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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:22 pm 
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The Walt Disney Co. has agreed on an exclusive deal to build attractions based on James Cameron's "Avatar" at its theme parks, starting with its Animal Kingdom park in Orlando, Fla.

CEO Bob Iger made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday.

Cameron, who is working on the second and third installments of the top-grossing film of all time, said the attractions would be a way to bring the lush world of Pandora to life.

Cameron told reporters, "this is a pretty darned exciting project."

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/09/20/3924827/disney-to-build-avatar-attraction.html#ixzz1YWBYVjez

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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.


Press conference photo of James Cameron and others at Walt Disney Imagineering by @EugeneWFields

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.

“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 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.”

“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.”

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.


http://www.insidethemagic.net/2011/09/disney-announces-james-camerons-avatar-themed-land-and-rides-for-animal-kingdom-theme-park-at-walt-disney-world/


Wow I am really excited what this will turn out like.... Forget the Fantasyland Expansion and The Wizarding World of HP - THIS WILL BE AMAZING :D

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:30 pm 
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They're doing this instead of Beastly Kingdom? Space animals from an overrated non-Disney movie instead of mythological creatures or something actually Disney?

And before one brings up Indy and Star Wars, Lucas and Spielberg have a huge passion for Disney and with Indy in particular, the opening of Raiders is taken straight from Carl Barks Scrooge comics and the sounds of the mine cars in Temple of Doom are from Big Thunder Mountain.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Many are already calling it Disney’s answer to Universal Orlando’s highly-immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Uh, definitely. Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is nothing compared to this.


You can also read the exciting news at Disney D23:
Disney, Fox and James Cameron to Bring Avatar to Life at Disney Parks
Quote:
The new long-term agreement will bring Avatar-themed lands to Disney parks, with the first at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:19 pm 
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I wish they wouldn't. Disney is the place for Disney owned things although a few things in the studios didn't seem like pushing it before this is more than just a couple tv shows, a single ride of many movies and Lucasfilm. If this becomes a trend there goes another one of my arguments as to why Disney is better and could blur the line more about what is owned by whom.

-Skyler

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Eeeeehhhhh, they can do better like Beastly Kingdom. Hey, if they can do Star Wars and Indiana Jones, they can do Avatar, I guess.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:59 pm 
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I understand that this can potentially muddle the "brand image," but the concept's too enticing for me to be against it.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:57 pm 
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Iger really love getting his grubby hands on character franchise. this guy is obsess with possible anything outside of Disney and then turning it "into Disney". smh

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:31 pm 
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Warning: rant lies ahead! :wink: NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! :shock: :jawdrop: Am I seriously the only vehemently against this idea? I absolutely hated the movie (although the visuals were admittedly quite good). To me, AVATAR is too un-Disney. Unlike Star Wars and Indiana Jones, which have this fun quality about them and are pretty family friendly, AVATAR is dull and heavy, and it's a bit mature for Disney. I am NOT advocated the Disney Essence theory. I am just stating that Disney has been family friendly for basically all of its existence, and that is how it should stay. I'm hoping James Cameron and Disney argue too much about every little detail and will eventually part ways due to creative differences.

I haven't been following proposed WDW projects, because I don't want to spoil anything for whenever I do go, so I don't know much about Beastly Kingdom. But it definitely sounds better than Pandora at WDW.

Okay, rant over. Sorry about that. Hopefully, it won't happen again anytime soon. :D


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:17 am 
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Ugh...no !


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 10:52 am 
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I have not been to Walt Disney World since 1994 (too damn expensive), but I have seen how it has changed since then and this is probably one of the worst things they have added to the park. I thought the visuals in the film were the only good thing about the film, but that does not mean you need to make an attraction out of every film that grosses a ton of money.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:47 pm 
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I agree with most with most of the comments above! I wouldn't mind an attraction of smaller proportion like Star Tours, but to build and entire land based on 1 (2 more potential) movies is a bit extreme. This attraction will take 5 years to complete and will be bigger than Cars Land (DCA/DC.... Why built an attraction on Pixar's worst movie?) -

Here is an interview with Tom Staggs....
http://www.wesh.com/themeparks/29254592/detail.html

An interesting snip it!

Q: Why would you buy someone else's idea?
Quote:
TS: Some of you asked why we would choose to collaborate with an outside partner rather than use our own Disney characters and stories to expand the parks. We are as committed as ever to creating attractions and entertainment around favorite Disney characters and stories – with Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park and our expansion of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park being two great examples. At the same time, we like to look beyond our own walls at non-Disney properties, like STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES, creating some of our most popular attractions. At the end of the day, we are focused on creating a great experience for our guests and I truly believe that this unique partnership with James Cameron and AVATAR gives us an entire world of imaginative creatures, fascinating locations and intriguing characters with which to do that.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:44 am 
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<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8SoGGmrq2jM" frameborder="0"></iframe>

DisneyDude2010 mentioned it, but the link to the Tom Stagg's interview/question and answer post on theDisneyParksBlog:
Answering Your Questions About AVATAR at Disney Parks

Those worried about the 'family-friendliness' read on:
Quote:
4) FILM IS PG-13, HOW DOES THIS MATCH W/FAMILY-FRIENDLY PARK?

Some of you, including Logan in Carnesville, Ga., asked about whether AVATAR was a good fit for a family-friendly brand like Disney.

