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Risk and Reward, is Disney Parks & Resorts on the Right Track?

With the recent announcement of an Avatar themed land and attractions coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdoms and the troubled opening of Disney’s first Hawaiian resort, Aulani, a lot of the conversation has settled on the types of risks the Walt Disney Company’s parks and resorts division has been taking lately.

It’s a bouillabaisse of different complaints:

  • The monorail and bus system is no longer inpsiring, future world has stagnated, Tomorrowland is now toontown, with the result that Disney’s position as a company with vision has been lost.
  • That Disney should believe in its own artists to come up with compelling stories and themes instead of buying properties like Avatar or Prince of Persia. Franchising is fine, but it shold be ‘Disney’ franchises, not Fox.
  • That building in Hawaii will not pay off for DVC. Either no one will buy it, or they’ll be using those points on the mainland anyway leaving Aulani an empty shell much of the year.

You can see why the Disney company may be confused. One one hand they get attacked for not doing enough on the other for doing too much. That’s true, but the general theme is Disney needs to take more risks when it comes to its parks and resorts.

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A few thoughts on Avatar, will Pandora fit in at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


The Na’vi Hometree on Pandora reminds me of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life. Of course, we can’t forget that Avatar is a sci-fi film too.

I’ve had a day to think about the announcement of Disney licensing James Cameron’s Avatar properties for it’s theme parks. We’re still very early in the process, but even in just the last 24 hours many interviews with key players have been published. That gives us a slightly better idea, but it’s still pretty much conjecture. Never the less, I have put down a few thoughts on the news, realizing that all this could change as more details of the partnership are revealed.

Disney did a good job keeping the Avatar partnership secret, I’d only heard a few rumors about the idea prior to the announcement but the exact names of Avatar or Cameron never explicitly surfaced, so I didn’t feel comfortable reporting it. However, many Disney fans now feel like they’ve been blindsided and they’re not happy.

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“Avatar Land” gets early mixed reviews

Earlier today, Disney held an Imagineering press conference with James Cameron to announce that an area based on the world of “Avatar” would be added to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Fans around the world were quick to evaluate this addition. People took to message boards, social… Read More »“Avatar Land” gets early mixed reviews

Disney is adding the world of Avatar to its theme parks

Update: this is no longer a rumor. A press conference with James Cameron, Bob Iger and Tom Staggs is was held earlier today at Imagineering. From the Disney Parks Blog: James and his producing partner Jon Landau and their team at Lightstorm Entertainment will serve… Read More »Disney is adding the world of Avatar to its theme parks