Sunday, February 17, 2013

Disney's "AvatarLand" Project: Why this is a bad time.

Disney's "AvatarLand" Project
...and why it pisses me off!
In case you couldn't tell by the title, this little rant is about Disney's idea of building an entire land in the Animal Kingdom park based off the idea of James Cameron's blockbuster movie "Avatar". Also why I think it's about the dumbest idea I've heard yet.

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Well Folks, It's that time of the month again. 
No, Not that time, Geeze!
Time for Carrie to begin bitching as yet another "AvatarLand" rumor pops up. I know I've said it before but I don't think I've ever really explained exactly why this project aggravates the complete living HELL out of me! Allow me to pull out my little soapbox here and I shall enlighten you. 

Now, before anyone get's on their high horses, let me explain a few things. 
-I have nothing against the movie, I thought it was one of the most amazing and beautiful thing's I've ever really experienced. Especially in IMAX. Wow, Pretty! However, this isn't original folks. Most of us have seen this exact story before, in a different setting.  It happened in 1992, We called it Furn Gully: The Last Rainforest and it had Tim Curry, it wins.  It's also pretty much every iteration of Pocahontas we've ever seen.  So while beautiful and amazing, not original.
-I've got nothing against James Cameron, Except Titanic. However, I can forgive him that since he made Aliens which is one of my favorite movies.  
-I fully believe that Disney, of all the theme parks, really has the power to bring this rich and beautiful world to life. If anyone any can, it would be Disney. 

Okay, Carrie. What started this rant anyway?

Good Question! Let me explain!
Since this project was announced,  details have been sketchy. The opening date of 2015 has been bumped back twice now yet Disney keeps insisting the project is still in the design process. Also rumors of having trouble working with Cameron already exist. 
Well on Friday, those great folks over at OTPN posted an update about "AvatarLand" which reads something like this:

AVATAR - Walt Disney Imagineers are currently in the design stage for AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. 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 creating themed lands that will give Guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of AVATAR first hand. With its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the AVATAR stories, which share the same philosophy. Construction is expected begin in 2013 and project of this size typically takes approximately five years to design and build.  

I suggest you head over to their and read the whole article which can be found at: Orlando Theme Park News: AVATAR Land construction expected to start soon.

Why it's a shoddy idea..

1. The Current State of Disney World..
 Okay if you haven't been keeping up with the gossip, rumors and other general rants of the Disney Fan community, let me explain. Disney World, isn't in the best of shape right now. Many attractions have issues, large and gaping issues. Everything from Mechanical (broken animatronics, collapsing mountains) to "Bad Show" problems (Dirty, Worn and Visible Paint, Gaping holes). Don't believe me? Do some google searches, you'll quickly find half a dozen message boards with photos pointing out these huge problems. 
 Frankly, Disney World needs to pay more attention to these current problems and fix them now.   

 Letting things go and go some more until their major problems has never worked for this company. Point in fact, this is exactly what they tend to do when the idiots in upper management want an attraction gone from the parks. Still don't believe me? When was the last time you rode 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? The Skyway to Tomorrowland? BodyWars? 
 Hopefully your thinking along my lines here, that being, they're letting so much fall apart as it is...  can we really trust these people to build something that requires the attention to detail that Avatar requires? I honestly have no answer for this question but not much hope either. Corners keep being cut that I can't really put the faith into the current Disney World upper management (you know, the people who okay the spending budget?) to do this right.

2. Still Under Construction...
 Aside from the problem Disney World already has which is not fixing and maintaining what they've got, there is the added problem of still having one major expansion still under construction. Remember, the new FantasyLand Expansion (which isn't really and expansion!) still isn't finished. Nor will it be finished until summer of 2014 when the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is anticipated to open.  
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 So this project is still unfinished and already their wanting to bite off another two possible projects!
One being this shoddy "AvatarLand" idea and the second being the much rumored "Disney Hollywood Studios Expansion" which may or may not include a Florida version of a Pixar movie attraction. This seems a little too much going on at one single time to really work well in resorts favor.
 My parents always taught me to finish one project before I begin another. Because things get muddled and often important and vital parts end up missing. Mostly because your attention is now in two places when it should be focused on one.  I'm sure you've all heard some version of this at least a thousand times in your own lives. Perhaps Disney should pay more attention to the old words of wisdom passed down from parents to kids, they tend to really mean something. 

3. Wish in one hand, shit in the other. See which get's full first. 
 Another one of those catchy slogans and a direct quote from my own Mother. 
 We all know Disney doesn't really listen to their fans and critics unless we complain loudly enough, in person and only while at the parks. If they listen then, we're lucky but they still need to hear it. While I doubt they'll ever listen to reviews or concerns about projects like "AvatarLand" they do listen when we complain about the state of the parks. 
 So with that folks, I ask you this. If you see a bad show at any Disney Park, from a broken animatronic to peeling paint.. Please tell guest services. File a complaint or let them know your disappointed in the show you got. This is about the only control that we, the paying guests, have left within our power. 

Alright, We get it. You don't like the project, done yet?

 Yes! I'm done and I thank all you wonderful readers to taking the time to listen. I'll get off my soapbox now and allow you to either do the research or draw your own conclusions from the basic info I've provided. 


  1. My other problem with the whole thing is that, while the film "Avatar" was a huge deal when it came out, is anybody talking about it now? It seemed to disappear from the public consciousness a pretty long time ago. If Disney wants to expand Animal Kingdom, they should do something original that's not based on a fleetingly popular movie. "Beastly Kingdom" maybe?

  2. Thanks for the comment Eddie.

    Yes, that is another problem. Does it have the staying power? Originally this was suppose to open the same time frame as the second "Avatar" movie's release. However seeing as no one knows when that date will now be, it's a very good question!

    Beastly Kingdom/Night Kingdom, We've all wanted that for a long while know and it's surely a fan favorite. I'd love to see it built myself but I'm not putting any stock in that possibly happening.

  3. I absolutely, one hundred percent agree with you!