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Avatar Meets Mickey Mouse
So Avatar, the hit 2009 film by director James Cameron, is coming to Walt Disney World, specifically Disney's Animal Kingdom. With construction already set to start in 2013 and Cameron's blessing being given, it would seem Pandora (the fictional planet where Avatar takes place) is coming to Disney and there's not anything anyone can do to stop it. The film with be getting its own land in Disney's Animal Kingdom that is reportedly going to be around the size of the Cars Land expansion that just came to Disney's California Adventure, which rounded out to about 7 acres.
Now what do I, the insane Disney Fan that I am, think about this? I have to say that I'm actually really torn over this one. The big reason I am for it is because I think it will be very interesting to see, the landscape and world that Cameron helped create for Avatar was visually stunning and with the money and creativity that Disney has behind them I think that they will no doubt make this a sight to behold. With that being said, I do have more 'cons' than I do 'pros' on this.
My first 'con' to this is simply that it's not a Disney product. Now I know that Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Twilight Zone, etc aren't Disney either but they were given attractions, not entire lands. I'm actually not even sure if I would support a Disney attraction getting a land devoted entirely to it, which is why I wasn't a fan of Cars Land when I heard of it.
Con number 2 is what worries me the most. I just don't know if Avatar has the cult fanbase to carry off something like this. It really seems like Disney was looking for something that would rank up there with Universal's Harry Potter but even then Harry Potter's fanbase is insanely larger than Avatar. My question is why they wouldn't just look at what they already have, Star Wars! Making an entire Star Wars land in Hollywood Studios would bring in so many more guests than an Avatar land in Animal Kingdom, although this might boost up Animal Kingdom, but if they're looking for people in general, Star Wars would pack them in!
Con 2 continued, a big part of any land in a Disney theme park is getting your picture taken with the characters. I've seen Avatar 4 times. I had to do a search online to remember many character names, including the film's main female Neytiri. So my question is, why would you make a land from a film that doesn't have a large fanbase. I understand that the film made $2,782,275,172 worldwide and is technically the highest grossing film of all time, but do you see Avatar fans? Like the scary Harry Potter nerds and Star Wars geeks? No, it's just not reached that level of cult status.
My final con is that I don't feel like Pandora will fit into Animal Kingdom very well. I mean if it's not tucked away I feel like it will stick out like a sore thumb. Avatar does feature a message of conservation (and a plot exactly like Pocahontas) but is that enough to make an alien plant fit in a park that focuses on wildlife? Some may argue about Dino-Land USA being rather alien. While we may not know a lot of facts about dinosaurs we do know one thing, that they were from our planet. They lived here so we can learn about animals from our past, not fictional animals from a fictional world.
Overall I question if this will work. I actually hope for the best because I will visit the land when it opens and I hope that it looks like a million bucks! (Because it'll probably cost more) I just hope that it becomes a Disney theme park classic like how Star Wars just kind of gelled into the parks. But until that day comes, I'll be wishing on a star.
Till next time,
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