compared it to Song of the South underpinning Splash mountain, though Avatarland is much more specific. Disney will have an issue when nine year olds go to "Avatarland" and then demand to see the film, which the parents may not let them watch.

2. Avatar was basically a Star Wars type film with military-style violence, and strange alien creatures. Avatarland would sort of be like building "Wookieland" as the gung-ho violence will be taken out as that doesn't fit in AK, maybe in DHS, but its really a Universal type attraction if it had that.

3. Avatar is not a Disney property, advertising and building a land for James Cameron doesn't help Disney in the film business, and makes the feature film side of Disney look weak. Star Wars, was in my opinion different as Star Tours is not a whole land, and Star Wars Universe is bigger as the films go to a lot of different places in the Star Wars Universe.
 

walt-sent-me

Member
Original Poster
Okay, here goes. Not to rile anyone...this wasn't my intent.

The evidence I was referring to in my original post is what is found right here on the WDWMAGIC site. All of the news stories found under the Avatar listing. It's bascially what NEPALOSTPARKS posted earlier. PIRATEFRANK also made reference in a post. There are no news stories that suggest the project has been put on hold. Since the initial Iger announcement there appear to be stories that support the Avatar project.

My post was strictly to ask why the doubt? Any posts stating Avatar will not happen are from members who might be in the know - though this doesn't make it officical, at least not as official as the actual news releases posted on the site. Or from folks who speculate the project concept is flawed. No offense. We might all have differences of opinion (thank you God) about Avatarland being suitable for AK or DHS or WDW in general, or that some projects are announced but are never realized, but this particular project was announced rather recently as far as timelines go. Walt was caught off guard too when he had to tell people about WDW.

Here's what we know:

BURBANK (September 20, 2011) – Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with visionary filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of AVATAR to life at Disney parks. Through an exclusive agreement announced today by Disney, Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox, Disney will partner with Cameron and producing partner Jon Landau to create themed lands that will give theme park guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of AVATAR first hand. Disney plans to build the first AVATAR themed land at Walt Disney World, within the Animal Kingdom park. With its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the AVATAR stories, which share the same philosophy. Construction is expected to begin by 2013.

“James Cameron is a groundbreaking filmmaker and gifted storyteller who shares our passion for creativity, technological innovation and delivering the best experience possible,” said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “With this agreement, we have the extraordinary opportunity to combine James’ talent and vision with the imagination and expertise of Disney.”

“AVATAR created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new AVATAR films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said James Cameron. ”I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our AVATAR universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of AVATAR with an unprecedented sense of reality.”

James Cameron reveals a few more details of AVATAR land
Sep 26, 2011


ITN News in the United Kingdom interviewed James Cameron about the upcoming AVATAR project at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and a couple of interesting tidbits came to light about the size and scope of the land. Cameron indicated "the goal here is to put you on Pandora", it will feature a "number of attractions", occupy "12 acres of Pandora", offer a "complete experience" and "might be a half day or more" experience.

Disney CEO Bob Iger reaffirms AVATAR land coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom in 2015
Mar 13, 2012

At today's Walt Disney Company shareholders meeting in Kansas, Disney CEO Bob Iger reaffirmed that AVATAR land will be coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom, and should open in 2015. There has been some recent speculation around the Internet that the AVATAR land project may be struggling to get off the ground. This news would certainly seem to contradict that notion.


Imagineer Joe Rohde comments on AVATAR land
Mar 29, 2012

As part of a brief interview with the official Disney Parks Blog, Animal Kingdom's chief Imagineer Joe Rohde commented on AVATAR land. This follows a brief comment from Disney CEO Bob Iger earlier this month, both of which seem to indicate that the project remains very much alive.

From the Disney Parks Blog.
What are you looking forward to next? When I think about the AVATAR story and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I see the value systems that underlie both. We have the opportunity to tell that story in a way that will make the AVATAR experience feel like a natural part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. All of us who are designers have an opportunity to take the work we are given and make it something unexpected. That’s how we help the company to grow and expand into new areas.


