Friday, June 27, 2014

A Photo For Today: Not-So-Ancient Details

Our resident colorful photographer Scott Campbell has sent us in another of his images from Disney's Animal Kingdom.  This one comes from one of the many incredible statues that adorn Discovery Island, often missed by the commando-style Disney traveler.

We talk a lot, especially recently, about details and what they mean to DAK.  This particular little gem is one of my favorites, and Scott captures it wonderfully.  This statue may only be 16 years old, but it looks ancient.

Photo by Scott Campbell (@scottacampbell)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for June 25, 2014: THESE SHIRTS ARE GOING FAST!

Join Warden Wilson’s Air Rangers!:  Let us begin today’s News Round-Up with a shameless plug.  You can now buy the very limited, very cool Warden Wilson’s Air Rangers t-shirt.  They are available in adult sizes Medium, Large and Extra Large and in very limited quantities.   The shirts are $25 including shipping to the continental United States.  (Please contact us regarding shipping prices to other areas before making a purchase.)  Let me sound this warning, the first batch are going very fast!

Our designer Ed Petersen has outdone himself this time with our latest attempt to raise funds for our conservation partners.  These amazingly cool shirts will be the talk of the Animal Kingdom soon and we are donating 100% of the profits to our conservation partners.  If you are interested in one of these, please email me at and I will tell you where to send payments.  All payments must be made through PayPal only.  ASANTE SANA!!

Parking Lot Expansion Underway: According to, work will soon begin on expanding the parking lot at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  The suggestion is that the lot is being expanded in anticipation of bigger crowds after the introduction of Avatar and the Rivers of Light.  If that truly is the case, that’s some serious positive forward thinking going on by the logistics folks.

It Appears Harambe Nights is a Hit:  If you like to comb the various Disney news website, you will probably have seen the regular posts regarding sellouts for the new Harambe Nights hard-ticket event.  So let me conclude our coverage of Harambe Nights sales by saying once and for all, Harambe Nights is a hit.  (I promise that is the last you will hear from us on that…)

More Aeriel Photos of Pandora Construction Site: Unfortunately, we here at Jambo Everyone are not pilots, nor are we awash with much extra cash for flying photography flings.  What money we do have goes towards conservation, or sending Safari Mike to the far reaches of the planet in search of dung beetles and such.  But thankfully for us, some Disney bloggers are apparently a bit better funded.  Take for instance WDW News Today who managed to send a reporter high in the skies over DAK to snap tons of photos of the Pandora construction site.  Not much to learn here, but if you like bulldozers and leveled trees you may enjoy a look.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: June 18 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Thursday:  June 19  9am - 8pm
Friday: June 20  9am - 7pm
Saturday: June 21 9am - 7pm
Sunday: June 22 9am - 7pm
Monday: June 23 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Tuesday: June 24 9am - 8pm

Check Out Kenny the Pirate for this week’s Entertainment Schedule!

Attraction Closures:
Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade - closed permanently
It’s Tough To Be A Bug - Scheduled to Close from July 7 through August 11

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Animal Kingdom Theme Spotlight: Mombasa Marketplace

This is the main store of Harambe, at least for now. And its one of the great stores at Animal Kingdom mostly because it sells a lot of unique stuff like African arts and crafts, Kilimanjaro Safari shirts and even African wine. But what many don't know is the cool back story and detailed theming that have gone into this place.

There are actually 2 stores here: Mombasa and Ziwadi Traders. For this, we will focus on Mombasa. The Marketplace is the "fancier" of the two stores and is owned by one of the wealthy citizens of the Harambe who live on the opulent second floor of the building. And it looks rather fancy with its beautiful etchings and detailed balcony. The rich live up there so, it better be nice.

The building it actually called the the Mkubwa House which means "big" and it is. Its also old. Having been built in 1781.  During colonial times, this was where the governor lived. So naturally, it would be rather opulent. back in those days, colonial governors needed to prove they were better they everyone by having everything better like their homes. But it has since been restored. A sign indicates the building was erected in 1781 and restored in 1992.

