I've had people ask, so here it is, my opinion on yesterday's big announcment:
Yes, that's right, I don't have an opinion as of right now. Why you might ask? Well, for starters, I have never seen the movie Avatar! (Yea, I know, cone of shame and all that jazz) I just never found it over the top appealing or had a need to watch it. This announcement has certainly given me the motivation to watch it, and I plan to, hopefully as a group, but I will get to that later.
For those of you who are upset, I pose a question to you.....why?? It is not like groaning about it is going to change anything, Disney is going to do what they want and what they feel will be best overall for their park and company. A few griping guests is not going to change their mind. And besides, even if you decide to never set foot on "Avatar Land", it's not like you will stop giving them money in other ways.
The addition of this land to Animal Kingdom completes the original plans of the park. Creatures of the past, present and fantasy were to be represented within the park and, while many have said they would have rather seen the originally planned Beastly Kingdom, "Avatar Land" does fit the bill for this category.
Ok, before I continue, I do have to give my one actual beef with the whole announcement. I am really, REALLY hoping that "Avatar Land" is a working title for the project and not what it will actually be called, because it's kinda lame and WDI can do better than that.
Ok, moving on...
For those griping about Disney pulling ideas from outside sources, Lou Mongello pointed out that Disney has been doing this FOREVER! Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, it's not like those are original stories from the mind of Walt, he just put his spin on the classic story. Disney has found a story they believe will stand the test of time and have come up with ways to incorporate the story into the parks. Lou also made the point that Cameron, like the people at Disney, is a story teller and will do what he can to stand by a story. We must remember, this is not just some ho-hum director getting with a mediocre theme park, this is James Cameron and his imagination getting with the talents and imaginations of the Disney imagineers, the guys who get paid to imagine! Combining these elements and getting a ho-hum result just seems illogical. Once Lou gets this week's newscast up, I will post it here for you to enjoy and hopefully to help some see the pros and optimistic side of this endeavor.
A practical reason for putting this update in Animal Kingdom? It needs it BADLY! This park is considered by many to be merely a half-day park with very few E-ticket attractions. Guests have been calling for an addition to this park for a long time now it has finally come to be! This could even open the opportunity for extended park hours in Animal Kingdom, especially if the plans for the land call for some kind of glowing forest! They could close the safari earlier so that the animals will be taken care of, but leave the rest of the park open later for more experience. Plus, the opening of this area will give the E-ticket potential and distraction needed to put Expedition Everest under refurb and allow for the much needed fix for the Disco Yeti problem! (For those unaware, the short of it is that the Yeti in the attraction was way cool until his foundation broke causing him not to be able to function properly and the only way to remedy the situation is to shut the entire ride down for months in order to break through the main foundations to the Yeti foundation, repair it and fix the other foundations again.)
Why was this not announced at the D23 Expo last month? This is all merely speculation by the way, but my first idea was that they did not want to cause major outrage at the Expo like what was seen at the announcement and through social media. I don't think they were prepared for a riot at the Expo. Another thought, and one I actually stand by moreso, they were going to announce it, but pulled it out of the show at the last second. They were prepared to announce it during the Parks and Resorts event, but there were negotiations going on still, so when the Expo came up ad they negotiations were not finished, they pulled the announcement. This would explain the sudden cut of the Parks and Resorts program by a half an hour days before the Expo.
I know there is a lot here, I am just trying to help people see what could be the positives of this announcement, even if they are not fans of the movie. As soon as change is announced, people tend to immediately get upset about it, but we really have nothing to get upset about right now. There are no plans, we have no idea what they are going to start building since they wont be moving any dirt until 2013, so there is plenty of time to be calm and think about the possibilities before having to freak out. Remember Magic, Memories and You; people freaked when that was announced, talking about how dumb it was and being negative, but now it is really a beloved feature of the parks and a great show of technology.
The biggest realization of this whole thing: This is Disney we are talking about!! Haven't they earned our trust by now? Yes, the Pepto-Bismol castle, Stitch's SuperSonic Celebration and the second iteration of Journey into Imagination were a few dark spots, but I think they're positive decisions FAR outweigh the negative ones. For now, I am putting my trust in Disney to plan something spectacular.