New York Times article claims flight simulation will be part of upcoming Avatar land
May 21, 2012


The New York Times today claimed that the upcoming Avatar land to be built in Disney's Animal Kingdom will include a ride that simulates flight. This is the first public report of any remotely firm details on any of the actual rides that may be part of the land.

Apparently referencing comments made by Avatar creator James Cameron, the New York Times says, "Avatar construction is set to begin next year and open in 2015. Design details are secret, but James Cameron, who directed “Avatar” and is working on two sequels, has said part of the project will include a ride that simulates flight. "


So, why not wait a while to see what happens? That's all I'm wondering.
 

HokieDevil

Member
Why instead of Avatar can't they plan something around Maleficent and go back to what was a great idea, Beastly Kingdom. I feel that could create an amazing roller coaster ride around a Disney Character and I never really liked Avatar. Hopefully this new Angelina Jolie movie will be a success and they could build something around that. But I guess we'll have to wait till 2014 to see how that unfolds...
 

unkadug

Follower of "Saget"The Cult
Here's my "Doubting" avatar...it's a little too big for this forum though...
cat_caravaggio_01-300x225.jpg
 

tl77

Well-Known Member
Since day one there have been things announced that never happened, "Western River Expedition" was announced in 1969, and promoted inside the Magic Kingdom until the late 70's, but that never came to be. So just because they design and announce something isn't any guarantee that it will actually be built, in fact this web site is dedicated to Disney attractions that never happened http://www.theneverlandfiles.com/tnf/

My only complaint about Avatar land is its location, it's seems to me that an attraction based on a movie should be in the park themed around the movies, and not the park themed around animals ...like? there still called "theme" parks right? and I don't mind "Bug's Life" "Lion King" and "Nemo" at AK because they are "Disney" movies, about "animals" at "Disney's Animal Kingdom" it all kind of fits together nicely

I think Avatar has a lot of potential, I'm just not 100% sure what that potential is, but if you told me 25 years ago the they were going to build an elevator ride to the Twilight Zone I would have thought you were crazy, but that worked out pretty well ...at the Hollywood movie park

But to me Avatar at Animal Kingdom is like Nemo at Epcot, "The Seas with Nemo" is very well done, but it really doesn't jive with the "Future World" theme like "Sea Base Alpha" did, and it seems really out of place to me. If they're only m.o. is to raise attendance at Animal Kingdom, than they should convince the Pixar guys to do a movie about mythological creatures, then you'll get your Beastly Kingdom and every one will be happy ...right?
 

Bolna

Well-Known Member
My post was strictly to ask why the doubt? Any posts stating Avatar will not happen are from members who might be in the know - though this doesn't make it officical, at least not as official as the actual news releases posted on the site.

I think a lot of the people on here have learned over the years that this is one of the best places to get accurate information about what is happening at WDW. Mostly thanks to the insiders who post here. A lot of news/rumors appear here way before they are officially announced. So going by what is officially being said might often not give you the most accurate picture.

Just think of how Disney claimed not to know anything about that substantial building that was beind built next to the Contemporary a few years back. Everyone here knew that it was going to be DVC units - I think even the name might have already been common knowledge here - when Disney was still claiming that they knew nothing about all the steel and concrete there.

Also, the whole Avatar doubting did get a new perspective with this thread: Say.... What if Avatarland got cancelled?[/URL] If you look at the OP's posting history he appears to be someone who really knows his/her stuff. A few of the other knowledgeable posters confirmed that they were hearing similar things from their sources.

However, it has to be said that the OP came back and was being more optimistic about Avatarland happening in this post: Avatar's arrival ...[/URL]

So - nothing has been proven, but I think there has been enough reason to doubt Avatarland. Remember, to doubt does not mean that the opposite has been proven true with evidence. It is after all more of an emotion.
 

jt04

Well-Known Member
Since day one there have been things announced that never happened, "Western River Expedition" was announced in 1969, and promoted inside the Magic Kingdom until the late 70's, but that never came to be. So just because they design and announce something isn't any guarantee that it will actually be built, in fact this web site is dedicated to Disney attractions that never happened http://www.theneverlandfiles.com/tnf/

