Pandora Pre-Opening Standpoint Check-in?

GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,751
Orlando
I would guess that just about any IP that is not already owned by Disney or Universal gets shopped to both for theme park development (or they approach the IP holder). Since Cameron had already worked with Universal on T23D it's not surprising he might have approached them or they approached him. The movie was a HUGE hit and had potential for exploiting in a park. I don't think spending about a billion dollars on it was smart, but time will tell...
 
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DoubleJ

Rookie
Mar 24, 2016
288
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.


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.


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.


Where did that rumor come from??


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.
I hadn't even seen Cars before I walked into Cars Land (through the Pacific Wharf entrance), and my jaw dropped. After seeing the movie, the land was even more impressive to me.

A majority of the U.S have never seen a single Harry Potter movie. IP is MEANINGLESS to financial success. Very, very few people relative to Orlando theme park attendance are Harry Potter fans with enough emotional connection to feel compelled simply due to the IP. When I walk around the brick wall, the most frequent comment I hear is "Wow, this is so cool!" Not "OMG, it's Diagon Alley!"

Harry Potter is obviously a worldwide cultural phenomenon, but in the U.S. it's not as strong. Not a single Harry Potter movie topped $400 million domestic. The IP sells hardly any merch outside of books. I'm just extremely puzzled as to how anybody thinks Hogsmeade and Diagon's success is even 10% attributable to Harry Potter. IMO, it's insulting to Universal Creative.

Disney isn't a risk taking company anymore? :lol:
 
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quinnmac000

Veteran Member
May 14, 2014
5,397
Seoul, Korea
I hadn't even seen Cars before I walked into Cars Land (through the Pacific Wharf entrance), and my jaw dropped. After seeing the movie, the land was even more impressive to me.

A majority of the U.S have never seen a single Harry Potter movie. IP is MEANINGLESS to financial success. Very, very few people relative to Orlando theme park attendance are Harry Potter fans with enough emotional connection to feel compelled simply due to the IP. When I walk around the brick wall, the most frequent comment I hear is "Wow, this is so cool!" Not "OMG, it's Diagon Alley!"

Harry Potter is obviously a worldwide cultural phenomenon, but in the U.S. it's not as strong. Not a single Harry Potter movie topped $400 million domestic. The IP sells hardly any merch outside of books. I'm just extremely puzzled as to how anybody thinks Hogsmeade and Diagon's success is even 10% attributable to Harry Potter. IMO, it's insulting to Universal Creative.

Disney isn't a risk taking company anymore? :lol:
....besides the movie sales, this is the most inaccurate post I have seen in my entire life. It has a market value of $25 Billion dollars which makes it the third highest grossing media franchise. (#1 Pokémon, #2 Star Wars). The only people who I know object to Harry Potter are those who are very religious when it comes to witchcraft/ghosts.
 

twebber55

Veteran Member
Jul 10, 2012
1,464
chattanooga, tn
I hadn't even seen Cars before I walked into Cars Land (through the Pacific Wharf entrance), and my jaw dropped. After seeing the movie, the land was even more impressive to me.

A majority of the U.S have never seen a single Harry Potter movie. IP is MEANINGLESS to financial success. Very, very few people relative to Orlando theme park attendance are Harry Potter fans with enough emotional connection to feel compelled simply due to the IP. When I walk around the brick wall, the most frequent comment I hear is "Wow, this is so cool!" Not "OMG, it's Diagon Alley!"

Harry Potter is obviously a worldwide cultural phenomenon, but in the U.S. it's not as strong. Not a single Harry Potter movie topped $400 million domestic. The IP sells hardly any merch outside of books. I'm just extremely puzzled as to how anybody thinks Hogsmeade and Diagon's success is even 10% attributable to Harry Potter. IMO, it's insulting to Universal Creative.

Disney isn't a risk taking company anymore? :lol:
This has always been position
iP gets way overblown
Quality and execution is far more important
 
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Frogki

Veteran Member
Jun 14, 2010
1,550
South West FL
I'm not big on either side of this debate but arguing Potter wasn't successful because it was Potter is kind of silly. Sure, lots of people didn't plan vacations specifically around it. Plenty more did - Universal didn't have thousands purchasing robes and wands because they just thought the place was cool. I certainly know that I wouldn't have spent $50 on a toy wand if I didn't have the emotional attatchment to the stories which made the fact that it chose me an actual moment I'll never forget.
EDIT: Thank you Quinn!
 
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AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
16,968
Arizona
**- 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.
To talk about this briefly, I have for a while; seen four things being potentially able to match Potter.

