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Disney announces James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ themed land and rides for Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World

in Disney, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Entertainment, Featured, Movies, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

avatar

This morning Disney has announced plans to bring James Cameron’s film franchise “Avatar” to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney world. In a “long-term creative partnership” and exclusive deal, Cameron and his team will act as creative consultants with Walt Disney Imagineering with construction on the new land beginning by 2013 with a projected opening by 2016.

Specifics of the new Animal Kingdom themed land are not yet revealed, though a press conference is being held at Walt Disney Imagineering headquarters in Glendale, Calif. today.


Award-winning director of AVATAR, James Cameron, shares his excitement in working with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to create AVATAR themed lands at Disney parks beginning with Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort, Fla.

Plans are expected to feature more than one ride in a whole new park area. The “Pandora” alien planet themed area for Animal Kingdom will also include more than just rides, offering entertainment, shopping, and dining. Many are already calling it Disney’s answer to Universal Orlando’s highly-immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter.


UPDATE (9/22/11): The new video below features interviews with Disney president and CEO Bob Iger, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs, and writer/director James Cameron discussing the announcement off “Avatar” coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.



Groundbreaking filmmaker James Cameron and Bob Iger, CEO, The Walt Disney Company share their collaborative vision for bringing the mysterious universe of AVATAR alive in Disney parks.

“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.”

“AVATAR is a uniquely powerful franchise that has global appeal with audiences of all ages. Its spectacular settings, intriguing characters, imaginative creatures, and strong themes of family and loyalty make it a perfect fit for Disney,” said Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We can’t wait to give our guests the ability to journey to Pandora and explore the incredible immersive world of AVATAR in person.”


Photo L-R: Tom Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; James Cameron, award-winning director of AVATAR; Bob Iger, CEO, The Walt Disney Company; Jon Landau, co-producer of AVATAR; and Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen announce an exclusive agreement to create AVATAR themed lands at Disney parks.

Mythical creatures were intended to be part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park since its opening (the “Beastly Kingdom” project), but this is the first announced opportunity for Disney to showcase more than animals on Earth.

The project is said to cost around the same as the Cars Land expansion of Disney California Adventure, around $200 million. “Avatar” is the highest grossing film world wide ever, at $2.7 billion.


UPDATE: As promised earlier on the Disney Parks Blog, Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs has responded to a few fan questions about the addition of “Avatar” to the park. While dancing around the details (of which there are very little to share, as it’s all still early in the design phase), Staggs did address a few important concerns.

“Avatar” is rated PG-13 and features some adult themes and scenes, so is it family-friendly enough for a Disney theme park? Staggs responds:

“At its core, AVATAR is a film that embraces strong, positive themes of family, loyalty, living in harmony with nature and belief in oneself – all values that we share at The Walt Disney Company. You can be sure that these are the same themes that we will explore throughout our AVATAR lands. They will be places where friends and families can spend time together getting lost in a fantasy world, one of the true hallmarks of any Disney theme park experience.”

Why is the “Avatar” land ending up at Animal Kingdom and not Disney’s Hollywood Studios or another park? Staggs explains the fit:

“Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the perfect place for our first AVATAR land because at its core, the park gives guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature – real and mythical – in whole new ways. With AVATAR, we’ve found the perfect opportunity to let our guests explore one of the most compelling mythical worlds ever conceived. Animal Kingdom also celebrates adventure, living in harmony with nature and environmental stewardship – themes that are deeply rooted in the story of AVATAR.”

And ultimately, why pull in “Avatar” to Walt Disney World rather than using a Disney creation? Staggs cites “imaginative creatures, fascinating locations and intriguing characters” as the reason.


So just what attractions could be on the way for this new “Avatar”-themed area? Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs will be answering questions on the Disney Parks Blog later today, so stay tuned for more details – but don’t expect specific rides to be announced just yet.

In the meantime, we can offer some speculation about possible entertainment offerings from Pandora.
(Warning: At-Home Imagineering coming up…)

“Avatar” was groundbreaking in terms of its use of realistic 3D, so it’s almost a given there will be a 3D attraction of some sort in the new Animal Kingdom area. But when thinking of action in “Avatar,” the flying “Ikran” creatures immediately come to mind, with the Na’vi (blue alien people) having to make a special connection/bond in order to fly them around the planet.

There certainly are possibilities for a roller coaster to be themed to these beasts, but what if it was an entertainment offering instead? A recent Walt Disney Imagineering patent filed in March 2010 shows the possibility for manned flying creatures, puppeteered by trained performers as they fly through the sky. And the creatures shown in the patent’s artwork sure do look a lot like those seen in “Avatar”…

It’s not hard to imagine guests watching a show featuring one of the Na’vi carefully taming an Ikran and then flying it around the park, around trees and overhead.

