Friday, March 9, 2012

Wither Avatarland?

Heard an interesting rumor from two sources today. Apparently cooler heads are prevailing at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and the idea of building a themed area dedicated to the worlds created by James Cameron in his Avatar movies at Disney's Animal Kingdom is getting a second look.

The biggest plot of land available at Disney's Animal Kingdom was at one time designated to be built as a new land with animals and culture from Australasia region. The park already has a few animals that fit that mold, but they aren't getting much traffic due to their off the path locations. Plus it would allow them to tie in the popular Finding Nemo movie along with other aquatic beasts, something very much missing from DAK at the moment.

The plans for Australia were pretty much in place before Tom Staggs had his ah-ha moment while walking through DCA. But Staggs had only recently moved into his position above Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and wasn't 100% familiar with the vision and goals of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Staggs only new that the park needs some help with keeping guests attention a full day and that Disney World was getting their pants handed to them by the Boy Wizard up the street. So a giant movie property like Avatar was available and Staggs smartly snagged the themepark rights to it.

However, that's not to say Avatar is a perfect fit for Disney's Animal Kingdom. That seems to be the growing consensus and word is that Avatar could be put on indefinite hold for DAK, perhaps popping up instead for the first time in Shanghai or as a stand alone Location Based Entertainment property in Hawaii near Aulani. The first sign of this would be a move to start construction on Australia at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Stay tuned. This could get interesting.

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Anonymous said...

Please, please, please let this be true.

Anonymous said...

I will be so incredibly disappointed in Disney if this project falls through. But I guess I have to admit, an immersive land comparable to the WWOHP coming from today's Walt Disney Company does sound too good to be true.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing against Avatar (haven't seen, don't plan on seeing it), but certainly doesn't belong in Animal Kingdom. It might go well with Tomorrowland.

Anonymous said...

Then if you didn't see the movie, you wouldn't make the connection. Avatar is ENTIRELY about conservation. As is Animal Kingdom. That's the whole theme of the story and that's why Disney picked Animal Kingdom for it in the first place. That park is in dire need of something new.

anne said...

"I will be so incredibly disappointed in Disney if this project falls through." Yes, I do agree with you. Anyway, aside from these most awaited attractions there I think we should not miss this Disney Dining