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Pandora Pre-Opening Standpoint Check-in?

epcyclopedia

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Jul 13, 2011
3,824
Tampa, FL
As I said, it's not by any rational stretch the main discussion of this thread. Again, you're just seeing what you want to see.

I just want to make it crystal clear that you're not going to provoke any further response from me.

It is not because you're right, it is not because you "won," but rather that I cannot continue to waste my time trying to get you to face reality.
 

twebber55

Veteran Member
Jul 10, 2012
1,464
chattanooga, tn
As I said, it's not by any rational stretch the main discussion of this thread. Again, you're just seeing what you want to see.

I just want to make it crystal clear that you're not going to provoke any further response from me.

It is not because you're right, it is not because you "won," but rather that I cannot continue to waste my time trying to get you to face reality.
Your post of the day!
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
12,117
Pittsburgh, PA
Granted the scale and investments of the project aren't remotely similar, but it's really interesting to me that what you said here can be said for both major additions for 2017 (Pandora and Fallon). Two nuggets of really good ideas, buried in a whole pile of mediocre. I have hope for Star Wars and Nintendo, but I really hope someone can strike gold with a property outside of Potter. We already know Fast and Furious is utter crap, and who knows what else substantial will truly come for Disney.
Well you're forgetting Volcano Bay...

Universal had a proposal for an Avatar ride, but it was one ride. The scale of the investments is sort of the point. There's a difference.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
18,523
Pittsburgh area
I think the rides will be good and provide much needed capacity when it rains. Food looks fine to great and I bet it gets tweaked over the next few months to one of Disney's better counter service locations. The app based ordering will be a turning point in parks and lots of locations will start using it (this might be Pandora's biggest legacy). The drinks lack logic or appeal; simple usually equals better. I expect the interactive and glowing plants to be overrated and will lead to a lot of "that's it?" comments. Merch won't move like Disney hopes.

I've always been more interested in the "outside the berm" aspects and impacts of the land. I don't think this will hit Disney's targets and we'll see that through delayed or canceled projects that people swear are green lit now. I don't think guests will make two trips to see this land (one during the day and one at night) and DAK shifts from an EMH to early afternoon park to a late afternoon to closure/EMH park due to RoL and Disney trying to sell the nighttime effects. DHS will take an attendance and profit hit but I think Disney's expecting this. I think Pandora will be a mixed bag of success and disappointments for Disney, some of which are design related, some of which are self inflicted, and some of which are due to James Cameron.

The Usual Suspects will come out and decry this better than anything done so far and specifically target Harry Potter (similar to praise for LeFou's Brew and New Fantasyland over Butterbeer and Diagon Alley). Due to the sheer number of AP's and DVC there will be lines to get into the land initially but this will all but disappear over the summer months (see Jock's and Trader Sam's for examples). I think general consensus will fall on "it looks nice, rides are fine, lacks soul" and the general public will only connect to it on a "alien planet" level. This might sound ok initially until you remember Disney's forking over money to Fox for something guests will mentally throw away.

In the end Disney's "Potter Swatter" never materialized due to factors in and out of their control.
That's a really good summary. I would agree with nearly every aspect of this.
 

jtsalien

Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically, run.
Premium Member
Mar 9, 2011
6,512
T.A.R.D.I.S.
Well you're forgetting Volcano Bay...

Universal had a proposal for an Avatar ride, but it was one ride. The scale of the investments is sort of the point. There's a difference.
Didn't forget it. But it's an ambitious "third park" as opposed to an addition to an existing one. Also quite frankly I also don't care about water parks as much :lol:. But you're definitely correct that it's on the right level.

There is a difference. But depth and soul don't add much to the budget of a project.
 

damo

Newcomer
Dec 25, 2009
30
Although I am happy that something else is going into AK, it still irks me that this is not something like a Jungle Book land that my grandkids would be excited about.
 