While “Avatar” was widely criticized for recycling an old storyline, its rather unique world and creatures open the doors to countless themed experiences for Disney’s theme park. And with two more “Avatar” films on the way, the story should evolve further than the “Pocahontas” tale that the first mirrored. It’s also likely Disney will stay away from the original film’s story, instead utilizing the Pandora world and its now-familiar creatures to create a highly-themed environment into which guests can be transported to experience a whole new story.

But, again, all of this is speculation, as Disney has not yet revealed any of its specific plans for attractions to be featured within the upcoming “Avatar” land. As the details emerge, we’ll continue to update as the project progresses toward its scheduled 2016 opening.

128 Comments

  1. djdrew

    This is crazy exciting! I have such high hopes, though i’ve never seen the movie. Finally something to do @ AK besides Everest! I love that it is something super creative and never before seen! What time is the Press Conference?

    1. Pat

      Hi djdrew, I’m just curious: if you saw the movie and disliked it, would you feel differently?

      1. djdrew

        probably not. i feel like james cameron pushes technology so far forward by innovating out of need from an idea, instead of how can we use the technology. So to me it’d be like harry potter, i didn’t see any of the movies, but loved the tech of the ride (not a huge fan of huge spiders though). so i could see where the ride would be amazing, even if i wasn’t a fan of the movie…i.e. the mummy. love the ride…couldn’t watch 20 mins of the movie.

    2. J.

      Trust me, When you see it you won’t be so excited….
      This is the most hyped disappointment in Disney History!
      (and I’m including the opening of DCA)

      1. Joshdarkensins

        I would rather them tear down AK and build DCA in its place than see them build this sorry excuse for fitting in a flopped movie franchise into a disney park … this is awful i think I may actually cry =.(

  2. I’m sure it will be an amazing environment, but half naked blue aliens that run around killing bad mouthed human army troops. That is not really Disney. I really would rather see stuff in the parks that are movies my kids can watch. Sounds like an Iger-Marvel like deal. How does it fit in the Disney universe?

    The only redeeming virtue I can think of is the conservation/circle of life bit. It does kinda fit with the Animal Kingdom preachiness.

    I assume we’re talking a Journey To The Center Of The Earth type ride system with an encounter with a big alien at the end. Sounds like fun, but… I guess we’ll have to see.

    1. Now importing Tokyo Disneysea’s Mysterious Island to Animal Kingdom is a project I could get behind! If they want fantasy animals, keep it in the Disney family.

      1. Dizneyfool

        I agree! James Cameron and his ego should stay far away from the Disney Family!
        Anything from Tokyo Sea would have been amazing!
        Oh well, I’m guessing Avatar land will get outdated and remodeled into something Disney before 2020..
        Can’t wait to see what they put in THEN!! lol

        1. LoL, good call. Let’s look forward to what they do with it after the Avatar sequels tank!

        2. Joshdarkensins

          Totally agree … ya hear that Cameron. STAY AWAY !!!

      2. Yensidaj

        That would be awesome, I am not all that thrilled either about the Avatar connection only saw the movie once and that was enough for me. of course by 2019 the other 2 movies will be out so it will be stronger franchise one can only hope. Still I would rather see Disney Sea rides come state side.

  3. Me

    It’s only fair, since the movie is based of off Disney’s Pocahontas.

    1. Love it! Love it! Love it! James Cameron collaborating with Disney…..it is going to be amazing!

    2. I thought it was based off Dances With Wolves?

    3. Chelsea

      Haha exactly!

      1. RandyBraun

        No, it was based on Fern Gully

  4. jmenjes

    Color me completely uninterested. I won’t venture into that part of AT at all.

    1. Matty

      This i agree with.

    2. Brer Peter

      Have fun missing out

      1. Joshdarkensins

        I will be staying out of Animal Kingdom completely when this opens !!! LONG LIVE BEASTLY KINGDOM!!!

  5. Brandon

    Wasn’t a big fan of the movie, but Disney does everything AMAZINGLY so I’m sure it’ll be great. I’m sure the environment will be really immersive and beautiful. Maybe this is the updated version of the rumored Beastly Kingdom?

    Is there a chance that with James Cameron on board, there will be a push for new technology that’ll make the experience like nothing before?

    Really excited…hopefully it can compete with Harry Potter

    1. Joshdarkensins

      Really??? … Disney does everything Amazingly. Disney California Adventure? and let us not forget holidayland. disney has a great track record but some ideas can not be saved

  6. Stars

    Another completely uninterested in this money grab. Dances With Wolves IN SPACE With Six Legged Smurfs? These are not animals, these are aliens, and I don’t think they fit in thematically at all. What happened to the mythological animals section that was implied with AK started all those years ago?