And now The exterior is being restored again by Mjafari, a nod to architect Ahmad Jafari who was instrumental in the design and construction of the park along with other designers Eli Erlandson and Tom Sze. This restoration is merely for the exterior. You can see work being done around the building.

by Safari Mike (@JamboEveryone)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Join Warden Wilson's Air Rangers and Save Wildlife!

Are you ready to join Warden Wilson's Air Rangers??  Well, maybe you can't really join the Warden in defending the reserve from poachers.  But you CAN help continue his spirit of conservation by purchasing one of our very limited edition t-shirts and we will donate 100% of our profits to our Conservation Partners!  


These exclusive designs are available in adult sizes Medium, Large and Extra Large and in very limited quantities.  They are in a military green and the lettering is raised.  Put simply, they look absolutely gorgeous!

The shirts are $25 including shipping to the continental United States.  (Please contact us regarding shipping prices to other areas before making a purchase.)  All payments must be made through PayPal only.

If you are interested in one of these, please email me at and I will tell you where to send payments.  ASANTE SANA!!

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Episode 32 of Radio Harambe - "I Was Wrong About Disney's Animal Kingdom"

In the feature section of this episode of Radio Harambe, Dave and Safari Mike are joined by Tom Bricker of the to discuss his article "I Was Wrong About Disney's Animal Kingdom".  Mr. Bricker used to be one of those Disney pundits who were dismissive about the Animal Kingdom, but he eventually saw the light!  It's a great conversation about why DAK is so terrific and what the future may hold.   It is also an insight into the mindset of those strange people who still think DAK isn't the best!

Dave and Mike also discuss the news from the park and the rest of Walt Disney World, including Winged Encounters, Harambe Nights and even a little Frozen.  Oh, and don't forget those new t-shirts! Asante Sana!

Friday, June 20, 2014

A Photo For Today: Sunset Over the Forbidden Mountain

Scott Campbell is back with another of his colorful images from Disney's Animal Kingdom.  This one is a beautiful photo of Expedition Everest at sunset.  I wonder if the local "resident" of the mountain enjoys soaking in a good sunset!

Photo by Scott Campbell (@scottacampbell)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for June 18, 2014; Coffee and Porcupines

“It All Started With A Mouse” and a Love of Wildlife: On today's Disney Parks Blog we learn about a new show over at Rafiki's Plaet Watch called “It All Started With A Mouse”.  The show will include Conservation Station’s “animal ambassadors, such as sheep, parrots, porcupines, birds of prey and Kunekune pigs.  The stories will include some natural history, lots of information about the animals and a strong conservation message.  And after the show, folks will get a chance to meet some of the animals up-close and get some photos as well.

It is really important to note here that this show is only happening once per day, at 11:30am.  So make your plans around this time if you want to see it.  It looks like a nice addition for the kids and for Rafiki's Planet Watch.

New Coffee Kiosk Coming to Discovery Island:  The changes and tweaks at the Animal Kingdom just keep on coming.  Now, it looks like construction has begun on a new coffee kiosk on Discovery Island near the bridge to Dinoland USA.  Walls are already up in the area and is speculating that this may be a Joffrey’s outlet and not Starbucks.  We will let you know if we leaner anything else.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: June 18 8am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 7 - 8am)
Thursday:  June 19  9am - 8pm
Friday: June 20  9am - 8pm
Saturday: June 21 9am - 7pm
Sunday: June 22 9am - 8pm
Monday: June 23 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Tuesday: June 24 9am - 8pm

Check Out Kenny the Pirate for this week’s Entertainment Schedule!

Attraction Closures:
Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade - closed permanently
It’s Tough To Be A Bug - Scheduled to Close from July 7 through August 11

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Fantastic Winged Encounters Debuts!

According to the website, Winged Encounters is now in a soft opening phase.  Click here for the story or you can simply watch their video I have posted below.  All I can say is WOW!

I will admit, this video is the only information I have to go on here, but this looks absolutely fantastic!  If you are in the park over the next few days, it looks as though they are performing at around 9:15 and 10:15, and from this video we can safely say that each one of these shows will probably be different from the next.