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AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
17,119
Arizona
While I hope it is good, my expectations are, admittingly low.

It looks beautiful, but to me; I am having a fear that it will be a "Beauty is only Skin Deep" to me.

I have fears that the River Journey may suffer in capacity issues, I am worried that the Flight of the Banshee will be pitiful in execution, and I don't like what they are seeming to offer in food and drinks.

It looks beautiful, and I think it will add a nice Environment to walk around in, but I have serious concerns about the land.
 

GAcoaster

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Nov 30, 2012
3,812
Orlando
I have to wonder what the final spending on Avatar versus the final spending on VB are. I would guess VB will have cost half as much, was built in half the time and will yield much higher returns overall with increased tickets sales, and more importantly increased lengths of stays in Universal's resorts.
 
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GAcoaster

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Nov 30, 2012
3,812
Orlando
While I hope it is good, my expectations are, admittingly low.

It looks beautiful, but to me; I am having a fear that it will be a "Beauty is only Skin Deep" to me.

I have fears that the River Journey may suffer in capacity issues, I am worried that the Flight of the Banshee will be pitiful in execution, and I don't like what they are seeming to offer in food and drinks.

It looks beautiful, and I think it will add a nice Environment to walk around in, but I have serious concerns about the land.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. I'm hearing both attractions are low capacity. I also think that beauty will quickly fade in the Florida sun and upkeep will be a HUGE challenge and added cost. No matter how hard they try it will be an uphill battle trying to maintain the look of this place.
 

SeventyOne

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Jul 1, 2010
2,748
Orlando
My prediction: it will mirror the movie that inspired it--a visual spectacle with zero emotional impact that most of the general public are happy to see once then promptly forget.

More practically...

Enough Disney addicts desperate for anything new that it will be slammed until mid-August. Boat ride should stay fairly busy for years just because one of few WDW rides left little kids and grandma can ride with everyone else. But in a year, crowds elsewhere in land will be sparse, and even by first week of July place will be empty after 7 pm.

Biggest complaints will be over reliance on screenz, weird food*, and lack of real Pandorans or real animals.

I actually think green alien beer will be a huge hit. A hipster Dole Whip. I don't see any other souvenirs flying off the shelves after opening weekend. Ironically, given moral of movie/land, I think the the hula dancer AT-ST will end up being the land's most photographed icon and de facto weenie.

In the end, this will probably be a wash to moderate win on social media--it should look pretty--but I don't see it pulling in near the revenue a development of this magnitude needs to. Won't save Tiffins/Nomad from the inevitable dumbing down. Not going to move the needle down on MK attendance, or up on DAK Lodge stays. In that sense, I think it will be a failure on a corporate level--especially because TWDC shelled out cash for IP when they had plenty in-house that would have sold more stuff (if just not at a Potter level**).



*- Those cheeseburger pods are doomed to go the way of the handwich and Gaston's pork shank--both of which I enjoyed, apropos of nothing.

**- Burying this off-topic rant here because it keeps coming up in the thread. NOTHING will ever match Potter. In addition to being huge--best selling book series in history, highest grossing movie series in its day--it had added advantages. First, most fans discovered it in literary form--books always have more world-building detail, and more of an emotional connection (why book always better than the movie). Second, JKR was very stingy with licensing. When WWoHP opened, couldn't buy wands and Butterbeer at Target. The merch sold so well because it was unique and never offered before. TWDC will never have an IP it hasn't already strip-mined out to licensees. It was a perfect storm. Potter was a once a century thing. You can build a successful new land, but it won't be on that level.
 
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Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
12,117
Pittsburgh, PA
I have to wonder what the final spending on Avatar versus the final spending on VB are. I would guess VB will have cost half as much, was built in half the time and will yield much higher returns overall with increased tickets sales, and more importantly increased lengths of stays in Universal's resorts.
I don't have final costs on VB but I don't think it'll be half the cost...
 