    Like jmenjes said above me, I won’t go into that section at all. There’s plenty to do already, I’ll stay happily with the actual animals.

    1. Joshdarkensins

      YES !!!!! Bring back beastlykingdom !!!!!

  7. This certainly came out of nowhere, and its Disney’s response to Harry Potter- not the rides, I believe the Fantasyland Expansion is doing that, but in the franchise business. Avatar is new and is going to have two sequels in the coming future- sure it doesn’t have the same marketing power as Harry Potter but GOD knows that James Cameron CAN tell an awesome story, and the world he created with Avatar is a feast for the Imagineers at Disney. This will also probably save the Animal Kingdom, who is, at this point, begging for something.

    I just hope they will remove a bit of the violent aspect of the movie- but not a lot. It should be fun for kids and adults.

  8. This is terrible, terrible news. A gimmicky non-Disney movie being immortalized in a Disney theme park with its own land?? Hideous. The only reason it broke records was because it charged more per ticket for the stupid 3D. Let’s hope this goes the way of Port Disney or WestCOT (thought at least that would have been cool). Gag. There may be an answer to increase DAK’s attendance, but this is NOT it.

    As for whether or not it’s going to rival Harry Potter at Universal, the answer is absolutely not. I made my first ever trek to Universal on our last trip to Florida JUST to see Harry. On the other hand, though Disney is my primary destination in Orlando, I will do my best to avoid all traces of Avatar when it appears in Animal Kingdom.

    1. >A gimmicky non-Disney movie being immortalized in a Disney theme park with its own land?? Hideous.

      Would anyone be complaining if there was a land based on Star Wars or Indy?

      1. Roddy Barros (MKCustodial)

        Probably not, since both Star Wars and Indy have stood the test of time and are now classics. I seriously doubt Avatar will be remembered by anything other than a technological leap in moviemaking, if at all.

        I’m sure it’ll be an amazing addition, since Disney usually isn’t known for botching stuff like this, specially since it’s supposed to go toe to toe with WWoHP, but I think it’ll have as much life as amazing ideas like a Who Wants to be a Millionaire or an American Idol attractions. Meaning, transitory fads. They lost a perfectly good opportunity to attract metric tons of Guests building a Star Wars area.

      2. I would.

        Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye would be a fantastic ride if it was just the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. It doesn’t need to be Indy to work. Tokyo’s Tower of Terror works great without being Twilight Zone.

        I never particularly liked Star Tours or the idea of Star Wars in the parks. The first three films are a part of my childhood and are acknolwedged classics, but do they really belong in Disneyland? It’s only gotten worse with how terrible the prequel trilogy was. Bad acting and bad dialogue on top of a storyline that basically endorses dictatorship. No thanks.

        Personally I find it ridiculous to be importing franchises that don’t belong to Disney, or for Disney to be buying them up, and devoting whole lands to Cars or Avatar or Bug’s Life when we still have to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong to enjoy either original concepts like Mystic Manor and Tower of Terror, or attractions based on Disney classics like 20,000 Leagues and a worthwhile Pooh ride.

      3. Yensidaj

        I would prefer a starwars land over this any day.

      4. Joshdarkensins

        both of those have a following … this does not … I say wait until the sequels come out and if they are good and gather a following then spend the billions of dollars. that i feel would be the smart decision.. disney doesnt seem to be making smart decisions lately or tasteful ones for that manner

      5. Joshdarkensins

        Also I think the idea of making a land based off a movie is just a bad one in general! the only reason Carsland gets away with it is because it actually fits into the theme of california but even CL I am not totally happy with

  9. Daniel

    I’ve got to agree with @Drew. I felt that the movie was completely overrated, and the thought of running into Avatar stuff at Disney World makes me sick to my stomach.

    1. David

      Ewwww! I didn’t even think about the merchandise!
      “A plethora of skinny scary blue frog people as far as the eye can see!”
      Ugh! Disgusting! Absolutely NO THANK YOU!!!

  10. Pat

    My thought upon seeing the headline: “Funny, today isn’t April Fools Day…”

    In all seriousness, I think it is a terrible match for Animal Kingdom and I hope they wait until the first sequel comes out (to gauge interest) before breaking ground. I have no problem with an Avatar-themed project in general, but adding it to AK just because it is a “half-day” park seems like the wrong kind of motivation. They know it, too–in the blurbs above, they sound like they are really reaching for legit reasons.

  11. White Kix

    This will be outdated by the time any attractions open. If this costs the same as Radiator springs, just bring radiator springs to Florida (Cars fit AK theming as much as aliens do, and there are no liscensing fees). If they want to work with James Cameron that much, just put in a Titanic water ride at DHS.

