Avatar Is (Probably) Coming to Disney California Adventure
Sometimes, Disney news confuses us, and here’s the latest example.
Imagineers just possibly confirmed that an Avatar experience is coming to Disney California Adventure. And we have questions.
Disney (Probably) Confirms Avatar Experience at Disney California Adventure
In February 2023, Bob Iger dropped a bombshell during a Disney earnings call. The company’s CEO promised an Avatar experience coming to Disneyland Resort.
That wasn’t just a surprise to us. Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock (!!!) didn’t know anything about it, either.
Here’s the actual quote from Potrock:
“And lastly, a project that was announced by Bob Iger. By the way, a surprise to me. Not kidding. It’s great when you hear from your boss what you’re doing.”
Over the past few months, we’ve heard little by way of details, although Iger has since suggested that Disneyland’s Avatar attraction will rival the one at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Since Pandora — The World of Avatar has driven attendance at that park since its 2017 opening, Iger is making a bold statement there.
Now, Disney has finally provided some context on why Iger feels so confident.
During the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo (IAPPA) taking place this week Orlando, Florida, Disney reportedly dropped a bombshell.
Imagineers will apparently create this Avatar experience at Disney California Adventure!
Why is that important? Well, Disney California Adventure currently offers a lot more available land opportunities than Disneyland Resort.
Why Disney Has Confused Us
When we learn news like this, we’re reading the tea leaves here, just the same as you.
Disney didn’t offer any sort of organized press release or Parks Blog update to coincide with this reveal. So, we’re all flying blind here.
When Disney says, “an experience is coming,” many longtime analysts grow cynical, bracing for some temporary installation that will vanish quickly.
Disney is hinting at something much more here, though. It’s a permanent Avatar “experience.” We’d thought this meant something that wasn’t even an attraction.
Now, we must allow for the possibility that an Avatar/Pandora Neighborhood becomes part of the Disneyland Resort expansion.
Disney has explicitly stated that Avatar will be an “experience,” so we haven’t (strongly) considered the possibility that Disney might create a larger area.
Theoretically, this Avatar experience could even include one of the alleged 16 rides coming to Disneyland Resort.
Remember the Turbocharged Discussion Last Week?
Disney just revealed that it won’t invest as much as expected in theme park capital expenditures over the next few years.
Instead, the so-called “turbocharge” at the parks won’t occur until the second half of the next decade. That’s what Disney just said!
So, we’re not clear on why Disney has suggested a significant Avatar experience at Disney California Adventure, even as it states its capital expenditures won’t increase much in 2024.
Should we expect a modest Avatar experience, or is this the way Disney works around the CFTOD nonsense happening in Orlando?
We just don’t know and are hoping for more clarity. Fortunately, IAPPA lasts through Thursday.
A more detailed announcement could be in the offing. And I hope Disney remembers to tell Ken Potrock this time.
…and right on cue, we have an update! Here’s Scott Gustin:
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) November 13, 2023
So, Disneyland officials are denying this. Someone at IAPPA may have spoken out of turn, but it’s just as possible that what they said wasn’t what they meant.
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