My only complaint about Avatar land is its location, it's seems to me that an attraction based on a movie should be in the park themed around the movies, and not the park themed around animals ...like? there still called "theme" parks right? and I don't mind "Bug's Life" "Lion King" and "Nemo" at AK because they are "Disney" movies, about "animals" at "Disney's Animal Kingdom" it all kind of fits together nicely

I think Avatar has a lot of potential, I'm just not 100% sure what that potential is, but if you told me 25 years ago the they were going to build an elevator ride to the Twilight Zone I would have thought you were crazy, but that worked out pretty well ...at the Hollywood movie park

But to me Avatar at Animal Kingdom is like Nemo at Epcot, "The Seas with Nemo" is very well done, but it really doesn't jive with the "Future World" theme like "Sea Base Alpha" did, and it seems really out of place to me. If they're only m.o. is to raise attendance at Animal Kingdom, than they should convince the Pixar guys to do a movie about mythological creatures, then you'll get your Beastly Kingdom and every one will be happy ...right?

I was somewhat of the same mind until I saw how happy Joe Rhode was about the project. Was he just doing the corporate thing or does he sincerely think avatar is a good fit for 'his' park.

Ultimately though I think Lasseter may be the best to decide as he does not have the emotional attachment to DAK that others do. If it is wrong for DAK I believe Mr Lasseter would know it. We don't need another rash 20K decision here. Perhaps they should have stuck with Mysterious Island or some other "adventurous" concept.

Time will tell.
 

unkadug

Follower of "Saget"The Cult
I think a lot of the people on here have learned over the years that this is one of the best places to get accurate information about what is happening at WDW. Mostly thanks to the insiders who post here. A lot of news/rumors appear here way before they are officially announced. So going by what is officially being said might often not give you the most accurate picture.

Just think of how Disney claimed not to know anything about that substantial building that was beind built next to the Contemporary a few years back. Everyone here knew that it was going to be DVC units - I think even the name might have already been common knowledge here - when Disney was still claiming that they knew nothing about all the steel and concrete there.

Also, the whole Avatar doubting did get a new perspective with this thread: Say.... What if Avatarland got cancelled? If you look at the OP's posting history he appears to be someone who really knows his/her stuff. A few of the other knowledgeable posters confirmed that they were hearing similar things from their sources.

However, it has to be said that the OP came back and was being more optimistic about Avatarland happening in this post: Avatar's arrival ...

So - nothing has been proven, but I think there has been enough reason to doubt Avatarland. Remember, to doubt does not mean that the opposite has been proven true with evidence. It is after all more of an emotion.

Links fixed...
 

Bolna

Well-Known Member
Links fixed...

I can see now that something is wrong with my links - but how do I fix them - tried to edit my post and just could not figure out what went wrong - I just copied the link the forum gave me... :confused: Thanks for seeing it and fixing it , but I would really love to be able to have them correct in my post as well...
 

shmmrname

Active Member
I can't say I doubt anything, only that I hope it doesn't happen. If others are like me, they are more likely to cling to signs of hope (Avatarland NOT happening) than signs that Disney might end up with a fairly large-scale blunder.
 

C.FERNIE

Well-Known Member
I think avator land is coming whether we like it or not! avator is still in its box and never watched it! .... yet! not really excited to! so i am more interested in the rides and experiance than what it is actually based on! :)
 

Pentacat

Well-Known Member
1. One of the characters smoked in the film, this little controversy will come-up as Disney wants Avatarland to appeal to families, and the film itself doesn't promote the Disney image. Some have compared it to Song of the South underpinning Splash mountain, though Avatarland is much more specific. Disney will have an issue when nine year olds go to "Avatarland" and then demand to see the film, which the parents may not let them watch.

2. Avatar was basically a Star Wars type film with military-style violence, and strange alien creatures. Avatarland would sort of be like building "Wookieland" as the gung-ho violence will be taken out as that doesn't fit in AK, maybe in DHS, but its really a Universal type attraction if it had that.

3. Avatar is not a Disney property, advertising and building a land for James Cameron doesn't help Disney in the film business, and makes the feature film side of Disney look weak. Star Wars, was in my opinion different as Star Tours is not a whole land, and Star Wars Universe is bigger as the films go to a lot of different places in the Star Wars Universe.