What I love about it, even from just this small glimpse, is that it is not a dog-and-pony show.  This is simply a look at these majestic birds doing what they do best.  For people who have only seen macaws in cages as pets, this show has the kind of message humans need to hear in order to better understand why we shouldn’t be caging birds.  I am sure the show will develop a bit over the coming weeks, but how cool will it be to walk around Discovery Island with these gorgeous birds flying overhead?  What a perfect addition to Discovery Island!

And speaking of conservation, one of our partners is the Ara Project.  They are working on the ground, often in hostile environments, to help save and repopulate macaw species in the wild.  Take a look at their website to learn more and maybe even make a small donation.

by Dave McBride

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Ones That Really Matter Most

For months now we, and Animal Kingdom fans all over the internet, have been discussing and debating coming changes to the park’s attractions.  Some big new things are on the way, many of them are big blue things.  We have new rides, a new land, a new nighttime spectacular, and the list goes on.  And while we love to talk about this stuff, during the last few weeks Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been making some additional changes that, in the grand scheme of things, are way bigger than any 3-D whatever.

For the last fews weeks we have been reporting on how some news species have arrived at the Animal Kingdom, specifically three Grevy’s Zebra and a couple of Sumatran Tigers.  This may not seem like such a big deal when compared to a new hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars attraction, but trust me it is.  It is way bigger, in fact.

Let’s begin with the Sumatran Tiger, of which there are only 400 left in the wild.  And no, that’s not a typo.  There really are only 400 left.  This particular species is the smallest in the tiger family, and live only on Sumatra, a large Indonesian island with a unique and fascinating biodiversity.   The island has lost much of its natural forests to development, Which has severely hurt the tiger population.   But, according to the World Wildlife Fund, the real culprit behind the loss of the Sumatran Tigers is, you guessed it, humans.  The illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be responsible for 78% of lost tigers.
The Grevy’s Zebra, now being seen with the meerkats along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, is the largest of the zebra species.  These majestic animals can be found only in the horn of Africa.  According the Grevy’s Zebra Trust the current population is “approximately 2,500 animals representing more than an 80% decline in global numbers over the past three decades.”  And, not shockingly, this is another animal not being threatened by aliens or orcs.  While disease and accidents do account for some loss, most of these zebras are being killed for meat and medicinal purposes.

Governments and conservation groups can make a difference, but when a species reaches such critical levels, zoos play a huge roll in saving these animals from total extinction.  Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  Among other things, the AZA coordinates and executes a Species Survival Plan (SSP) for critically endangered animals and Animal Kingdom often takes part in one of these plans.

At the risk of sounding preachy, while it may be nice and impressive when a Disney Park builds a new roller coaster or themed restaurant, those things pale in comparison to taking part in the survival of a species on the brink of extinction.  The addition of the Grevy’s Zebra and the Sumatran Tiger may not get the same fanfare awarded to an e-ticket, but they certainly should.  This is what we love about the Animal Kingdom.  The real amazing work, the stuff which makes the park so much more important than any other, are the things like this which Disney barely ever talks about.  While I often wish they would maybe get a mention on the Parks Blog or something, I also kind of like how they often don't.  It's just DAK doing what DAK does.  And we say "Bravo DAK!"

Friday, June 13, 2014

A Photo For Today: Introducing Scott's Colorful World!

In today's 'A Photo For Today', we introduce a new contributor to Jambo Everyone, and a great friend to us.  His name is Scott Campbell and he is a photographer who loves Disney and especially loves photographing the Animal Kingdom.  In this debut image, Scott captures the wonderful color and realism which are at the heart of DAK's design.

We have plenty of Scott's terrific and colorful images to share with you, both here and on the Photo Safari, so keep checking back.  If you would like to connect with Scott, he can be found on Twitter @scottacampbell.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for June 11, 2014; Tusker House and LOTS of Macaws!

Look Out Below!: We are hearing some more information about the new Winger Encounters show coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom this fall.  Not about when the show will begin, still no word on that.  But we are now learning this show may be bigger than we once thought.

