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Thoughts on Avatar after experiencing Cars Land

Atomicmickey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I just finished a three day trip to Disneyland (yay) and had a few thoughts about Avatar
that struck me while touring Cars Land. They are similar projects in that they are a single
land around a single theme, and one must assume that Disney is going to take some of the same
operational and design strategy with these two things. (and, by extrapolation, whatever they
decide to ultimately do with Star Wars.)

-I am no huge fan of Cars, but the land itself blew my mind, and my family agreed. It was
so cool to be immersed in something of that size and audacity that we just spent a bunch
of time sitting there "just because". I think that Avatar will be the same. We went back
many times during the day and night just to be immersed. Oddly, the land itself did not seem busy
or crowded. I think people walked through on their way to the ride, and then out, and not everyone
sits and 'drinks it in' the way our family did.

-That said, the idea of a land with one E-ticket ride is a bit problematic. The lines for RSR
got to over 90 minutes regularly. I think that when people see that, they stay away from
the land in general, to some extent. The lines were ridiculous--about a 20 minute wait for a
FastPass--which I know will be different with MM+, but still. (Note that Luigi's flying tires
had closed, being an operational failure, and something will replace it eventually. I think that's
needed. The Mater ride (rumored to be coming to DHS re-themed as Woody's Roundup) was a fun ride
for kids and adults, we all liked that.)

-The e-ticket, Radiator Springs Racers, is IMHO, one of the best things that Disney has ever done.
Incredible animatronics and 'Dark Ride' sections, onboard audio that was immersive and clear, just
the right amount of thrill to be appealing to all ages. The coolest thing about it, though was the
fact that a huge portion of it happens outdoors--you are racing through an incredible environment.
It made me yearn for the Avatar coaster everyone was talking about. There's something about the tangible
animatronics and the incredible environment that is totally Disney, and totally appealing. I am
sure the Banshee ride will be amazing, but not the same as being physically transported through
a physical space as RSR does.

-I am nervous about the boat ride, now, because RSR had such a long, long, long themed queue.
I don't know how they can fit a boat ride, and a queue of that length, into that space. I wonder
if it hasn't gone away. Time will tell, but a ride of that magnitude and popularity needs a lot of queue . . . and I really think a land like this needs more than one experience/attraction.

-Wow, did they have a lot of Cars merch. None of which interested us, even one bit. My 13 year old
lobbied slightly for a Luigi tire hat, but that was it. The impressive nature of the land did not make
us want to buy anything at all. I really wonder how they are doing with that. I can see 5-9 year old
boys wanting a shirt or a die cast car, but that's about it. I wonder if they've overestimated the
desire for merch. This would also apply to Avatar, because although the movie made a ton of money,
as has been pointed out here, it's not like people wear/collect/desire Avatar stuff these days.
I liked the film more than most people here, but am not sure what I'd buy. Perhaps a Banshee figure if it was done really, really well. A glowing potted plant? Who knows.

So there are the pluses and minuses that I see. Because of the immersive quality of this new technique of 'building a whole world' I am looking forward to Avatar, with some reservations based upon my Cars Land experience.

And if you're on the fence about visiting Disneyland and seeing Cars Land, GO!
 

HauntedMansionFLA

Well-Known Member
I just finished a three day trip to Disneyland (yay) and had a few thoughts about Avatar
that struck me while touring Cars Land. They are similar projects in that they are a single
land around a single theme, and one must assume that Disney is going to take some of the same
operational and design strategy with these two things. (and, by extrapolation, whatever they
decide to ultimately do with Star Wars.)

-I am no huge fan of Cars, but the land itself blew my mind, and my family agreed. It was
so cool to be immersed in something of that size and audacity that we just spent a bunch
of time sitting there "just because". I think that Avatar will be the same. We went back
many times during the day and night just to be immersed. Oddly, the land itself did not seem busy
or crowded. I think people walked through on their way to the ride, and then out, and not everyone
sits and 'drinks it in' the way our family did.