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Jones14

Rookie
Jan 5, 2017
341
I'm excited for the land. I think the mountains are to be marveled at regardless of if the illusion fully works, and I think it's exactly what Animal Kingdom needs right now. On the rides, I'm prepared to be let down by the boat ride, but I've got high expectations for Flight of Passage and will likely form my overall opinion of the land based heavily on how it ends up.

Diagon loses points for me because Gringotts is underwhelming. I'm hoping that's not going to be the case here.
 
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LieutLaww

Premium Member
May 3, 2015
1,241
UK
I am looking forward to seeing it in the day and at night, altho I do have to wait until Oct until I get so see it.
 

Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
12,548
Glasgow
My prediction: it will mirror the movie that inspired it--a visual spectacle with zero emotional impact that most of the general public are happy to see once then promptly forget.

More practically...

Enough Disney addicts desperate for anything new that it will be slammed until mid-August. Boat ride should stay fairly busy for years just because one of few WDW rides left little kids and grandma can ride with everyone else. But in a year, crowds elsewhere in land will be sparse, and even by first week of July place will be empty after 7 pm.

Biggest complaints will be over reliance on screenz, weird food*, and lack of real Pandorans or real animals.

I actually think green alien beer will be a huge hit. A hipster Dole Whip. I don't see any other souvenirs flying off the shelves after opening weekend. Ironically, given moral of movie/land, I think the the hula dancer AT-ST will end up being the land's most photographed icon and de facto weenie.

In the end, this will probably be a wash to moderate win on social media--it should look pretty--but I don't see it pulling in near the revenue a development of this magnitude needs to. Won't save Tiffins/Nomad from the inevitable dumbing down. Not going to move the needle down on MK attendance, or up on DAK Lodge stays. In that sense, I think it will be a failure on a corporate level--especially because TWDC shelled out cash for IP when they had plenty in-house that would have sold more stuff (if just not at a Potter level**).



*- Those cheeseburger pods are doomed to go the way of the handwich and Gaston's pork shank--both of which I enjoyed, apropos of nothing.

**- Burying this off-topic rant here because it keeps coming up in the thread. NOTHING will ever match Potter. In addition to being huge--best selling book series in history, highest grossing movie series in its day--it had added advantages. First, most fans discovered it in literary form--books always have more world-building detail, and more of an emotional connection (why book always better than the movie). Second, JKR was very stingy with licensing. When WWoHP opened, couldn't buy wands and Butterbeer at Target. The merch sold so well because it was unique and never offered before. TWDC will never have an IP it hasn't already strip-mined out to licensees. It was a perfect storm. Potter was a once a century thing. You can build a successful new land, but it won't be on that level.
I've got a slight fear this will happen too. I'll have a great time, talk about it to friends and family and then completely forget about it.
 

jtsalien

Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically, run.
Premium Member
Mar 9, 2011
6,512
T.A.R.D.I.S.
... and even by first week of July place will be empty after 7 pm.

**- Burying this off-topic rant here because it keeps coming up in the thread. NOTHING will ever match Potter. In addition to being huge--best selling book series in history, highest grossing movie series in its day--it had added advantages. First, most fans discovered it in literary form--books always have more world-building detail, and more of an emotional connection (why book always better than the movie). Second, JKR was very stingy with licensing. When WWoHP opened, couldn't buy wands and Butterbeer at Target. The merch sold so well because it was unique and never offered before. TWDC will never have an IP it hasn't already strip-mined out to licensees. It was a perfect storm. Potter was a once a century thing. You can build a successful new land, but it won't be on that level.
I think you have the right idea, but wrong time frame. Mid-day is the concern for me. It will be slammed early morning, and I bet the late night/EMH will be popular, but why go during the middle of the day? Animal Kingdom can be the Saharah in the summer anyway. So just avoid the land when the sun is at its peak, and check it out on cooler nights when everything is lit up.

