Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I was in the middle of another blogpost just now, but I had to change gears and post about this fiasco RIGHT now.  And I know it's not the worst thing that could ever happen in the world, but as far as theme parks go, and especially Disney theme parks, I don't think I can possibly imagine anything worse:

Disney announces James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ themed land and rides for Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World.
Read all about it here.

When I read that headline I felt seriously ill and went O.O and then wished ever so dearly that it was just a really, really late April Fools' prank or bad joke from The Onion, but alas, it looks like it's true.  Anyone who knows me knows well my dislike for this film, and to this day some parts of it are favorite family jokes (nice crying, Zoe Saldana).  But the worst part of this whole imminent disaster is that some people think this is Disney's response to Harry Potter at Universal.  HARDLY.  To put this in perspective, I finally was persuaded to make 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 strive to avoid all traces of Avatar when it appears in Animal Kingdom.  (It should also be noted that, ironically, Harry was originally discussed as part of Walt Disney World in the first place until JK demanded a little too much creative control for the Imagineers' liking.)  It seems kind of like the most offensive thing they could do to Disney fans.  Besides the fact that this film is thoroughly overhyped and overrated and extremely environmentally heavy-handed and completely unoriginal, it's absolutely NOT (NOT NOT NOT) Disney.  Sure, there are a select few welcome non-Disney elements sprinkled here and there throughout the parks (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, American Idol, etc.), but not a whole land's worth of them.  Harry at Disney would make a little sense at least, since it has the ABC/Disney tie-in and of course the similar theme of magic and family entertainment and such...  Yes, this movie is Pocahontas meets Dances With Wolves meets Fern Gully (which is at least animated) meets Smurfs in space, and while ONE of those is Disney-related, it makes no sense.  Pocahontas makes sense.  A gimmicky, non-Disney rip-off does NOT.  And, I submit that the only reason this movie broke any kind of records was because it was one of the first big 3D movies, so of course it will make a lot of money due to increased ticket prices.  What if these planned two (TWO!!!) sequels are total bombs?  What then, Animal Kingdom?!?  What's the big hurry??  And anyway, since when is Animal Kingdom about freakish barely-clad blue humanoids who worship trees and brood among neon-colored glowing landscaping?  What about the whole animal theme?  Yeah, there are a few inbred dinosaurs running around Pandora, but they're so ancillary it's just too much of a stretch to give them credit for it.  I get the ultra-environmentalism angle, though seriously, that's already really heavy-handed and king of overwhelming at that park as it is.  Now it's just going to be unbearable!  I'm sure there is a response to Harry Potter's popularity (which still could never dethrone Disney as the top tourist attraction in Orlando anyway), and I'm sure that there are even a few ways to increase long-term Animal Kingdom attendance, but this certainly is NOT it on either counts.  Fantasyland expansion?  Yes.  Animal Kingdom expansion?  NO.  At least not in this woeful direction.  I really didn't think it was possible for someone to come up with some reason for me to dislike Avatar even more.  Maybe this ill-conceived plan will go the way of Port Disney and WestCOT*?...  Or maybe even River Country...  I can only hope.

Seriously, I am getting more and more livid about this as time goes by...  I need to calm down.  Writing this helped a little (I guess I haven't had a good blogrant in quite a while now, after all).  What kind of cruel theme park world ends up with Harry Potter at Universal and Avatar at Disney?!?  *cries bitter, bitter tears*

* Though at least WestCOT could have been cool.


  1. I don't understand your hatred for Avatar...To be fair it wasn't the best movie ever but it wasn't worst or even notabley bad. The technology itself was cuttingedge so why not give it credit for that if nothing else. Commercially it is very popular so why not make a ride out of it? seems logical for the general public don't you think?

  2. I didn't mind Avatar much (though I thought alot about Fern Gully and Pocahontas while watching it), but putting it in Disneyland makes no sense at all. It really seems like a desperate grab at something that is popular, that's the only thing that makes sense.

    And there are seriously two sequels planned? I guess we are talking about money grabbing! Again, I didn't hate the movie like you did, but I don't think it's worthy of a sequel.

  3. To the first: I don't know how anyone could not understand my "hatred for Avatar," especially when I just finished explaining it in great detail. I will NOT give a boring, gimmicky propaganda film credit for cutting edge technology when everything about it is derivative and unoriginal, and my 7-year-old niece could come up with color schemes as appealing (or more so). Besides, a ride is one thing, but an entire LAND at a DISNEY PARK (where it has ZERO relevance) is another. NO. It seems utterly illogical, actually. Also, just because something is "commercially... very popular" doesn't mean it's worth overtaking a beloved and very carefully-themed Disney park. I'm afraid you're talking about things you know nothing about. :/

    And yes, Mandinkus, there are two sequels already reportedly in the works, which seems a little bit overhasty to me. I think my dislike for the movie actually started to wear down a little as the hype finally started to die and people (as I expected) started to forget about it and it was falling nicely into obscurity, but this has rekindled it one hundredfold. How can this movie possibly die if it is immortalized in Walt Disney World?? :(

  4. 1) Husband, did you intentionally quote Nightmare?

    2) The thing I find most amusing about this situation is that it is basically like Avatar playing out in real life. Some cold-hearted, foreign developers are moving in on territory that many consider sacred ground, and they will stop at nothing to destroy the local wildlife in the name of profit, despite the objections of the natives (aka, cast members)! Will they destroy the Tree of Life in an epic battle against the natives? Will the cast members then gather together and do some kind of mystic ritual to bring Walt Disney back to life? Will Michelle Rodriguez make a heroic appearance??? Only time will tell in Animatar, coming soon to a Florida near you.

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  6. (I had a few typos, here's the updated version..)

    I was certainly not impressed at all by Avatar, and can't see enough of a draw for years to come to include it in a theme park. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, even Harry Potter have stood the test of time, have dedicated fans of all generations, and go beyond just box office numbers. Avatar was an insanely over-hyped politically correct movie that was slow moving, predictable and I was expecting so much more from these so called "amazing graphics!!1!" The people still looked plastic and stiff to me. Anyway, I think this is a stupid move on Disney's end. We'll see.