-That said, the idea of a land with one E-ticket ride is a bit problematic. The lines for RSR
got to over 90 minutes regularly. I think that when people see that, they stay away from
the land in general, to some extent. The lines were ridiculous--about a 20 minute wait for a
FastPass--which I know will be different with MM+, but still. (Note that Luigi's flying tires
had closed, being an operational failure, and something will replace it eventually. I think that's
needed. The Mater ride (rumored to be coming to DHS re-themed as Woody's Roundup) was a fun ride
for kids and adults, we all liked that.)

-The e-ticket, Radiator Springs Racers, is IMHO, one of the best things that Disney has ever done.
Incredible animatronics and 'Dark Ride' sections, onboard audio that was immersive and clear, just
the right amount of thrill to be appealing to all ages. The coolest thing about it, though was the
fact that a huge portion of it happens outdoors--you are racing through an incredible environment.
It made me yearn for the Avatar coaster everyone was talking about. There's something about the tangible
animatronics and the incredible environment that is totally Disney, and totally appealing. I am
sure the Banshee ride will be amazing, but not the same as being physically transported through
a physical space as RSR does.

-I am nervous about the boat ride, now, because RSR had such a long, long, long themed queue.
I don't know how they can fit a boat ride, and a queue of that length, into that space. I wonder
if it hasn't gone away. Time will tell, but a ride of that magnitude and popularity needs a lot of queue . . . and I really think a land like this needs more than one experience/attraction.

-Wow, did they have a lot of Cars merch. None of which interested us, even one bit. My 13 year old
lobbied slightly for a Luigi tire hat, but that was it. The impressive nature of the land did not make
us want to buy anything at all. I really wonder how they are doing with that. I can see 5-9 year old
boys wanting a shirt or a die cast car, but that's about it. I wonder if they've overestimated the
desire for merch. This would also apply to Avatar, because although the movie made a ton of money,
as has been pointed out here, it's not like people wear/collect/desire Avatar stuff these days.
I liked the film more than most people here, but am not sure what I'd buy. Perhaps a Banshee figure if it was done really, really well. A glowing potted plant? Who knows.

So there are the pluses and minuses that I see. Because of the immersive quality of this new technique of 'building a whole world' I am looking forward to Avatar, with some reservations based upon my Cars Land experience.

And if you're on the fence about visiting Disneyland and seeing Cars Land, GO!
I was thinking the same thing today after watching about DCA on the Travel Channel today. It looked very impressive on TV. The same person who did the rock work at CarsLand will be doing AvatarLand which is exciting to see what they come up with. Time will tell on how many rides will be in the area. Hopefully they have walking paths that light up at night like the movie.
 

HauntedMansionFLA

Well-Known Member
I truly hope DHS gets Cars Land as rumored. I know people say the weather is an issue in Florida but we have a Safari ride all outdoors. You have a mine train and big thunder coaster outdoors. Test track at Epcot. There's plenty of outdoor rides at WDW.
I like the idea too nut they want WDW and DL to have different rides. I wouldn't mind having like CarsLand but make it something from Star Wars and make it Pod Racing going through Tatooine
 

Atomicmickey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I was thinking the same thing today after watching about DCA on the Travel Channel today. It looked very impressive on TV. The same person who did the rock work at CarsLand will be doing AvatarLand which is exciting to see what they come up with. Time will tell on how many rides will be in the area. Hopefully they have walking paths that light up at night like the movie.

The rockwork is astounding. I have travelled extensively along Route 66, northern New Mexico, Arizona, Utah. I have seen, hiked and climbed on, the rocks and formations that the fanciful Cars Land landscape is based upon. Being in that land seriously warped my mind, because just moments before I was on ParadisePier and I felt like I teleported or something. I have no doubt that the artistry we will see on display in Avatar Land will be similarly overwhelming. I also noted that the rockwork in Avatar Land is slated to be about 10 feet higher than the tallest portion of Cars Land.

The detail extended to calcifications, desert varnish, even "newly" chipped sections of rock, where the weathering differed by a simulated thousands of years. Amazing work.
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
I truly hope DHS gets Cars Land as rumored. I know people say the weather is an issue in Florida but we have a Safari ride all outdoors. You have a mine train and big thunder coaster outdoors. Test track at Epcot. There's plenty of outdoor rides at WDW.