    1. djdrew

      i would much rather have radiator springs….;)

      1. Joshdarkensins

        it fits just as well if not better than avatar too =p im in … and disney better not make this !

    2. Brer Peter

      No, no, and…no.

    3. TSSD

      It actually costs less than just one of the rides in Cars Land, so…

  12. PhilippeP

    After having nothing to announce at the D23 Expo Parks & Resorts presentation, now that … talk about bad PR timing ….

    1. Joshdarkensins

      Probably for the best I have the feeling that if they announced this to a stadium of disney fans they would have had a riot on their hands

  13. I can’t wait to see the land! Although I was also surprised that they picked Animal Kingdom, because it doesn’t quite fit with the theme.

  14. Allie

    Have they not realized that Avatar is hardly popular anymore? I agree with @White Kix- by the time it opens, it will be outdated and the next best thing will have already come along way before then. I know Harry Potter at Universal and the Star Wars things in Disney parks have worked, but that’s because they’re still amazing, iconic movies that have a humongous, world-wide fan following. Avatar is hardly a drop in the bucket. Also, not a kids movie. I bet a lot of parents don’t even let their kids watch it.

    1. Brer Peter

      Do you know that there are 2 sequels planned? It’s only going to get bigger.

      1. Thats what they said about the Matrix.

        1. WhiteRabbit234

          “That’s what they said about the Matrix.”

          I wish there was a like button for this comment!!

        2. Disney-john

          I want a like button, avatar has none of the charm, staying power that potter has…. Cameron is an awesome storyteller, er, no, his stories are “borrowed” from someone else, and he then throws a lot or money and special effects at them, bad idea for Disney, should have used something from marvel…..

      2. Joshdarkensins

        yea but are people really going to go out and spend money on a sequal of a movie they didnt even like in the first place? … actually probably -_- lets just hope theyre ALOT better than the first. and also prey for disney Not to go ahead with these plans

        1. Robert F

          If people turned out in droves for Transformers Dark Of The Moon after how HORRIBLE Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen was, you bet there will be MUCH much more there for the Avatar sequels.

  15. Cheltenham

    Are they kidding? Of all the great additions Disney could have made to the parks they settled on this forgettable movie? This is very disappointing.

  16. Jackie

    I don’t have a good feeling about this. first marvel, now this? disney isn’t even going to be disney anymore!
    not to mention that i’m not sure how appropriate this content is for a famliy freindly park. Is this a joke?

    1. Jackie

      *friendly. sorry. :)

  17. This is not Disney, this is not Animal Kingdom, this is just a bad idea for both!

  18. Avery

    I don’t understand all of the critics to this news. Everybody complains that Disney hasn’t done anything big in years. They finally announce something HUGE, and it seems as if 50% of these comments are negative. And for those claiming that it will be old by the time it’s open, you are simply out of the loop. There are two more films planned, which while again figure to rake in $ by the millions. This is a great move forward for Disney, and it will (finally) make Animal Kingdom a full day theme park.

    1. My complaint is that they do all the good stuff on other continents. Bring over Mysterious Island. Bring over Mystic Point. Bring over Fortress Explorations and Sinbad’s Storybook Adventure and a worthwhile Winnie the Pooh ride. There is no need to lease some insipid, trashy Sci-Fi popcorn flick whose most notable attribute was being in 3D.

      1. Avery

        A best picture nominated film that garnered the highest box office total in American history should hardly be considered a “trashy sci-fi popcorn flick.” With two more on the way, the series has the POTENTIAL to reach ‘Star Wars’ in popularity…

        1. Avery

          Second thoughts…maybe not ‘Star Wars’ heights, but close…

        2. Who cares about the Oscars? Return of the King won it one year. And when Beauty and the Beast threatened to, they made a ghetto category for animated films. The Oscars are a popularity contest, not a measure of cinematic quality.

          And no, Avatar did not make the highest box office in history after you adjust for inflation. ONce you adjust for inflation it is only the 14th highest. #1 is Gone With the Wind. #2 is Star Wars. Snow White and 101 Dalmations rank higher than Avatar.

          Avatar is an also-ran that people only saw because it was in 3D. The sequels have potential to reach Matrix Revolutions level of popularity. What more does the story even have to tell? How much more White Guilt can Cameron squeeze out of us?

  19. Kipp

    I’m sorry, I don’t care how big of a film it was, or that it’s going to have 2 more supposed squeals… I just don’t see this as fitting in with Disney at all. At Animal Kingdom for Pete sakes!! How does that even remotely fit? Asia, Africa… and Pandora. Maybe deserving of a ride at Studios, but a whole land??? Bleh…

    This just stinks of bad idea.