We’ve talked here before about how macaws were seen flying around the park as part of Flights of Wonder pre-show for months, like the pair pictured above.  And we assumed Winged Encounters was just going to be an extension of that concept.  Well, it looks to be a much, much bigger show and the flocks being readied number perhaps upwards of twenty individuals.  Twenty macaws flying over Discovery Island??  All I can say is “WOW” and “LOOK OUT BELOW!”

Tusker House Extends Lunch Hours:  It was probably inevitable that the new Harambe Nights event would have some ripple effect on other parts of DAK besides just the park hours.  This week, we found out the Tusker House will be altering it’s time schedule, most likely to open seating availability earlier in the day to accommodate those who can’t get later reservations due to the event.

Lunch will now be extended by forty-five minutes every day to 3:30pm.   On Saturday nights there will be no dinner seatings but lunch will be served all the way up until 4:30pm, when the restaurant will close in preparation for Harambe Nights.  It doesn’t appear as though any change is being made to the Character Breakfast times.

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: June 11 8am - 8pm
Thursday:  June 12  9am - 8pm
Friday: June 13  9am - 8pm
Saturday: June 14 9am - 7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Sunday: June 15 9am - 8pm
Monday: June 16 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Tuesday: June 17 9am - 8pm

Check Out Kenny the Pirate for this week’s Entertainment Schedule!

Attraction Closures:
Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade - closed permanently
It’s Tough To Be A Bug - Scheduled to Close from July 7 through August 11

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Few Thoughts on Harambe Nights

This past weekend Harambe Nights made its debut at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  The new hard-ticket event has been met with reviews that certainly lean towards the positive, but with a little touch of the “mixed” as well.  (Unfortunately, the Disney suits did not invite any of us from the ONLY DAK podcast/website to the media preview…but I’m not bitter or anything.)

Yesterday on the Disney Parks Blog we also got a nice collection of photos from the event.  Many of them are your run-of-the-mill Disney promotional images, but a few give us a real look at the Concert in the Wild.  And if you are like me and probably won’t get a chance to attend, because it is very limited and was announced with such short-notice, posted a video from the entire show.

My impression of the show, albeit not from the perspective of seeing it live myself, is that it is quite something special, but perhaps could have been much more so.  It is certainly an impeccably performed musical review of the The Lion King, complete with narrator, orchestra, and chorus.  And let’s face it, it is also a promotion for the film’s twentieth anniversary.  My big issue is the overuse of a giant video screen that plays clips from the film itself.  And quite honestly, those clips take away from the live aspect of the show and really seem unnecessary.  The ones that really puzzle me is when they play film clips of the songs.  I mean, it is one thing to rely on the film for storytelling, but why not let the live performers handle the music more?  The performers from the Festival of the Lion King show, quite frankly, do a much better job at singing than Jeremy Irons does.  We have all seen the film, and a live take on it would be more interesting and certainly more special.

But the music and visuals go beyond just the Lion King film and its soundtrack, and that’s where this show really shines.  There is also a wonderful collection of African music, language and culture which enhances the show and lifts the experience.  And in these unique moments, the excitement and artistry are what we have come to associate with Lion King-inspired productions.  A highlight for me is the use of the song “He Lives In You”, which is a fantastic and incredibly performed tune from the Broadway version.  (It’s at around the 46 minute mark on the video.)  Unfortunately, these unique moments are probably a bit to few and far between.

Don’t get me wrong, the Lion King is a true Disney masterpiece, and probably my favorite of the animated collection.  The music, story and characters are compelling and any use of them makes for an entertaining and emotional show.  So I guess I am a bit conflicted.  I love the movie, but still I feel that a hard-ticket live performance needs to be less dependent on something as easy as playing clips on a large screen and reading from a twenty year old script.  But I will certainly concede that the film portions may have been much more engrossing if I were actually inside the theater.  And certainly, folks who love the film will appreciate seeing so much of it during an anniversary celebration.

