Thursday, September 20, 2012

Avatarland Announced One Year Ago Today

It has now been a year since Disney dropped a bomb on the world announcing a partnership with James Cameron which would bring the world of Avatar to Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney resorts around the world.  No clue was given as to what the land and/or attraction would entail, and no concept art was released.  One year later, the theme park world is still awaiting a scintilla of what is coming.  Some even wonder if it is even coming at all.

©2012 Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.  All Rights Reserved.

James Cameron is a notorious perfectionist much like J.K. Rowling and seems to want the same level of control, quality, and detail that J.K. got from Universal with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  The latest rumors echo what has been said since the announcement, Cameron and Disney are butting heads over the budget.  Theme park attractions do not come cheap these days.   The Wizarding of World of Harry Potter was reportedly built for $265 million, but that is the exception, not the rule.  Cars Land at Disney California Adventure cost considerably more per insiders.  Disney attractions especially seem to cost a lot, but the price tags are usually warranted.  Cars Land looks every bit of what it cost.  There is no doubt that Pandora will cost a pretty penny to be built to Disney and Cameron standards.  So, it is understandable that there have been quibbles over budget.

No one can deny that Disney's Animal Kingdom does not need the investment.  The World of Avatar could potentially put Animal Kingdom on the map and make it a "full day" park.  Disney fans have been mixed on this news since it was announced.  Most seem to be against it, some are excited, and the rest just want to see some investment in Animal Kingdom no matter what it is.  Disney has not helped Avatarland's reception at all.  It is hard for anyone to get excited about something that has had little positive news since it was announced a year ago.  Most everything about the project has been negative (sequel delays, etc.)

Whether right or wrong, in this age of instant news, fans demand something to hang their hat on and look forward to.  Fans need/needed something to convince them that this is the right direction for Animal Kingdom, and thusfar, they have received nothing but a nebulous announcement a year ago.

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