  20. Joshdarkensins

    REALY REALY DONT like this idea at all!!!!!!!!! and why didnt they say anything about this at D23 Expo. attendees got ripped off this year =/

  21. Clay Matthews

    To borrow a line from Chevy Chase in “Christmas Vacation” – I would not be more surprised if I woke up with my face stapled to the carpet. I really do not know how to react to this. I’m dumbstruck.

  22. Clay Matthews

    In adjusted dollars, AVATAR is the 14th biggest film of all time: 101 Dalmatians (the original) beats it. (boxofficemojo.com)

  23. Brer Peter

    Why so many haters? This is awesome! Avatar is only going to get more and more popular, and Disney picked the right franchise to compete with Wizarding World of afdlkwjasd. This is a great move, and I’m very eager to see some concept art!

    1. Joshdarkensins

      -_-

      1) doesnt fit in AK
      2) you are one of the few who actually enjoy the movie
      3) Nobody actually knows if it is going to get more popular. so whynot wait until we see if it gets popular or not before we decide to spend millions on a land and completely forget about previous plans for a land for this park thay were WAYYY better !

    2. Hey, that post leaves me feeling foilosh. Kudos to you!

  24. Jeanette

    This is a sad day for Disney. Selling out in hopes of money that will never come. People paid to see Avatar for the pretty pictures, but nobody cares a bit about the story. Oh, excpet for the fact that it was ripped off of one of Disney’s own creations mixed with Dances with Wolves. I’ll be sad skipping one of my favorite parks, but after this goes in, I don’t want to take a step near it.

  25. i love the idea. i have said this until im blue in the face (pun intended!). a mythical land was envisioned for AK way back in the blue sky phases of development hence the dragon on the animal kingdom signage. IMO Disney is playing this brilliantly! i would assume that using another companies VERY successful and brilliant ideas lets someone else absorb some (if not all) of the cost associated. the movie also has plans for several more parts to this movie that im sure will be huge as well. this will keep it very relevant and successful. the movie itself had tons of its story line based around conservation which fits with the theme of the park as well. it also had tons of mythical creatures and mythical foilage. it had dragons as well that will fit into preexisting signage and themes. on an artistic side of things it is brilliant as well. it has an overly ample amount of creativity and color. could you just imagine these brilliant colors at night? just as i am certain that there wont be any marvel comics characters scaling the cinderalla castle, there wont be gianty blue men hanging from the tree of life. relax folks, Disney is brilliant and im certain this will be awesome!

    1. Joshdarkensins

      thats what they said when California Adventure opened and look how much they had to spend to clean that mess up

  26. Clay Matthews

    The judges (us) appear to have a split decision on this one. Gonna be a sore topic for the next five to ten years!

  27. little leota

    I didnt really like the movie. Avatar just doesnt seem Disneyesque. Theyll pull it off somehow but Im probably not going to be thrilled.

  28. Julie

    Slobbering with excitement here! Bye bye, Universal, you’re gonna really be eating Disney’s dust now!

    1. TSSD

      Hahahahahaha- Oh wait, were you serious?

    2. Brer Peter

      You know it!

    3. Avatar… Harry Potter… Avatar… Harry Potter… Er, yeah. Universal wins this round.

  29. I wasn’t too hot on the movie’s story but even a non-fan like me can see the huge potential this land has. Here are a few reasons it could be awesome:

    1.) NIGHT TIME: You know how AK isn’t really open at night right now? That could change fast given the lighting potential a Pandora section could have. One of the few standout moments in the film was when Sully and N’atri go for a night-time stroll through the forest lit by bioluminescent plants. This would be a great draw to keep people in the park after dark and in a section secluded from animals that need to rest at night. I’d love to see that ‘tree of spirits’, or whatever it was called, lit up through fiber-optics. Might make AK more than a 3/4 day park.

    2.) JIM CAMERON’S INVOLVEMENT: Cameron is a perfectionist to the point that he is known to be a taskmaster whom is difficult to work with at times. Each of his films has been a technical masterpiece, really pushing the envelope in special effects and audience experience. There is no way that he won’t be fully hands on with the construction of this new land. Know that if Cameron shows up to AK with a white construction hat on and some blueprints under his arm he is there for a reason: to make sure that this endeavor will blow you away.

    3.) INTERNATIONAL APPEAL: Avatar was big in the United States but it was MASSIVE overseas ($2,021,767,547 overseas). Rightfully so, the story and characters are designed to appeal to the biggest non-english speaking audience out there. Why is that important? Well Avatar-fever might have cooled down here in the USA but its still a big deal around the rest of the planet. Meaning that WDW can again draw international crowds whom may have been heading to other destinations for vacation. That means more $$$ for Disney to put into other projects. Its good news for the parks profit margins.

    4.) THE DISNEY-JIM CAMERON CONNECTION: If this goes well then maybe we can get some other Jim Cameron projects in the park. ALIENS ride? Uh, yeah. I want that now.