Exactly spot on rant too. A perfect Avatar Land couldn't sniff Potter. Even Star Wars will struggle thanks to the depth and licensing issues you mentioned. Disney can never have their "Potter Swatter" because they'll never have Potter. My hopes are for their new Pirates or Mansion. Just build a really freaking good ride again. Forget about the merchandise and food.
 

Miketheboss

BANNED
Jan 29, 2013
1,626
I think you've hit the nail on the head. I'm hearing both attractions are low capacity. I also think that beauty will quickly fade in the Florida sun and upkeep will be a HUGE challenge and added cost. No matter how hard they try it will be an uphill battle trying to maintain the look of this place.
This is what I'm actually worried about. Once the paint fades off of those vines and floating mountains...
 

SeventyOne

V.I.P.
Jul 1, 2010
2,748
Orlando
I've got a slight fear this will happen too. I'll have a great time, talk about it to friends and family and then completely forget about it.
Was reading an article yesterday about how Taco Bell's leading concern with new menu items is how they will look on Instagram. They spent two years making sure the cheese in their new chalupa or whatever strings just right when you pull it apart. Notice flavor doesn't come into play, because everyone knows it will be off the menu in a month no matter. (See Also: Unicorn Frappucino.)

Pandora feels like it will be an Instagram-friendly land. I mean, green alien beer feels like the Unicorn Frappucino's cousin, more stunt than drink (tho I've yet to sample either). That's why I think the initial reaction on social media will be no worse than neutral, probably slightly positive. But that's not going to do much to encourage repeat visitors. And it's not going to push guests to buy mementos of their time.

Rumor is we're getting a Haunted Mansion equivalent to Skipper Cantina. In 50 years, no one's going to be clamoring for a restaurant based on the banshee ride. On a long enough timeline, quality rides will out.
 
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Scott W.

Premium Member
Feb 26, 2014
12,548
Glasgow
Was reading an article yesterday about how Taco Bell's leading concern with new menu items is how they will look on Instagram. They spent two years making sure the cheese in their new chalupa or whatever strings just right when you pull it apart. Notice flavor doesn't come into play, because everyone knows it will be off the menu in a month no matter. (See Also: Unicorn Frappucino.)

Pandora feels like it will be an Instagram-friendly land. I mean, green alien beer feels like the Unicorn Frappucino's cousin, more stunt than drink (tho I've yet to sample either). That's why I think the initial reaction on social media will be no worse than neutral, probably slightly positive. But that's not going to do much to encourage repeat visitors. And it's not going to push guests to buy mementos of their time.

Rumor is we're getting a Haunted Mansion equivalent to Skipper Cantina. In 50 years, no one's going to be clamoring for a restaurant based on the banshee ride. On a long enough timeline, quality rides will out.
What an age we live in. :lol: I think CBBR owes a little bit of their success to Instagram.

Just curious, have been to Cars Land?
I have and it's fantastic. If all goes to plan, I'll be heading back there this year. It's easily one of the most photogenic lands I've visited.

I think this is a great comparison btw. :thumbsup: Greatly themed lands to less than stellar IPs. (I know kids love Cars and Avatar is the biggest box office ever but that's just my opinion.)
 
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Mr. EPCOT

Veteran Member
Nov 8, 2011
1,661
Celebration, FL
It's turning out just about how I expected, it looks okay. I got excited for a little bit when we started hearing there was a boat ride coming, that's actually something that would have a lot of potential with the IP, but that's sounding like it's kind of a dud. The idea of the bioluminescent plants sounded cool at first, but that seems like it could be lacking in execution. The banshee ride sounds fine, sounds like an interesting twist on a simulator, it's just a shame you don't go flying through a locale that more people have an emotional connection to.

I'm deeply concerned that the clips we've seen are about the extent of the boat ride, save for the shaman sitting and singing.
The shaman is at the end, right? The idea of the boats backing up at the end like they do at Pirates and having to listen to that dude forever just fills me with anxiety, haha.