Thanks, Logan, I appreciate your candor in asking this question. 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. And with two sequels in the works, we feel this is a creative property whose potential is limitless.


Do you think Disney has enough influence to inject the upcoming sequels (like Marvel) with more 'family-friendliness'?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:00 am 
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Q: Why would you buy someone else's idea?
Quote:
TS: Some of you asked why we would choose to collaborate with an outside partner rather than use our own Disney characters and stories to expand the parks. We are as committed as ever to creating attractions and entertainment around favorite Disney characters and stories – with Cars Land at Disney California Adventure park and our expansion of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park being two great examples. At the same time, we like to look beyond our own walls at non-Disney properties, like STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES, creating some of our most popular attractions. At the end of the day, we are focused on creating a great experience for our guests and I truly believe that this unique partnership with James Cameron and AVATAR gives us an entire world of imaginative creatures, fascinating locations and intriguing characters with which to do that.

So...forget sticking to their Disney selves...it's just about making a great experience for guests. You know. The goal of EVERY PARK. As in Disney not being Disney but just like ANY PARK. They need to keep their Disney Essence, not just family friendliness, but Disney Essence, and they're not doing it.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:10 pm 
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So lame. Hopefully they won't be bringing it to Disneyland....

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:18 pm 
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Disney Duster wrote:
So...forget sticking to their Disney selves...it's just about making a great experience for guests. You know. The goal of EVERY PARK. As in Disney not being Disney but just like ANY PARK. They need to keep their Disney Essence, not just family friendliness, but Disney Essence, and they're not doing it.


You made a good point. While I think Star Wars and Indiana Jones fit in well with the park (in part because of the family friendliness and how Disney Disney-fied them (with Disney/Star Wars and Disney/Indiana Jones merchandise, etc). I'm not sure about this yet. I think Avatar is overrated anyways but I guess I can be happy they aren't bringing Twilight into the parks. :lol:

I get a bad vision of mickey/Avatar crossover park ears. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:58 am 
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Blegh. That's really all I have to say about that.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:40 pm 
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I personally don't think Star Wars or Indiana Jones fit well into the park either. Their franchises seem to big and individual to me to fit well into anything Disney related. I do enjoy their attractions in the parks, but I find it difficult to put Disney and them together.

I feel personally robbed of Beastly Kingdom however. It may be taking it far to take it personally, but I've always kind of held out hope it would come together someday. This "Avatar" themed area in Animal Kingdom would make a Beastly Kingdom impossible. It just sucks because I don't see why this couldn't just fit into Hollywood Studios. The entire back end of this park is almost useless. There's WAY too much dead space for those fake city streets, then there's the "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" play area which is a bit dated, the backlot tour is kind of a mess, and that whole raceway themed dining area (which was almost completely closed by 7pm last time I was there). I understand there are eventually plans to expand Pixar Place back that direction, but I doubt it'll fill in everything. They've wasted a lot of space in that area where the only real attraction is that car stunt show.

The only positive things I can say about this are that I have no doubts it will be a lot of fun based solely on the fact that it will be very immersive, well themed, and boast some new fun/exciting attractions. Also that it'll bring A LOT of focus to the highly underrated Animal Kingdom. It's such a great park, but a lot of people pass it up.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:54 pm 
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I agree with Linden entirely. Avatar is a horrid example of style over substance, and lacks any of the family-friendly appeal that the likes of Star Wars and Indiana Jones have.

Disney Duster wrote:
So...forget sticking to their Disney selves...it's just about making a great experience for guests. You know. The goal of EVERY PARK. As in Disney not being Disney but just like ANY PARK. They need to keep their Disney Essence, not just family friendliness, but Disney Essence, and they're not doing it.


:brick:

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:05 pm 
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You've GOT to be fucking joking!!! Ugh! It's bad enough that Avatar has to be the highest grossing- if not, most overrated- movie of all time, and now this?! For Christ's sake, why would Disney WANT to do this?!

And by the way, I do NOT really give even half a damn about Avatar, but Disney.... I expected better from them... :x


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:56 pm 
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This is a horrible idea.

1) Avatar was a fly-by-night cultural fad that quickly faded from movie goers minds shortly after leaving the theaters. It's not a movie with endearing characters nor does it contain moments that people will be referencing for years to come. Yes, it made money but that was mostly due to the inflated ticket pricing that comes with 3D and the unprecedented amount of hype surrounding it.

2) I hear people defending this Avatar deal by referencing the fact that Disney already has the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises in the parks. There is a big difference. Both of those franchises were proven franchises, having at least three successful movies out and both being huge merchandise movers. Avatar isn't even a franchise yet, with only one movie out and it's having a hard time moving any merchandise at all. Avatar is definitely not proven and the area should in NO WAY be compared to Universal's Harry Potter land, which is based on a proven franchise made up of multiple successful movies, books and one that is a HUGE merchandise mover.

3) It doesn't belong in Animal Kingdom, and if anything, they ow us Beastly Kingdom dammit. Besides, the vast majority of Avatar's ticket sales came from the foreign box office, so why invest such a substantial amount of money building it state side - where it's less popular - at WDW's least popular park? Seems like a misuse of funds to me. I guess what's even more disturbing about the clash of themes this will bring is that they plan on building this Avatar land in the other parks, which makes me fear what will become of Tomorrowland or Adventureland, wherever they put it. I would much rather see them utilize Marvel in the parks or better yet, an all new IP.

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