LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. (Dec 7, 2012) – I spend this morning on “Keys to the Kingdom” tour at Magic Kingdom with our affable but otherwise unremarkable guide telling us that “Avatar Land” is officially going through at Animal Kingdom. Naturally, the question was: “where are going to put it?”
“Well…” Nicholas (Ellicott City, Maryland) said. “’Camp Minnie-Mickey’ was never supposed to be a ‘permanent’ thing. It was only added at the last minute when ‘Beastly Kingdom’ fell through…either that or there is a lot of space between ‘Asia’ and ‘Africa.’”
I have an even better idea of where to put it…and it’s approximately 15 miles northeast of all three of the aforementioned areas.
That’s right, “Avatar Land” belongs at UNIVERSAL – specifically Islands of Adventure.
- Avatar is an awesome movie with a plot completely in-line with the DAK’s messaging, but it isn’t a kids’ film. Meanwhile, the similarly themed Pocahontas (1995) sits by the wayside without a single show or attraction in a park virtually created around her movie.
- It’s too narrowly themed for an entire land at DAK (remember: it’s competing with “Asia” and “Africa”)… but Universal has an area dedicated solely to Jurassic Park. It also (conveniently enough) has an entire island to fill once Disney revokes their lease on the Marvel characters.
- I think Disney would be best to stick with a more general theme like it’s original “Beastly Kingdom” though it should be noted that while there is a Finding Nemo show on the opposite side of the park, there is no “Oceania” area (either a serious oversight… or they’re afraid to compete with “Australia: Wild Extremes”).
However, in the end, it comes down to what a lot of commenters I read researching this post said: “It doesn’t sound Disney enough.” I couldn’t agree more.
Seriously, they could make areas around properties they already own like Wilderness Explorers (Up), The Lion King (the show is already there so why not work with it?), a Bug’s Life area (they can even use the same film from The Tree of Life) or even a Native American village with a Brother Bear (2003) dark ride and a Pocahontas stage show (technically, Bear is Pacific Northwest and Pocahontas is Coastal Virginia, but this IS Disney we’re talking about).
In other words: Avatar fits in better to the milieu of Islands of Adventure. What’s more adventurous than exploring another planet(s)?