I’ll admit there are quite a few things I’ve judged and dismissed before really giving them a chance: the color orange, beer, my college best friend, and even my husband. (I know. I know.) Thankfully, for one reason or another, I gave every item on that list more of a chance and things have ended up working out pretty well. (Who am I kidding? Three out of those 4 things are probably some of my favorite things.)
So once I saw the late night/early morning news surrounding Avatarland tweeting up a storm and saw the flurry of comments flooding up my timeline, I knew staying away from social media on Saturday might be a good thing. I know I get worked up about nothing new going on in Epcot or Hollywood Studios or even the recent absence of the original chandelier masterpiece on the Disney Magic cruise ship.
But would I rather have nothing new or an entire new land to explore? Even if that land is based on a movie I could barely get through. I think I would rather have something new to see because time and time again, since my earliest trips to Walt Disney World, going to the theme parks has gotten me to experience many attractions from movies I have never seen. And you know what? I loved them.
Not being a diehard fan of the Star Wars movies doesn’t make me enjoy Star Tours any less. In fact, it’s one of my favorite stops on property every single trip. I hadn’t seen half the movies in The Great Movie Ride either, and I enjoy the attraction so much that I’ve been making it a project to get my hands on as many of the flicks featured.
I know an entire land is a completely different monster. It’s a lot of space to dedicate to a film that doesn’t have the dedicated following that Harry Potter has, especially in a park that many would not cite as their number one stop during their WDW trips. But Disney has made me like a lot of things that I probably never would have given a chance if I hadn’t been jetting down there every summer for a bunch of years. At some point you can just decide to like an attraction for what it is, and not for what it’s associated with. Sometimes it’ll inspire you to dig a little deeper, and sometimes it just won’t.
It’s impossible to love everything. And it’s so unbelievably easy to dislike something so early in the process. But there has to be some kind of middle ground, right?
Would I like to see more improvements between now and 2017 in all parks including Animal Kingdom? Absolutely. Will I be giving the original Avatar movie another chance or running to the theaters to see the others? Probably not. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t trust the Imagineers to create an immersive and fun environment in that corner of DAK. I would love for the naysayers to finally believe that this park is more than someplace you stop in for a few hours.
So while Avatarland in Animal Kingdom might not be my first choice of an expansion, I think the concept art is really beautiful and I’m looking forward to following along as its built.