With Three AVATAR Sequels Coming Up, Will AVATAR Land be a Potter Killer?

Photo by Disney
So, as we know, Disney recently broke ground on the upcoming AVATAR Land (or whatever they'll be calling it) at Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  And, recently, we've learned that there is not ONE, not TWO, but THREE sequels being filmed back-to-back for AVATAR.  I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it all.

Photo by Disney
This has nothing to do whether I think Disney will come up with something amazing.  I trust the Imagineers to create a fantastically themed area.  From the very little I've seen them present in this video from the D23 Expo in Japan, I'm impressed...

But, will all this be a "Potter Killer" as many have come to call any attraction that could potentially detract from tourists flocking to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Walt Disney World's neighbor Universal Studios Islands of Adventure?

Photo by Loren R. Javier ©
Photo by Loren R. Javier ©
I just don't know.  This does seem very different than the New Fantasyland I think they were hoping was going to be a Potter Killer.  But, that didn't really turn out to be the case.  And, it's hard to tell if people will flock to an AVATAR-inspired land.  When they said that there will be THREE (did I mention THREE?) sequels to AVATAR, I literally had no visceral reaction at all.  Usually, when I'm excited about something, I can feel the little kid in my crying out.  I have a nephew who literally dances and jumps up and down when he's excited and that's how I feel when I'm excited.  Maybe there are people out there who can't wait.  But, I haven't met anybody who's met the news with particular anticipation.

It's not that I am one of those Disney fans who doesn't think a non-Disney franchise has no room at the parks.  When they added Star Wars and Indiana Jones to the Disney Parks, I had no problem with it.  But, perhaps it was because these films were as much a part of my childhood as the Disney films were.  They were household names and, for the most part, never left our collective consciousness.

This reminded me of something James Cameron says in the video released at the D23 Expo in Japan.  He said, "From the moment we released AVATAR, there was this amazing visceral response from people around the world that they wanted to go to Pandora.  Now, thanks to Disney, that's going to be possible."

Okay...that might have been the case FIVE years ago in 2009.  So many films have and so many changes have happened since 2009.  And, the American public is very fickle.  This is why movie studios try to get sequels out in quick succession so people ride on the good will of the previous films.  In all honesty, I can barely remember what happened in the movie.  And, for the life of me, I can't remember any of the names of any of the characters.

But, maybe with several films coming out and, most likely, a concentrated effort to remind people how much we all loved this film in 2009, this could bode well for the upcoming AVATAR-inspired land at Disney's Animal Kingdom.  I just hope that they're not jumping the shark.  It's taking a giant risk on films that could either be widely accepted by audiences or could flop.  I am seriously hoping, though, for the former as I would like for it to succeed.  Disney's Animal Kingdom is my favorite park at Walt Disney World and the addition of nighttime offerings for the AVATAR  Land will also increase the hours for the whole park and bring more entertainment.  That can only be good news for this park!

Photo by Disney
So, for now, no date or year has been announced for when this new land will open, but, Tom Staggs in September last year estimated that it could take around 5 years.  So, we're looking at a land being built around 10 years since the first film came out with, perhaps, a few of the sequels under the belt.  Like I said, the American public can be fickle.  We might not remember much of AVATAR now, but, maybe it will be ingrained in our collective consciousness by 2018.  Let's all hope this is the case!  Until then, I look forward to seeing more and more that is being developed.


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