    5.) EXOBIOLOGY EXHIBITS: Having Avatar in AK makes sense. Its a movie about an alien eco-system. This could lead to some pretty cool educational exhibits on exobiology and could get some kids excited about life on other planets. I know that educational exhibits at EPCOT played a big part in who I am today, maybe something like that could inspire children visiting AK in the future.

    6.) AN ABANDONED AMP SUIT SITTING OFF TO THE LEFT IN SOME FOLIAGE: Seriously, wouldn’t that look awesome? Like you are walking into the Pandora section and you look off to your left and there is the top half of one of those power-suits with its cockpit glass shattered and mist surrounding it. That would be so rad.

    Like I said, I wasn’t a fan of the movie but the potential for this to be an amazing experience is there.

    1. EricJ

      1) Have YOU ever walked around AK at night? No, really: Have you, personally ever stumb…er, walked around those shady, overgrown cobblestone pathways between the Tree and the gate, with few streetlights in between? There’s a reason they put the animals to bed at 5.
      3) What do other countries know?…They LIKED Pirates 4! 😉

      1. I remember being in AK at night at least once and I totally get where you are coming from. AK is hard to walk around in during the day, visibility is definitely an issue at night. That said I’d think that the imagineers could work out something.

        And hey, I liked Pirates 4. But I get where you are coming from 😛

    2. Brer Peter

      Amen! Awesome comment right here.

      1. Goaway Brer Peter

        Enough with the cheerleading already, your all over the place defending this abomination!

    3. AK closes at night because it has animals that need to sleep. I work part-time at the Zoo at my city and we bed the animals at 4:30. Any attractions involving animals are going to shut down at 5 anyways, which is the majority of the park.

  30. If they really wanted to bring in fantasy animals, why not import Tokyo Disneysea’s Mysterious Island with it’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth rides? If they wanted some adventure and exploration, why not import Mystic Point and resurrect the Adventurer’s Club? Or why not do something original and of high quality, that actually works?

    This news makes me a sad panda because it leases out a non-Disney property that further dilutes the Disney atmosphere, furthermore it leases out some also-ran movie that’s already been forgotten, then it will rely on this nothing-doing lease to compensate for lack of originality and good imagineering, and on top it all reduces the provocative idea of an Adventureland theme park to just another Universal Studios mish-mash of movie roller coasters.

    But I guess I don’t have a right to complain about it since I never intended to go to WDW to begin with. I would rather take another flight to Tokyo and go on some good rides steeped in real Disney atomsphere.

    1. Robert F

      While I’m excited for this, I do agree I would’ve preferred to see some Tokyo DisneySea imports instead – that park is amazing, and I guess this just keeps DisneySea being the unique Disney park that it is. :)

  31. Robert F

    Ironic that alot of the same people that lash out against Avatar for borrowing themes and ideas from Dances With Wolves/Pocahontas have NO PROBLEM with Disney borrowing themes/ideas/names from Hamlet/Kimba The White Lion.

    For the record, I enjoyed The Lion King AND Avatar both for what they were. And James Cameron gets a free pass REGARDLESS, thanks to the amazing track record he’s had with Terminator, Terminator 2, The Abyss, ALIENS, and Titanic. Let’s face it – this new addition to Animal Kingdom is going to look AMAZING, especially with the budget they’re giving it.

    I’d go so far as to say Avatar is just as family friendly as Indiana Jones, if not more – or did everyone forget the “pulling out a man’s heart” scene from Temple Of Doom? Didn’t mean the Indiana Jones ride would have anything like that, nor does it mean the few questionable scenes Avatar had will be anywhere to be found here.

    Same goes with the Harry Potter area at Universal Studios – just because the last few movies were especially violent, didn’t mean the Wizarding World Of Harry Potter couldn’t be enjoyed by younger children.

    Looking at all this with an open-mind, I’m pretty excited to see how this develops. Disney NEEDS this to be a major draw and you can bet they’re going to do their best at turning this into something worthwhile.

    1. CH99823

      Harry Potter is a children’s series…
      It’s really not that particularly violent…

      1. Robert F

        That’s why I was referring to the last couple of PG-13 rated films which were especially dark and violent as well. Actually, all of those films have been PG-13 after the 4th one, I believe, except for the 6th.

  32. Blake

    This is insane. That movie wasn’t even that great :/

  33. WhiteRabbit234

    I’m sorry, but if they were going to give a land to Avatar, they should have just given Pocahontas a land since it’s the same damn story. There are TONS of underappreciated Disney films that they have at their disposal to use… not to mention amazing projects overseas.