To me i dont know how you can look at this picture and say this looks "meh" (another internet word that's overplayed)
there is some incredible artistic creativity but to each their own. Me personally i think this blows carsland away artistically. I compared it to carsland because both environments are physical settings/environments not buildings
It's nice. There's absolutely fantastic creativity involved, and all of the artists and artisans have done a great job with the very difficult assignment they were given. But it's easy for a big company like Disney to make something look this nice when you're spending money out the wazoo on it. They pay for the talent required and they keep spending money on it until they get it at least a little right. What determines whether I impressed or not is what Disney chooses to spend significant capital on. The fact that they chose to spend money like this on a franchise that has, at best, questionable staying power is very troubling to me, especially since they seem to be trying to replicate the success of Harry Potter. That demonstrates a disturbing lack of understanding of what made Harry Potter work, and why Avatar really made as much money as it did. Maybe there is enough weight with the Avatar IP that there are some shekels to be made off of it, but it probably would have been much more wise to build a one-off ride, and then expand from there if it was really successful. Maybe the banshee ride could be thrilling enough that it could have stood on it's own, or they could have really fleshed out the boat ride for the family-friendly Pirates/Mansion-like ride the park desperately needs. But regarding the picture above, it's lovely, it may have even been artistically more challenging than Cars Land, but I just really don't think there's going to be anywhere near as many people that Pandora emotionally resonates with as Radiator Springs. My gut tells me that people will first walk into Pandora and their reaction will be something to the effect of "oh hey, this is pretty neat" as opposed to the true wow moment you get when you first walk into Diagon Alley or Radiator Springs. Some people completely fall apart crying with joy when they first walk into Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley. I see it on a regular basis. If Disney pulls it off right, people will probably burst into tears the same way when they see that lifesize Millennium Falcon in Star Wars Land (not to mention actually walking onboard and flying the damn thing). Heck, I've seen people turn on the waterworks just meeting Chewbacca. I really, really doubt anybody is going to have anywhere near that reaction walking into Pandora.

Maybe I'm ranting too much, but this whole Avatar thing just baffles me, from a business perspective, from a guest perspective, from just every angle. I get liking the movie, I liked it okay myself, and I even acknowledge there's potential in the general idea of the franchise with future movies (Cameron has certainly upped the ante before, with T2 and Aliens). But this Avatar land is a big risk that doesn't have a very high chance of a huge pay-off for Disney, and Disney just simply isn't a risk-taking company anymore. It just literally seems like Iger saw "#1 GROSSING MOVIE OF ALL TIME" and forced this thing through without any critical analysis of why the movie actually made so much money and the genuine impact it had on people.

Rumor is we're getting a Haunted Mansion equivalent to Skipper Cantina.
Where did that rumor come from??

I have and it's fantastic. If all goes to plan, I'll be heading back there this year. It's easily one of the most photogenic lands I've visited.

I think this is a great comparison btw. :thumbsup: Greatly themed lands to less than stellar IPs. (I know kids love Cars and Avatar is the biggest box office ever but that's just my opinion.)
Cars is kind of a funky franchise. There's a lot of people that it just doesn't do anything for at all, but then it does seem like there's a lot of people that it really struck a chord with. It kind of captures different facets of Americana all tied together by car culture: small town American life, NASCAR, cross-country road trips, and such. I love the first movie particularly because it really triggers some of my happiest memories as a kid, of taking road trips across interstates between big cities and backroads through small towns, it really captures those feelings well. Cars 2 didn't really have much of that, I think that one was obviously just a cash grab. The first one was more grounded in reality, based on the reality of small towns falling by the wayside when bypassed by the big interstates, whereas Cars 2 was just a big fanciful spy thriller. I do think there is potential for more great stories about Americana and car culture viewed through the prism of the Cars world, but Cars 2 wasn't it.