Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day 286: Avatarland?

In order to not reveal any spoilers from tonight's SPECTACULAR episode of Once Upon a Time, I'm putting off that post until tomorrow. That at least gives people a little bit of time to catch up. Plus, I'll probably rewatch the episode on Hulu before I blog about it, just to clarify my own feelings a little more. It was a really really interesting episode, to say the least, but we'll talk more about that tomorrow.

And then I was going to write about how Princess and the Frog is playing while I write this and finish my homework, and I was almost done, when I realized that I wasn't going to blog about that either. I knew I had something in my head to blog about, I just happened to keep forgetting it. Honestly, I had an entire blog post finished about Princess and the Frog when I realized that I really needed to blog about this instead.


Just a day or two ago the very first concept art for Avatarland was released, and to be truthful, I don't know what I think. I did not enjoy Avatar as a film. I just didn't like it. My brother loves it, and my family in general likes it I think, but I just never got into it. So when I heard they were bringing it to Animal Kingdom I was really skeptical.

Now I think I'm even more skeptical, but I don't really know. Here's a rundown of what's going on.

Things over in what is now Camp Minnie Mickey will look a bit different. Ok, a lot different. We're talking floating mountains and all these waterfalls and basically Pandora all over the place. My big question here is how is this going to look? I mean, where is the transition going to be from Animal Kingdom as we know it into this? 

Next, in what I assume will be a new thrill ride, bringing the number of E Ticket attractions up to 5, we'll ride on one of those things. Whatever it is. A Banshee? I don't know if I like this addition because it sounds a bit like what's already at Universal...even if they did kind of take that from Disney. It's a complicated relationship. Of everything being added this is the one I think I'm the least excited for.

And then we have this. Some sort of boat ride, I think? Well, ok, I know it's a boat ride, but what in the world is it going to showcase? What's the storyline going to be? Every Disney attraction has a storyline, right? Maybe it will be like the story of the movie, but we'll see.

Now here's where things get weird. This expansion won't just be Avatarland. We're getting a full-scale night version of Animal Kingdom. That's right, we're adding new stuff everywhere. This part, quoted from the Disney Parks Blog is, "a new nighttime spectacular where live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery all combine to bring a show to Discovery Riber that will delight our guests and truly cap off their day at Disney's Animal Kingdom." But that's not all. We're also getting a, wait for it, nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris. 

Now, I love Kilimanjaro as much as the next person, although it's been going down in my rating book since they got rid of Little Red and the storyline of the poaching. I miss the adventure. But the animals go in every night. HOW are they going to pull this one off? 

I guess, overall I just question how this is keeping the original focus of the park. I don't want more thrill rides at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and as much as I'd love to see Camp Minnie Mickey turned into something awesome, is this all really the answer? Yeah, it's probably the lowest attended (or Hollywood Studios is, but it's close), but do we need floating mountains and Pandora and another thrill ride and a nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris? 

I'm not whining about this, I'm just as excited to see what's coming as the next person. I'm just skeptical, that's all. I'm saying that, for me, a person who isn't a fan of Avatar, Imagineering REALLY has to wow me this time. If they can wow me, then this will be a wonderful addition to Animal Kingdom, and they often times do just that: wow me. But after my dislike of Ariel's Undersea Adventure, they're going to have to be really careful. Plus, what about all the animals? Am I the only one thinking about how Pandora isn't real and this isn't doing anything to educate us about the animals that share our planet? 

I guess I'm just really really conflicted, because one part of me sees why this is going in and is excited, but the other part of me is like "wait, what?" because what about the original theme? How IS this going to fit in? What about the care of the animals? There are a lot of questions here, and I hope we get answers soon. Plus, it doesn't help that plans for this have been a long time in coming and we're going to have to wait even longer to see this thing come to exist. We waited a really long time for New Fantasyland...and we're waiting still longer and longer when it comes to the finishing touches. So when can we expect any of this to happen? 

So what do you think? Avatarland got you excited or are you like me, skeptical? 

Here's today's Disney History: 1940: Disney Legend Dave Smith, official Disney historian, author, archivist and the ultimate authority on all things Disney, is born in Pasadena, California. The founder and first head of the Walt Disney Archives, located in the Frank G. Wells building at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, Smith is also the author of such books as Disney A to Z and Walt Disney Famous Quotes.

Oh, but before I leave you, here's a funny video because this was kind of depressing:  

Have a magical day!