1.) Star Wars Land - Unlike Pandora, this to me from everything in the concepts and what has been said; does excite me more-so. I think it will be fascinating to see in the near future what they can do, and that I think this will be in a strange way, a Star Wars Fan's dream come true. Especially with it being canonical to the films, I do think that there is a lot of great potential for the land.

2.) Super Nintendo World - If I was going to say something more direct (rickroll), I will say this. This; is Universal's next big risk. Nintendo, is one of the largest IP's in the world, and that it can easily be botched and poorly received for not immersing yourself enough to the world. I think, that if they embrace that you have to experience it, not by a screen; but with real environments, it will be the big selling point. More-so than even the characters. It's the experiences and the atmosphere that they offer, that will drive this whole thing from being a true disaster, to a true dream come true.

I have talked with some collegues of mine, that I talk with on The Coaster Casters; that Nintendo is going to be a hit, if done in the right way. One simple mis-step can lead to a series of heartache.

3.) Lord of The Rings - This, to me; is Pandora's Box. Whoever would get it, if the Theme Park Rights can occur, to whoever in god's name it may be; must be careful with the IP. More so than Nintendo, more so than Star Wars, and more so than even freaking Potter. As one simple mistake, can to me; cause something more massive in the amount of backlash for an IP. Lord of The Rings, is legendary in pop culture, and it is one of the most defining stories of the medieval/fantasy genre.

There is a huge amount of backlash, if they even announce it; and that it would be an insane uphill climb in my eyes, that this would even make a freaking dent.

and 4:

Universal, and their plans with the southern property

To put it simply, history has it's eyes on them.

The success of everything they have led themselves too. Everything, that they have done; has been with the aid more-or-less in the past few years; with Comcast. Now, what in the hell; would happen, with them doing the southern property. There are many way's that they can go wrong, and many ways that they can do something legendary. I think it is going to depend on how serious Comcast gets with this. Because it will be one of the largest investments to Orlando in years.

__

That being said, back to Pandora. I do believe it is beautiful. And, that I agree with many of the points from @Joe, @GAcoaster, and @SeventyOne; and that I hope to be wrong in my fears and worries. I do have hopes that they do something extraordinary with Avatar, but I have my doubts.
 

twebber55

Veteran Member
Jul 10, 2012
1,464
chattanooga, tn
I'm not big on either side of this debate but arguing Potter wasn't successful because it was Potter is kind of silly. Sure, lots of people didn't plan vacations specifically around it. Plenty more did - Universal didn't have thousands purchasing robes and wands because they just thought the place was cool. I certainly know that I wouldn't have spent $50 on a toy wand if I didn't have the emotional attatchment to the stories which made the fact that it chose me an actual moment I'll never forget.
EDIT: Thank you Quinn!
the point was had it been disneys version or some piss poor watered down version it would not have been very popular, look at star tours the greatest IP of all time yet gets 20 min waits in the summer...
 

twebber55

Veteran Member
Jul 10, 2012
1,464
chattanooga, tn
To talk about this briefly, I have for a while; seen four things being potentially able to match Potter.

1.) Star Wars Land - Unlike Pandora, this to me from everything in the concepts and what has been said; does excite me more-so. I think it will be fascinating to see in the near future what they can do, and that I think this will be in a strange way, a Star Wars Fan's dream come true. Especially with it being canonical to the films, I do think that there is a lot of great potential for the land.

2.) Super Nintendo World - If I was going to say something more direct (rickroll), I will say this. This; is Universal's next big risk. Nintendo, is one of the largest IP's in the world, and that it can easily be botched and poorly received for not immersing yourself enough to the world. I think, that if they embrace that you have to experience it, not by a screen; but with real environments, it will be the big selling point. More-so than even the characters. It's the experiences and the atmosphere that they offer, that will drive this whole thing from being a true disaster, to a true dream come true.

I have talked with some collegues of mine, that I talk with on The Coaster Casters; that Nintendo is going to be a hit, if done in the right way. One simple mis-step can lead to a series of heartache.

3.) Lord of The Rings - This, to me; is Pandora's Box. Whoever would get it, if the Theme Park Rights can occur, to whoever in god's name it may be; must be careful with the IP. More so than Nintendo, more so than Star Wars, and more so than even freaking Potter. As one simple mistake, can to me; cause something more massive in the amount of backlash for an IP. Lord of The Rings, is legendary in pop culture, and it is one of the most defining stories of the medieval/fantasy genre.

