Whether you agree or disagree about the implementation of AVATAR Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are advantages for theme park fans. Anytime Disney puts a little TLC into its theme parks we reap the benefits. I’ve seen the movie AVATAR and I’m just as shocked as most to see Disney implement this world into the Animal Kingdom. But, after sitting back and digesting the announcement and recently released details I do see several advantages. Let’s take a look at a few and why we should be excited about the world of Pandora.
Some of the reasons why you should love AVATAR Land are not directly related to the land itself. Some of the reasons are indirect or even external to the Animal Kingdom theme park.
Number 1 – New attractions coming to the Animal Kingdom
When I first visited the Animal Kingdom in 1998 I left the park thinking it had great potential, but lacked attractions. It didn’t seem like the park was ready for guests, nor would it be ready for some time. It needed more. It’s the biggest of the 4 theme parks, but lacked the entertainment offerings we expect from a Disney theme park.
Fast-forward to today and a few new attractions and experiences have opened. With the addition of AVATAR Land we have 2 new attractions on the horizon. Some of the recent concept art released shows a boat ride with luminescent lighting all around. Another rumored attraction is a Soarin’-type ride where guests will get to fly on a Banshee through Pandora. No matter if you’re an AVATAR fan or not you’ll at least get to experience these newly imagineered attractions in a wonderful setting.
Number 2 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Consistently Open at Night
I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it, “The Animal Kingdom theme park is the most beautiful park at night.” What’s scary is the potential for the night time lighting with the addition of AVATAR Land to make it even better.
Picture this, what will it look like as you leave the forbidden mountain on Expedition Everest going down the biggest hill of the ride at night. I can foresee a beautiful view of the park at night, especially with AVATAR Land in plain sight. Not only that, but just walking through the park you’ll get to see unique lighting surrounded by lush foliage. Dimly lit, but colorful attractions that leave you wondering where you really are – Walt Disney World or another continent.
Number 3 – AVATAR Land will decrease crowd levels in the other theme parks
With the addition of AVATAR Land and increased evening hours at the Animal Kingdom, we should expect crowds that would normally be in the other 3 theme parks to filter over to the Animal Kingdom. This would be especially true at night. Currently, 3 theme parks are consistently open after 6:00PM. We can now expect Disney’s Animal Kingdom to welcome guests through at least 8:00PM.
We all love the nighttime entertainment in the theme parks. Between Wishes, Illuminations, and Fantasmic!, crowd levels can get a bit crazy, especially during peak times of the year. With the addition of nighttime offerings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom we should see less crowd levels at the other 3 nighttime spectacles. This should make these evening extravaganzas more comfortable and more enjoyable for us all.
Number 4 – Night time entertainment offerings
Remember the rumors of a night time show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, The Rivers of Light? The rumor said the show was in development in 2006 and then put on hold in 2008. Well, now we have confirmation from Disney that with the introduction of AVATAR Land, nighttime entertainment and a new nighttime show will be introduced into the theme park. Evening offerings look to include roaming performers, a nighttime Kilimanjaro Safari’s viewing experience, and a new nighttime show along Discovery River.
This is a very welcomed addition to the new details released about AVATAR Land. It sort of completes the 4 park experience at Walt Disney World. Now that each theme park will have a nighttime show we have more options to choose from and more to see and do inside the parks. It seems like our entertainment value at Walt Disney World is about to get a serious boost and that is something we should all be excited about.
Number 5 – A new land means heightened competition among Orlando theme parks
If AVATAR Land is as well done as we all hope it should put pressure on the other Orlando theme parks (Universal & Sea World) to continue their growth. New expansions and experiences at the theme parks has been the norm lately. Over the past 5 years, new lands and attractions have begun to pop up back and forth like a pendulum. AVATAR Land will only increase the demand for fresh new attractions at the other theme park resorts.
New attractions and experiences at the theme parks only means more entertainment value for us – the guest, the fan. Let’s wish Camp Minnie-Mickey a fond farewell and bring on AVATAR Land. It’s certainly a needed improvement for the Animal Kingdom.
I have to admit I’m not a big AVATAR fan yet. However, I am a theme park fan. When you drop a movie franchise into the theme parks it tends to grab my interest and I start following it more. I’m a bit disappointed that lately Disney has turned to franchises to build attractions. I miss the original attractions with classic Disney characters and where Imagineers didn’t have to rely on a creative Hollywood Producer to provide input. I believe Imagineers work better when it’s with their own ideas and creativity.
Be that as it may, I still believe AVATAR Land will be advantageous inside Walt Disney World. I can’t wait for the attractions, entertainment, and other offerings to become available sometime in 2017. It should help the Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, and even Orlando become a better experience all the way around. “To Pandora and beyond!” Oops, wrong movie.
Photos and concept art courtesy of Disney Parks and Resorts
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Category: Disney World