The issue is not with weather in general for rides, but with the specific details of the RSR ride mechanics. That ride mechanism is somewhat notorious for not holding up well in rain -- a problem that Test Track suffers from at Epcot as well. I get the impression that, assuming a version of Cars Land comes to DHS, that the main ride would be entire indoors possibly with AAs similar to RSR's indoor parts, but without the outdoor race. It might be a completely different ride or concept altogether than RSR; maybe using a different ride system. Without any real details of what is coming to DHS, we really don't know.

Furthermore, I wonder if they are considering a full blow "Cars Land" (i.e. the entire town of Radiator Springs) or not at DHS. If they are, the shops might be similar to Anaheim, but the rides would I guess be entirely different if RSR is not copied and the reskinned versions of Mater's and (new) Luigi's end up appearing in DHS at TSPL. I would hope that they would do more than just one ride there.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
I just finished a three day trip to Disneyland (yay) and had a few thoughts about Avatar
that struck me while touring Cars Land. They are similar projects in that they are a single
land around a single theme, and one must assume that Disney is going to take some of the same
operational and design strategy with these two things. (and, by extrapolation, whatever they
decide to ultimately do with Star Wars.)

-I am no huge fan of Cars, but the land itself blew my mind, and my family agreed. It was
so cool to be immersed in something of that size and audacity that we just spent a bunch
of time sitting there "just because". I think that Avatar will be the same. We went back
many times during the day and night just to be immersed. Oddly, the land itself did not seem busy
or crowded. I think people walked through on their way to the ride, and then out, and not everyone
sits and 'drinks it in' the way our family did.

-That said, the idea of a land with one E-ticket ride is a bit problematic. The lines for RSR
got to over 90 minutes regularly. I think that when people see that, they stay away from
the land in general, to some extent. The lines were ridiculous--about a 20 minute wait for a
FastPass--which I know will be different with MM+, but still. (Note that Luigi's flying tires
had closed, being an operational failure, and something will replace it eventually. I think that's
needed. The Mater ride (rumored to be coming to DHS re-themed as Woody's Roundup) was a fun ride
for kids and adults, we all liked that.)

-The e-ticket, Radiator Springs Racers, is IMHO, one of the best things that Disney has ever done.
Incredible animatronics and 'Dark Ride' sections, onboard audio that was immersive and clear, just
the right amount of thrill to be appealing to all ages. The coolest thing about it, though was the
fact that a huge portion of it happens outdoors--you are racing through an incredible environment.
It made me yearn for the Avatar coaster everyone was talking about. There's something about the tangible
animatronics and the incredible environment that is totally Disney, and totally appealing. I am
sure the Banshee ride will be amazing, but not the same as being physically transported through
a physical space as RSR does.

-I am nervous about the boat ride, now, because RSR had such a long, long, long themed queue.
I don't know how they can fit a boat ride, and a queue of that length, into that space. I wonder
if it hasn't gone away. Time will tell, but a ride of that magnitude and popularity needs a lot of queue . . . and I really think a land like this needs more than one experience/attraction.

-Wow, did they have a lot of Cars merch. None of which interested us, even one bit. My 13 year old
lobbied slightly for a Luigi tire hat, but that was it. The impressive nature of the land did not make
us want to buy anything at all. I really wonder how they are doing with that. I can see 5-9 year old
boys wanting a shirt or a die cast car, but that's about it. I wonder if they've overestimated the
desire for merch. This would also apply to Avatar, because although the movie made a ton of money,
as has been pointed out here, it's not like people wear/collect/desire Avatar stuff these days.
I liked the film more than most people here, but am not sure what I'd buy. Perhaps a Banshee figure if it was done really, really well. A glowing potted plant? Who knows.

So there are the pluses and minuses that I see. Because of the immersive quality of this new technique of 'building a whole world' I am looking forward to Avatar, with some reservations based upon my Cars Land experience.

And if you're on the fence about visiting Disneyland and seeing Cars Land, GO!