There is a huge amount of backlash, if they even announce it; and that it would be an insane uphill climb in my eyes, that this would even make a freaking dent.

and 4:

Universal, and their plans with the southern property

To put it simply, history has it's eyes on them.

The success of everything they have led themselves too. Everything, that they have done; has been with the aid more-or-less in the past few years; with Comcast. Now, what in the hell; would happen, with them doing the southern property. There are many way's that they can go wrong, and many ways that they can do something legendary. I think it is going to depend on how serious Comcast gets with this. Because it will be one of the largest investments to Orlando in years.

__

That being said, back to Pandora. I do believe it is beautiful. And, that I agree with many of the points from @Joe, @GAcoaster, and @SeventyOne; and that I hope to be wrong in my fears and worries. I do have hopes that they do something extraordinary with Avatar, but I have my doubts.
to me worry about things we know
if you have an issue with the fakeness of the plants from what you see like others have said then thats legitimate. But we havent seen the rides (especially FOP) to know whether we need to worry
 
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DoubleJ

Rookie
Mar 24, 2016
288
....besides the movie sales, this is the most inaccurate post I have seen in my entire life. It has a market value of $25 Billion dollars which makes it the third highest grossing media franchise. (#1 Pokémon, #2 Star Wars). The only people who I know object to Harry Potter are those who are very religious when it comes to witchcraft/ghosts.
Rank source?

Familiarity>Fanbase

A lot of people have neutral opinions toward Potter or aren't familiar with the stories/characters. I never said there was a great deal of dislike, just an overestimation of the series' power.

I am a Harry Potter fan. But, I'm also a numbers person. The strength of the HP franchise is grossly exaggerated.

In theme parks, execution will handily beast IP every time. The execution of the land looks spectacular which is why I believe it will enjoy a great deal of success.
 

twebber55

Veteran Member
Jul 10, 2012
1,464
chattanooga, tn
....besides the movie sales, this is the most inaccurate post I have seen in my entire life. It has a market value of $25 Billion dollars which makes it the third highest grossing media franchise. (#1 Pokémon, #2 Star Wars). The only people who I know object to Harry Potter are those who are very religious when it comes to witchcraft/ghosts.
since pokemon is such a hot franchise i wonder why it doesnt have its own theme park land somewhere?
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,389
Orlando, FL
Rank source?

Familiarity>Fanbase

A lot of people have neutral opinions toward Potter or aren't familiar with the stories/characters. I never said there was a great deal of dislike, just an overestimation of the series' power.

I am a Harry Potter fan. But, I'm also a numbers person. The strength of the HP franchise is grossly exaggerated.

In theme parks, execution will handily beast IP every time. The execution of the land looks spectacular which is why I believe it will enjoy a great deal of success.
*Reads Pandora World of Avatar thread

*Reads here.

*Reads Pandora World of Avatar thread

*Reads here.

:cautious:
 

quinnmac000

Veteran Member
May 14, 2014
5,397
Seoul, Korea
Rank source?

Familiarity>Fanbase

A lot of people have neutral opinions toward Potter or aren't familiar with the stories/characters. I never said there was a great deal of dislike, just an overestimation of the series' power.

I am a Harry Potter fan. But, I'm also a numbers person. The strength of the HP franchise is grossly exaggerated.

In theme parks, execution will handily beast IP every time. The execution of the land looks spectacular which is why I believe it will enjoy a great deal of success.
Multiple sources but here you go...
Pokémon in Figures | The Pokémon Company
Star Wars Worth More Than Harry Potter and James Bond, Combined | Fortune.com
What is "Harry Potter" Worth? | Money
The Highest Grossing Movie Franchises of All Time
List of the highest-grossing media franchises - Wikipedia
 
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shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
10,269
Florida
In theme parks, execution will handily beat IP every time. The execution of the land looks spectacular which is why I believe it will enjoy a great deal of success.
I think LC was beautiful and well executed before Potter....yet...
 

DoubleJ

Rookie
Mar 24, 2016
288
The problem with these figures is they're all worldwide value. Pokémon's value is 45% based in Japan. Given that the overwhelming majority of Orlando theme park visitors are U.S. residents, it would be ill-reasoned to consider foreign value.
It may very well be getting one soon!
Japan would be the place to put it!
LOL avatar would be like 6th on that highest grossing franchise list
this must be a fairly old article no avengers....
Fairly certain SW has surpassed Pokémon as well.
Or maybe they count each character film as its own franchise vs combined them all into one. Iron Man own franchise, Avengers its own franchise, Hulk its own franchise.
All cases I've seen group MCU into one franchise, so I doubt it.