James Cameron Will Reveal Avatar Theme Park Details in November

James Cameron’s Avatar occupies a strange place in the history of blockbusters. It was a groundbreaking effort from a technical standpoint, which helped to mainstream the potential of in-theater 3D. It also remains the highest-grossing film of all time at the worldwide box office, and was the top domestic film until Star Wars: The Force Awakens overtook it late last year. However, as many film observers have pointed out, Avatar seems to have left behind a much smaller culture impact.

Maybe it’s because Avatar was an original story with no ancillary material, or perhaps it’s because the sequels are taking years to arrive. But Avatar, these days, isn’t on many people’s minds. Cameron, in frequent interviews in which he discusses the progress of the writing and production of the four Avatar sequels, has also promised the arrival of an Avatar theme park exhibit, to help change that.

Pandora: The World of Avatar,  a theme park attraction based on the Avatar universe, will open in 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida. io9 reports that Cameron will announce details about the theme park, along with producer Jon Landau and Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, at the D23 Destination D event in November.

The 12-acre attraction, previously known as “Avatar Land,” was announced in 2011 and began construction in early 2014. It will feature 3D projections and other cutting-edge creative technologies to make park-goers feel like they’re actually on Pandora among the Na’vi. There will be both a flying attraction and a boat ride, meant to approximate moments from the original film.

The question is, is there enough interest in Avatar out there to justify this much effort and expense? Do kids, in particular, feel any particular affection towards Avatar, a single movie that will have come out eight years prior to the opening of the park in 2017? And even if there’s a new surge in interest in the Avatar universe with the release of the new movies, the first one isn’t scheduled to arrive until December 2018 – more than a year after the theme park opens.

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6 thoughts on “James Cameron Will Reveal Avatar Theme Park Details in November

  1. My thoughts are we WDW fans but I have never seen Avatar nor have my kids. I don’t know if there is really that much film appeal. It will probably be popular because it is new and cutting edge (as long as the technology can keep up with the number of riders and not break down often like some other newer rides) not so much because it is Avatar.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Personally, I think this is an amazing idea if they do it right. The amount of effects that went into the movie mean that many special effects will be required for the making of this theme park, unless they’re following the Jurassic Park style of animatronics. At the end of the day, it will come down to how well they make the park realistic. 3D projection is great, but how sustainable is it in a theme park? When does the ability to see, but not touch something become boring or even frustrating to visitors? Will it really feel like the visitors are immersed in the movie world or just observing it?

    Also, Avatar is one of those futuristic, high-scifi films that went for the mass-market, but ended up with a very specified group of fans. Those fans being scifi fans in the first place. The best part about Avatar was the world-building and the science technology. If the park doesn’t implement those, it won’t even attract movie fans. :/

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  3. I suspect you are right. I am not convinced the interest will be there.

    I loved Avatar. For a year or so after release, it was my favourite movie of all time. It totally captivated me.

    Seven years on, the magic has faded. What seemed a mystical enlightenment, is now remembered as just another movie. It is also no longer my favourite movie of all time, as time and later movies dimmed its light. I still like the movie a lot, but not nearly with the same passion.

    The other problem is that there has been little or no official material from the world released. There were no novels or TV series to take advantage of the interest in the movie.

    Sadly, I think the passion of many fans may have faded. And younger people who have seen it more recently, may not see it with the same passion.

    If the park is done well, it may well increase interest in the world and the new movie. But it seems too little too late. A strange failing of the corporate marketing machine if you ask me.

    Liked by 1 person

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