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Will Pandora: The World of Avatar Be a Hit?

We’ve only got a few days to go before Pandora – The World of Avatar Finally opens, six years after the project was first announced. Though this land has been a long time coming, the launch of this new land has been unlike anything else we have seen before with Disney really pulling out all the stops to try and promote this new land. But is this cause for concern? Let’s look at what’s going on right now….

1. Disney has been giving guests an unprecedented look inside this new land

One of the most tried and true ways that Disney Sneak peeks and inside looks have always been a part of new attraction and land openings, as this is an easy way to give guests a little teaser without revealing too much. However, Disney has really gone all-out with the opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar, even going so far as to film the climax of the Na’vi River Journey attraction and put it online nearly a month before the new land even opens. If you don’t mind spoilers, you can check out the video above:

While it is certainly not strange to have a preview like this, filming the most thrilling part of this attraction seems a little strange, and could indicate that Disney isn’t counting on this new land selling itself, and is trying to show off all the best parts of the land right now in an effort to drum up potentially lagging interest. However, this strategy could backfire a little, as showing off the best part of one of the two rides in this new area might actually dissuade guests from stopping by, as they’ve already “seen” the best part of this ride. And of course, while this look inside this ride was the biggest spoiler that Disney has published thus far, detailed images from around this new land have been released as well and Disney has even detailed the Banshee "bonding" process that guests who stop by the Windtraders gift shop will experience. 

Image: Disney

While the high volume of advance looks inside this new land prior to opening may seem like an indication that Disney doesn’t have much faith in this new land, there’s something else that seems to indicate that this new land will be a big hit...

2. FastPass+ reservations are going incredibly fast

Image: Disney

Right now, the hardest FastPass+ reservation to make at Walt Disney World is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which is inexplicably popular and has disastrously low capacity. However, this Magic Kingdom favorite may be kicked off the top spot soon if early indications about Pandora - The World of Avatar are anything to go by. 

Several weeks ago Disney released the first FastPass+ times for both the Na'vi River Journey as well as the Avatar - Flight of Passage attraction, and guests snapped up these reservations in just a matter of seconds. And even though that is perhaps not surprising for the opening day of this attraction, all FastPass+ reservations for subsequent days have been "selling out" minutes after they become available. 

Image: Disney

While it looks like Disney may be having some reservations about the interest level of this new land, it looks like resort guests are waking up early and fighting the virtual crowds to ensure that they will be able to check out this land this summer. However, there's something else to consider as well...

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There are 7 comments.

Honestly I can see this being a huge white elephant. The franchise is nowhere near popular enough to support this. If the rides looked mindblowing then you could argue it. But of the 2 rides, one is a slow dark water ride that doesn't look as good as Frozen Ever After and the other is another simulator 3D ride, which doesn't seem to have as much movement as the Universal offerings. So they look OK but nothing special. The best part of the land looks like the scenery, but that alone is not going to justify the cost....... this is looking more and more like a bomb.

It'll be a hit – no doubt about it.

As with nearly everything Disney creates we are looking extremely forward to this immersive land. While the Avatar brand may not be the most exciting label, I think it gives Disney another area in Animal Kingdom that fits perfectly with the natural beauty, peacefulness, and incredible theme-ing that already makes it our favorite Disney park in the entire fleet. I trylu hope it's a huge success and lends itself to future Animal Kingdom additions.

I think the fact that James Cameron can't get a sequel out is going to be the death of this park. The only benefit might be the fact that it's connected to the Animal Kingdom, which I personally like. But I think hitching up with Cameron and this franchise may have been a mistake.

This is really a two part question, where one is not related to the other. Question 1: Are you excited for the new Avatar Land? I think most people will say yes, any new land and rides is cause for excitement at Disney.
Question 2: Was Avatar the right choice? Most Disney fans would say no. With so much intellectual property in house, why pay for an external property? I know I would have been more excited to see a Disney themed ride. Or Disney could be really adventurous and create an all new IP, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain,etc became their own IP because they told a great story. I would have loved to see something along the lines of the Adventures club. We are traveling to both Walt Disney World and Universal this summer, I am more looking forward to Volcano Bay. I really hope Volcano Bay is a huge hit, as it would show that being creative, taking risks and creating an all new IP is worth it!

I think all of that is true. Disney went all out to try and convince people that this land could stand alone from the stagnant film franchise, and I think they have done a good job of that. I never saw the film, had no interest in ever seeing the film, so to me this is just the long-promised 'fantastical creature' side of Animal Kingdom and done spectacularly. But Disney clearly feels they need to goose the numbers to make it seem like a success out the gate.

I'm excited because its new Disney, not because of Avatar which I thought was an okay movie at best, nothing special. I'll find out in two weeks when I'm there if it's worth it!

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