    Sure, they gave Star Wars a ride. They gave Indy a ride. These movies have a huge FOLLOWING and have stood against the tests= of time. Sure Avatar was a great movie, and the sequels are sure to be successful as well, but dedicating an entire land to it? It is an insult to compare Star Wars/Indy/HP fandom to a movie that, as far as I’ve seen, doesn’t even HAVE a fandom.

    1. Avatar has a fandom. Didn’t you ever read those news stories about those people who were getting depressed and suicidal because Pandora didn’t actually exist?

  34. CH99823

    Seems like a lot of adult men are excited about this.

    The last time I checked (and I work with children)
    I didn’t hear any kid obsessing with that movie….

  35. Kevin

    Avatar? What a waste of resources. This is like a bad April Fool’s joke. Of all the movies and franchises they could have chosen, they chose Avatar?

  36. Jonboy

    This is a total FAIL on Disney’s part…. “Avatar land” really?!
    Just to even say it outloud sounds so stupid

  37. Psi

    So much hate for Avatar, same thing just like before the movie opened. hate hate hate, then, James Cameron gets rich. People said who were going to avoid the movie still went to see it. That is the main point. You are going to go whether you like it or not. And funny things is whether you like it personally or not, you know you will enjoy it bc, not just Cameron, if you wont enjoy, you are dissing the Imagineers who brought all the good stuff we enjoyed at Disney. It is going to be great. Just admit to it and enjoy it. I remember how non-Potter fans dogged IOA Potter, until they said, YEAH, I went to Universal just for Potter. Not and potter-fan but like the themed land. SAME IS GOING TO HAPPEN with AVATAR. In the end, is going to be great. Just enjoy it when it comes. No need to try to HATE it. It is so funny, oh no… AVATAR, world sucks now, AVATAR why? why? Why Vader scream no in Jedi? Lucas rape my childhood. Cameron is overated. same story over and over again. Cameron he did make T2-3D. This guy’s attraction is going to be crazy!! and FUN!

  38. illsd

    I think we can be sure that a version (cloned or inspired) system like Potter ride will be the E-Ticket in this Avatar Land. Currently the robocoaster potter ride does not have 3D elements. You can be sure, it will mix 3D and dark ride together like Spiderman and Transformers coming out. But since Disney hate copying(too much pride), they will come up with some new ride system. But show elements will be 3D mixed with real sets. For example, at Tokyo Disneysea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, the Giant Mushroom scene is excately LIKE PANDORA! I wonder what ride system is out there that havent been used yet…

  39. Yensidaj

    Wow alot of negative feedback here and on disney’s offical facebook thread for this comment, I hope disney is listening.

  40. Interesting. I would have thought that if Disney ever joined forced with another license, it would have been to create a Star Wars land. there have been such strong ties (and overlap) between the Disney and Star Wars communities.

    I’m also amazed that this wasn’t a D23 announcement. This is huge and the kind of thing I would have expected at that convention. I guess all the ducks weren’t in a row before the show.

    1. Yensidaj

      nah they didn’t announce it at D23 because they didn’t want to be boo’ed off the stage at their own convention. 😉

  41. ANDREW

    I wonder if this is how everyone felt when George Lucas partnered with Disney??

    1. At least as far as the WDW Resort, it makes sense for a Star Wars attraction to be in Hollywood Studios–a park showcasing a number of non-Disney properties as part of a broader representation of Hollywood and the film industry from past to present.

      If Avatar-land or whatever was also going into Hollywood Studios, I don’t think you’d have nearly the outcry as we’re seeing right now.

      There are countless options for bolstering the appeal and entertainment value of Animal Kingdom if the MBA suit-types would just shut up, turn Imagineering loose under its own creative steam, and sign the check at the end of the day.

      Regardless of its story elements about preserving nature and the environment, it’s a futuristic sci-fi film franchise in the same classification (not “class”) as Star Wars.

      No disrespect or disregard toward James Cameron is intended.

      This is just a bad, bad fit for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

  42. Aaron

    This is going to be a rather… well, tight fit. That is, they’re definitely going to have to focus on a particular part of avatar rather than the hole lot. I’m just curious to know what sort of ride they can come up with. Journeying in one of those pod things could be interesting. In the film the sound of the pod just sounds like some sort of spaceship. Or, is it a suit? That’s the problem, I’m completely blind and rely on dialog, sounds and music, and finally, for my imagination to kick in, and with every film I’ve seen, the imagionation just goes haywire, including avatar. I can also conferm that here in the uk the film was very popular, there was only one person I spoke to who didn’t go and see it due to it being way too hyped. And one more thing… as I’m completely blind, I can’t see any 3d. Now as to how I can use a PC, that’s an entirely different topic. But rest assured, it’s very much possible with no sighted help.

  43. Brandon

    Like the idea or not, imagineering will make it look great. I think we should trust in what they have in store

  44. John

    I really liked Avatar and so I’m really excited about this.