Great post, this sums up exactly how I feel about Carsland. As for the boat ride queue, there is still a lot about this area that we aren't sure about. Permits were just filed a few weeks ago for two queues that appear to be for the Soarin ride and the boat ride and both permits mention foundations, so it's possible that we haven't actually seen where the queue is going to be in the previous aerials.
 

andre85

Well-Known Member
Apparently I'm the only one who thinks RSR is vastly over-rated. Yes, the land is cool, and the rockwork is great. But the ride itself? Meeeeeh.

It has lots of detail, but no depth. You can see everything worth seeing in a single ride-through (the track-split barely counts), unlike say Splash Mountain where I'm still discovering new details after dozens of ride-throughs. And the "climax" is anything but--I found it slow and unexciting, and it feels 'dead' next to the comparatively lively dark ride portion. Yeah, it's a kids ride--shame they had to hitch the concept to the Cars wagon.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
Apparently I'm the only one who thinks RSR is vastly over-rated. Yes, the land is cool, and the rockwork is great. But the ride itself? Meeeeeh.

It has lots of detail, but no depth. You can see everything worth seeing in a single ride-through (the track-split barely counts), unlike say Splash Mountain where I'm still discovering new details after dozens of ride-throughs. And the "climax" is anything but--I found it slow and unexciting, and it feels 'dead' next to the comparatively lively dark ride portion. Yeah, it's a kids ride--shame they had to hitch the concept to the Cars wagon.
I don't think Radiator Springs Racers is on part with Florida's Splash Mountain or Indiana Jones at Disneyland. But it's still a fantastic attraction. The animatronics all have to be big because of what they are, and they're all done very well. I don't really think there's anything wrong with the attraction, it's among the best thing Disney has done stateside.
 

Tom

Beta Return
I don't think Radiator Springs Racers is on part with Florida's Splash Mountain or Indiana Jones at Disneyland. But it's still a fantastic attraction. The animatronics all have to be big because of what they are, and they're all done very well. I don't really think there's anything wrong with the attraction, it's among the best thing Disney has done stateside.

I agree. If you compare it to Test Track, since they share a ride system, it's a 100 vs 10 for TT. But compared to Splash or the Indy Ride, it pales in comparison. RSR is VERY well done though. I thought it was a fantastic ride. But the land itself is the attraction for me. It's mind blowing. I just wanted to live there.
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
I truly hope DHS does not get Cars Land. They can be all the same type of rides- I'm fine with that- but give me a unique environment. If that means we're riding on RC instead and doing a full blown toy story theme (which would be tough outside), monsters inc, etc. Really- anything other than cars.

Again- nothing against cars, I'd just rather allow DL to have a unique area and WDW to have one as well. I'm planning a trip to DL specifically for cars land. I wouldn't do that if it was at HS.

I can understand that, but I would be okay with a similar land, with difference attractions. It wouldn't have to be a carbon copy but a different execution of "visiting Radiator Springs". As is, if some version of Cars Land gets built in DHS, it will likely not have any of the same rides and who knows if the supporting buildings will be the same. So, it might very well be a similar but distinct experience.

That said, if I were in charge, I'd rather they build (say) a full blown Monstropolis rather than Radiator Springs. Put the same effort done for Cars Land into something different.
 

doctornick

Well-Known Member
I think the rumors of DHS getting a full blown Carsland have cooled dramatically since if first surfaced here a few years ago.

True that. But there has been strong rumors that something Cars is coming as part of a general Pixar/DHS expansion. It might not be a full land and perhaps might be just a single ride and/or merch. That said, there's a pretty big footprint of available space in DHS from the Backlot Tour closing and if LMA also goes away, there would be space for a hack of a lot more than a ride here or there for Pixar stuff -- if there is a will (and money) to do something bigger.
 

ThemeParkTraveller

Well-Known Member
Apparently I'm the only one who thinks RSR is vastly over-rated. Yes, the land is cool, and the rockwork is great. But the ride itself? Meeeeeh.

It has lots of detail, but no depth. You can see everything worth seeing in a single ride-through (the track-split barely counts), unlike say Splash Mountain where I'm still discovering new details after dozens of ride-throughs. And the "climax" is anything but--I found it slow and unexciting, and it feels 'dead' next to the comparatively lively dark ride portion. Yeah, it's a kids ride--shame they had to hitch the concept to the Cars wagon.

