In 2009, James Cameron unleashed AVATAR.  Pushing the boundaries of 3D technology and toying with our imaginations with its inventive and beautiful enviornmnets, Avatar went on to become the highest grossing movie of all time earning just over $2 billion.

Disney announced this week that they have stuck a deal with James Cameron and Fox Films to bring Avatar to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, starting with Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  Construction is planned to begin in 2013, with an opening in the middle of this decade.


Animal Kingdom was always planned to include mythical creatures; when the park was originally designed it included a section called Beastly Kingdom featuring creatures such as dragons, unicorns, etc.  However Avatar, and the world of Pandora aren’t mythical creatures, there aliens.

Animal Kingdom’s central tie-in has always been animals (living, extinct, and mythical) of earth.  Blue-skinned aliens from a distant planet simply don’t fit into the cohesion of the park.  Would it really be approriate to carve the alien figures into the Tree of Life?

But facing the facts, especially the one impossible to deny, Avatar made $2 billion in the box office, the most ever.  Essientally assuring investors and stockholders that the new land will be profitable.  Not to mention, Disney is becoming increasingly aware of the Wizards across town, and have found their answer to stop people from leaving Disney property.

So will Avatar-land be cool?  No doubt, with the estimated $500 million budget, Cameron and the Imagineers will have a field day bringing Pandora to life.  But do I find it approriate for Animal Kingdom or any other Disney Park for that matter? No.  But why fuss? No turning back now.  Time to swallow the “purist” in me and enjoy what’s been handed.  More to come….