1. How does Marvel fit into what you perceive as the Disney Image? When an inevitable Iron Man attraction shows up in a Disney Park how will I explain to my children that Tony Stark only drinks heavily because he's sad and that hitting each other with hammers is not acceptable behavior?

2. The star of an Avatar attraction will NOT be the STORY of the movie but the environment that is Pandora. How do EE and Dinosaur fit in with AK? It's not a zoo so stop pretending that anything that doesn't have real or non-mythical creatures doesn't "fit".

3. Disney has done a great job making them selves look weak in live action films (John Carter?), I would think any association with the highest grossing film of all time would only help. Keep in mind this deal was announced before Avengers was released and even then Disney can't use the Marvel characters in FL....yet.
 

sgtmgd

Well-Known Member
I personally wouldn't mind if Avatar Land winds up not happening. I thought the movie was okay at best, especially when you take away all of its fancy and cutting-edge special effects. Without all of that, I found it to be rather boring and unusually similar to Pocahontas, minus the mass genocide of the Na'vi and all of the violence in general.

With that being said, having an entire area based on the film seems a little out-of-place in a Disney theme park, at least it does to me. I don't doubt that it would be beautiful to look at, especially if the area were to extend the park's hours. I could just imagine how beautiful everything would light up during the evening, but... I see little logic as to how it'd fit in with the general theme of the rest of the park: animals. If anything, Avatar was a word to the wise about nature. I think that sort of thing would have fit better in Epcot, if that were the case, but even if it were to relocate in Epcot, it'd still be one massive leap over the metaphorical shark. Yes, it featured a few mythical animals, but they weren't a primarily huge part of the movie, I thought (then again, I've only seen the film twice, neither of which were very recent, so I could be wrong).

Also, I'm concerned about the possibility of WDI building a replica of Hometree. I don't doubt that it'd be gorgeous, but... I don't want it to outshine the current icon of the entire park, the Tree of Life. There's also been buzz about them including a nighttime show quite similar to the other three parks, if this area were built. Wasn't the whole point of closing Animal Kingdom early was to not frighten or scare the animals with nighttime entertainment?

Berate me all you'd like, but this is the first time I've never liked something that WDI had in the works. I'm sorry if I've upset anybody because of my lack of excitement.


Well thought out viewpoints should never warrant a berating..

Animal Kingdom needs something as does DHS...

Avatarland works about as well as Dinosaures if you want to go that route..but Id think with the wealth of Disney Movies something more traditional would be warranted...but Harry Potter is ballooning for Universal
 

FigmentJedi

Well-Known Member
Only reason they picked Avatar was it made a billion dollars using the gimmick of revived 3D. In the years since it came out, it's mostly become a joke about how crazy the fringe elements of the fanbase are or how unoriginal and shallowly written the story is.

If they wanted an outside franchise in Animal Kingdom, they should have gone with something that has established lasting appeal and a large fanbase that could match Potter: Pokemon.
 

Lee

Adventurer
I was somewhat of the same mind until I saw how happy Joe Rhode was about the project. Was he just doing the corporate thing or does he sincerely think avatar is a good fit for 'his' parkl.
Rohde is largely doing the "corporate thing".
He of course knows that DAK needs further development, and is certainly glad to see a large project get sent his way, but Avatar wasn't at the top of his wish list.
 

MKCP 1985

Well-Known Member
The person who most publicly questions whether the Avatar section of the Disney Animal Kingdom park will be built does so as part of an agenda which has not been fully shared publicly with the forum members here. This person hints at major changes coming to management which will be to his favor and by implication, could kill the Avatar project since there are competing interests and the Avatar area may not yet have progressed beyond the point of no return.

That's about as direct an answer to the original post as I can muster.
 

ChrisM

Well-Known Member
Rohde is largely doing the "corporate thing".
He of course knows that DAK needs further development, and is certainly glad to see a large project get sent his way, but Avatar wasn't at the top of his wish list.

That's understandable. I can't really puzzle out a good way to make an insanely elaborate queue and
comparatively mediocre ride out of the Avatar property, either.

On the other hand, huge possibilities for even more humongous and elaborate ear jewelry.
 

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