I agree that the single most impressive element about the attraction is the rockwork. I loved RSR, but for $300 million I was expecting the ride itself to be more elaborate.
 

flyerjab

Well-Known Member
Concerning RSR as part of a Pixar expansion, I have been hearing on the Unifficial Guide's Disney Dish Podcast (Len Testa and Jim Hill) that DHS will get a Cars Land lite version. A Flo's Diner and an indoor dark ride type attraction. The reason for their to not be an outdoor track was because of the problem they already struggle with on Test Track and that is, when it rains TT is shut down. And with Florida weather, it rains quite a bit (if only they could send some to California).

As far as Pandora goes, I still think it will be the most elaborately themed land in the US. I expect the imagineers to exceed what was done for Cars Land.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
True that. But there has been strong rumors that something Cars is coming as part of a general Pixar/DHS expansion. It might not be a full land and perhaps might be just a single ride and/or merch. That said, there's a pretty big footprint of available space in DHS from the Backlot Tour closing and if LMA also goes away, there would be space for a hack of a lot more than a ride here or there for Pixar stuff -- if there is a will (and money) to do something bigger.

I agree, bring some Cars content to DHS just makes sense.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
Apparently I'm the only one who thinks RSR is vastly over-rated. Yes, the land is cool, and the rockwork is great. But the ride itself? Meeeeeh.

It has lots of detail, but no depth. You can see everything worth seeing in a single ride-through (the track-split barely counts), unlike say Splash Mountain where I'm still discovering new details after dozens of ride-throughs. And the "climax" is anything but--I found it slow and unexciting, and it feels 'dead' next to the comparatively lively dark ride portion. Yeah, it's a kids ride--shame they had to hitch the concept to the Cars wagon.

I find the race portion very exciting. Yes it's not as fast as Test Track but it makes up for it with a much more dynamic track layout with more curves and hills and the proximity to the rock work and the other car adds to the excitement.
 

Skibum1970

Well-Known Member
I find the race portion very exciting. Yes it's not as fast as Test Track but it makes up for it with a much more dynamic track layout with more curves and hills and the proximity to the rock work and the other car adds to the excitement.

I also enjoyed the too-brief portion at the start of the ride as you go through the rocks and past the waterfall. Fun ride, just not quite everything others had built it up to be. The racing portion is fun and much better than Test Track's outdoor section.

For myself, I'd rather the Indy ride from Disneyland with a different layout so as not to copy Dinosaur or something similar come to DHS as part of a Lucasfilm area. Then, build some Pixar rides with the wide assortment of movies available. Even a Pixar ride built with Mystic Manor's ride system and effects would be wonderful. As a land, I was hoping that Avatar would have three rides (ex the rumored coaster) as the park needs more in order for it to have the impact of Cars Land. Just my opinion.
 

Atomicmickey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Didn't mean for this to go off the rails into a discussion of Cars Land and RSR specifically. I was thinking more about what it could tell us about Disney's intentions with Avatar. I guess the formula is also in effect in Wizarding World as well--retail, restaurant, in a single environment, with an e-ticket and a supporting attraction or two.

As for what should come to WDW in other parks, and in other themes, I do believe there are about 14,000 other threads on those topics!

I do think I'm hearing here that the immersive quality of the land IS an attraction, over and above whatever the specific IP is, and that's definitely something working in Avatar's favor.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
Didn't mean for this to go off the rails into a discussion of Cars Land and RSR specifically. I was thinking more about what it could tell us about Disney's intentions with Avatar. I guess the formula is also in effect in Wizarding World as well--retail, restaurant, in a single environment, with an e-ticket and a supporting attraction or two.

As for what should come to WDW in other parks, and in other themes, I do believe there are about 14,000 other threads on those topics!

I do think I'm hearing here that the immersive quality of the land IS an attraction, over and above whatever the specific IP is, and that's definitely something working in Avatar's favor.

I think one of the big differences between Cars Land/Diagon Alley and Avatar is going to be the retail options. I just can't seem them doing a wide variety of retail options like they do in the other two lands.
 

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