Pandora Pre-Opening Standpoint Check-in?

DoubleJ

Rookie
Mar 24, 2016
288
Yes, they're really pushing this land with an all out marketing effort east of the Mississippi, and discounting hotel rooms. And, if you look at the series of commercials, they're trying to educate the GP about what the land is. That may signal a potential problem. A land of this nature and budget should sell itself, without having to explain it to the GP....ie. SWL, HP, NFL, TSL, Carsland.
Well...you obviously weren't in California the months prior to Potter's Hollywood opening. Without fail, every single commercial break: "Lumos Maxima! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter arriving at Universal Studios Hollywood April 7th. Get tickets online now." (And yes, I still have it memorized.)
 

Brian G.

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 21, 2008
20,375
Orlando, FL
As a fan of the movie Avatar, I can enjoy the movie but also recognize the film's issues. Having said that, I am looking forward to the new land. The film is visually beautiful and I have no doubts that the land will match that. As stated, I wonder if the success Disney wants is they success they'll get. With marketing, it seems they are forcing a lot to make this a thing instead of just letting it work on its own merits.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
18,166
Pittsburgh area
Well...you obviously weren't in California the months prior to Potter's Hollywood opening. Without fail, every single commercial break: "Lumos Maxima! The Wizarding World of Harry Potter arriving at Universal Studios Hollywood April 7th. Get tickets online now." (And yes, I still have it memorized.)
I wasn't referring to the frequency of the marketing & commercials. I was pointing out that contrary to the other recent lands at both Disney & Universal, the Pandora spots are trying to educate people on what Pandora is about. That's a significant difference & indicates Disney may believe people will not understand Pandora unless it's explained to them. A good IP, like the other lands, should sell itself on the GP's already understanding of the product. Otherwise, what's the use of paying for IP rights when you could just do a generic themed land.
 

twebber55

Veteran Member
Jul 10, 2012
1,464
chattanooga, tn
I wasn't referring to the frequency of the marketing & commercials. I was pointing out that contrary to the other recent lands at both Disney & Universal, the Pandora spots are trying to educate people on what Pandora is about. That's a significant difference & indicates Disney may believe people will not understand Pandora unless it's explained to them. A good IP, like the other lands, should sell itself on the GP's already understanding of the product. Otherwise, what's the use of paying for IP rights when you could just do a generic themed land.
i disagree
its advertising simple as that no different than any other new land opening, VB is no different
i actually think i ve seen more VB commercials here in Tennessee than Pandora BTW
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
18,166
Pittsburgh area
The HP lands had one of the best websites I've ever seen. I think the marketing firm that created it (don't know if it was Universal or external) won some awards. Being able to virtually walk down the streets of Diagon and Hogsmead is something that should've been done with Pandora.
That's a really good point. It would be nice to have a better idea what's specifically there (Pandora) and where.........And, to the other replies, I'm not referring to the amount of advertising. As with HP, VB, NFL etc. there's plenty of advertising and that's fine. Pandora just seems to be having to explain itself more than should be necessary for an IP they paid big bucks for.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
18,166
Pittsburgh area
As a fan of the movie Avatar, I can enjoy the movie but also recognize the film's issues. Having said that, I am looking forward to the new land. The film is visually beautiful and I have no doubts that the land will match that. As stated, I wonder if the success Disney wants is they success they'll get. With marketing, it seems they are forcing a lot to make this a thing instead of just letting it work on its own merits.
This.:thumbsup:
 

giant4203

Rookie
Feb 21, 2008
283
Orlando, FL
I was skeptical, and then I became heavily involved with the project. I have never been so excited to present a project to the public. Disney has created an incredibly beautiful immersive experience with some amazing ride experiences.... and it's not one big mall. I'm so excited for previews to begin so the public can finally experience it :-)
 

Miketheboss

BANNED
Jan 29, 2013
1,626
I was skeptical, and then I became heavily involved with the project. I have never been so excited to present a project to the public. Disney has created an incredibly beautiful immersive experience with some amazing ride experiences.... and it's not one big mall. I'm so excited for previews to begin so the public can finally experience it :)
Iv'e heard the same comments from everyone who has experienced the land first hand...
 

Tobias

Veteran Member
Feb 25, 2014
1,013
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.
For the most part my thoughts echo Joe,

The food looks fine, even though that's something they had to make up instead of plucking straight from the scource. The drinks however, unlike the food they don't look or sound tasty whatsoever. (Let's make a non-alcoholic drink with mango powerade, said no one ever.) For merch, I don't see anything that's going to be a real big seller. It's not going to pull in the numbers Disney think they will. As for the app based ordering system I do like that, and I'll agree that could be Pandora's biggest legacy...which that in itself is very concerning consider that app based system to order food has nothing to do with the land itself.

As for the land itself, it looks "nice". It's not ugly, but my jaw ain't dropping. I know they've been putting a lot of effort into the "floating" mountains, but it's a painfully telling sign when Whoopi Goldberg was being shown around the land, and James Cameron -had to point the mountains out to her- and her reaction was essentially "Oh, that's nice". It wasn't the "OMG!" reaction they were hoping for, especially for the lands thematic weenie.

For the rides, Flight of Passage never really had my intrest since from the very beginning it was refered as "Soarin' 2.0". (For me, Soarin' goes under the "nice" catagory. It's a nice ride, but I don't hold it up as one of the Disney greats since at it's core, it's just a flight simulator in front of a lone screen.) From everything that we've seen of FoP, Soarin' 2.0 is dead on. They've added 3D and you're in a new flight simulator vechicle pretending to fly in front of a lone curved screen. It's probably gonna' be decent, but it's not a draw for me. (Now if you wanted a attraction that would've got my full attention, something like Peter Pan's Flight/Mack Inverted Power Coaster on a grand scale would've easily done the trick.)

Now with Navi River Journey, out of everything in this land I was the most intruiged by this. You can do a lot more with a good boat ride, much more so then a flight simulator. But unfortunately with all they've shown of this so far, I have to lower my expectations since it looks underwhelming. It may look "pretty" here and there, but if there's one thing I learned from RuPaul's Dragrace is you can't rely on pretty. Since there is such as thing as pretty boring.

Believe me, I would love for my thoughts to be proven wrong about this land. But I've got the deepest of gut feelings that while food will be fine and things will look nice, it's just not going to meet whatever expectations Disney has for it. Yes, I do think it'll take attendance away from DHS for a year or so. But there's a nasty kicker on the horizon in the form of Star Wars Land, for that won't just take attendance back and then some, but I see that land having a major revisit factor...something I don't think Pandora has. That doesn't bode well short term and most certainly long term, since once SWL -and- SNW are here...a land that's set 20 years in a already far future will feel a thing of the past.
 
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twebber55

Veteran Member
Jul 10, 2012
1,464
chattanooga, tn
i dont think i ve given my opinion yet
The Food--Looks "ok" to me although the blue cheesecake looks great and im predicting it to be the big hit for food and bev. I also think the advanced ordering procedure will be pretty cool to use. im hoping we can advance order on our AP preview night the 13th
The Rides--I think NRJ will be somewhat disappointing or at least leave you with the feeling of "that's it!" As far as FOP i think its being under valued and will be one of the best rides on property.
The Land--Very simply i think this will be considered the best work Disney has done to date and a must at night
Success of the land--i think this land will give DAK a Cars Land type of bump somewhere around 15% increase in attendance
 
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Jun 10, 2014
873
has anyone noticed that when Disney wants to do hyper immersion they tend to go for more of a nature scene.While universal would go for more of a city scene.