    And to all the people who are saying the story is ripped off from Pocahontas or Fern Gully, Dances with Wolves. Sure there similarities , but it is a classic storyline that has been used over and over before, and those movies you say Avatar ripped off, also ripped off a movie before it.

    Everything has been influenced by something. The matrix was influenced by an anime, Star Wars from a book, and so on. Nothing is completely fresh these days.

  45. Kathryn

    This is insane! This first off, has nothing to do with OUR planet, which is the point of Animal Kingdom. Also, that movie was PG-13 for a reason. It was really intense in many ways, I understand that there were “strong family themes” and what not, but I think it is not okay for some younger kids. I also think that this is so not Disney. This is just them jumping on a money train (because after all, it is was the highest grossing film ever,so far) and with two sequels coming, I think they are going to milk this for all it’s worth. I really don’t like this. It feels like Walt Disney wouldn’t like this.

  46. Kathryn

    This is insane! This first off, has nothing to do with OUR planet, which is the point of Animal Kingdom. Also, that movie was PG-13 for a reason. It was really intense in many ways, I understand that there were “strong family themes” and what not, but I think it is not okay for some younger kids. I also think that this is so not Disney. This is just them jumping on a money train (because after all, it is was the highest grossing film ever,so far) and with two sequels coming, I think they are going to milk this for all it’s worth. I really don’t like this. It feels like Walt Disney wouldn’t like this. At all.

  47. Nat.Cairns

    OMG best news all week well since hearin abowt the lion king and im 18 big kid cnt w8 that will be awesum gotta go there

  48. Ed

    I’m sure someone else has made this point but I think the franchise is way to unproven to theme a whole land. In fact it’s not even a franchise. If the other two movies flop, this is gonna be a huge bust. Star wars that’s a franchise that will last but this will most likely be one of those things that is very goofy and dated in 8 or 10 years. Disney’s best work is based on timeless themes. Pokeman land would prolly do better lol.

  49. Not sure about this. I was not a big fan of the movie. I could just go ride E.T. in Universal Studios Florida because the end looks allot like Pandoran with the glowing trees and weird looking creatures.

  50. Anderson

    I hate when Disney does stuff like this! Disney has a wealth of original material & characters to work with! And the imagineers are more than capable of creating new storylines if need be! Thats why I hate to see outside brands like Star Wars, Marvel, and Avatar brought into the parks! They take away from the magic and just don’t work as well as other lands. All I can say is that they better not try to mess with Magic Kingdom!

  51. James Cameron

    Ya’ll need to stfu or gtfo. I have the two highest grossing films of ALL TIME. What have you done recently? Besides, its PG-13, not XXX. Its perfectly suitable for people of all ages. Disney doesn’t just have to be Dumbo 24/7 and appeal only to little children. Or are adults not allowed to have fun anymore? BOTH of my sequels, Terminator 2 and Aliens, were better than the originals, so all non-believers can suck it. The Avatar sequels will bow your mind.

    -Out.

    1. Naomi

      Who do you think you are?! Going around telling people to stfu and gtfo. Why don’t you gtfo?! I was actually ok with Avatar being in Animal Kingdom but now I’m thinking Disney made a huge mistake. So what if some people are critical of the project. There is no need for language like that. If you’re walking in the Pandora land at Animal Kingdom and you hear someone talking bad about the area are you gonna swear them out in front of a bunch of kids? You better not! I’m not saying you should do nothing but it’s like you said, you made two of the highest grossing films of all time. You should be better than this. I don’t want the parks to be influenced by someone as rude, vulgar, and egotistical as you. So people were talking bad about Avatar and stuff. Boo freaking who. That’s how life is. No matter where you go there’s gonna be haters and that’s something you can’t do anything about. Swearing at them isn’t gonna changed anything so MAN UP AND DEAL WITH IT! That’s all I have to say.

      1. Eric

        You know this isn’t the real James Cameron, right? Calm down.

      2. Emily

        Go you!

        1. Ingrid

          But everything on the internet is true!? *Cough*Sarcasm*Cough*

  52. Adriana

    Not sure this is a good idea, this movie is not disney, and I do not think it will fit in well in animal kingdom but four years from now we will see.

  53. kiki

    but avatar sucked
    why disney
    why

    1. Tiredoldman

      kiki story you thought Avatar sucked. I personally found it to be amazing. I often wonder what other worlds out there are like. Apparently you don’t have any fantasy imagination but many people do. Considering that it is one of the highest grossing films out there apparently a lot of people agree with me.

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Trackbacks

  1. WDW Fan Boys Podcast Episode #095 10/02/2011 – Pandora
  2. Avatar à Walt Disney World | Enjoy The World

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