So let’s look at the food reviews.  The always hunger-enducing Disney Food Blog focuses, obviously enough, on the culinary side of the event.  The event offers a rather large selection, much of which will be somewhat familiar to fans of the restaurants found in the park and the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Whether or not the event delivers the same flavor and quality as those restaurants is something of a debate between the reviewers.  While the aforementioned Disney Food Blog is positive about the food, is less so.  They said things like “Sadly, the food did not measure up to the supremely high standards of those restaurants” and that “after show dishes bore all the hallmarks of cafeteria type food that had been sitting around”.   They came to the conclusion that this “is not an event for foodies”, which, if true, really puts the price and over all value into question.

From most accounts, the pre and post show parties are fun and well executed.  I mean, how could you go wrong with Harambe at night and the Burudika Band providing the soundtrack?  The atmosphere alone must be something else, and for DAK lovers this is probably worth a lot.

It is not often when I say I am sorry I am going the miss a $120 event at Disney.  Those who know me will know I am not someone who drops that kind of extra money for a Disney event, but this was something different, something I was really sad I wasn’t getting to see.  But to be honest, after reading a few of these reviews I am now not so sure I would drop that much money.  This event was announced only a few shorts weeks before it debuted, and it does’t appear as though the folks developing it had much more time than that to work up a unique and new production.  Perhaps with some logistical improvements, and a less video-reliant show, I will go back to hoping this event runs when I can attend.

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Your Chance to Win "Let's Move to Disney World" by Disney Hipster Andrew!

Have you listened to there latest episode of Radio Harambe yet?  If not, what are you waiting for?  If you wait much longer you will miss your chance to win a digital copy of the amazing new CD of all original songs about Disney World from Andrew of the Disney Hipsters!

Ok, so here is what you need to do in order to enter the contest.  You must write us a review on iTunes, and you will automatically be entered into the drawing.  If you already have reviewed us on iTunes, email us at and that will get your entry into the proverbial hat. The winner will receive a code good for one digital download via iTunes of the full album!

If you haven't heard the CD, or you simply can't wait for your chance to win and simply must have it ASAP, you can do so on many platforms.  Click here to learn more.  In a word, the album is fantastic!  It's funny, musical and heartfelt all at the same time.  And when you listen you will soon find yourself wishing for the Mouse.

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Animal Kingdom Theme Spotlight: Tikar Men's Prestige Hat

The Tikar are an ethnic group located in what is today Cameroon. The use of the term Tikar to describe people of the area has become complicated. This is especially true when discussing art objects. In any event, there are only approximately 25,000 true Tikar all located within one province of Cameroon. They are closely related to other tribes, often referred to as Tikar, that speak a form of Bantoid, including the Bedzan pygmies.

They have a strange idea of conception. It is believed the blood a woman ordinarily menstruates forms the skin, blood, flesh and many of the fetus's organs. The father's sperm forms the bones, brains and teeth, as well as the penis in the baby males. I am uncertain why Disney doesn't go into this on their plaques. 

Hats are an important piece of tribal clothing in Cameroon cultures. These are used by males to show their rank within society. Within this culture, hats are deemed important as it is believed it holds both the person's intellect and spirit. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Episode 31 of Radio Harambe - Let's Move to Disney World!

The new episode of Radio Harambe is now available, featuring the music of Andrew from the Disney Hipsters and his new album of all original Disney World tunes called Let's Move to Disney World!

Dave, Andrew and Safari Mike also discuss the news from Disney's Animal Kingdom and the rest of Walt Disney World, including lots of construction at DAK, new endangered animals at the park, and the ever-fun attendance report!  Also, Andrew offers more than one full-throated defense of his recent opinions about that other park in Central Florida.  Asante Sana and enjoy!

OH, and let's not forget that during the show you can also find out how you can win a digital copy of Let's Move to Disney World!  Good luck

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

A Photo For Today: The Perfect Start to a Day

Today's Photo for Today is one that I think would make a really good background photo for my iPhone.  I mean, who isn't feeling great when walking under this?

I keep a countdown app on my phone to tell me exactly how long it will be before I am back at DAK, and thankfully that number gets smaller by the day!  If you are at the park today, don't forget to Have A Wild Time!

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Tip Board

Last month we reported on the construction and the expansion coming to the Disney Outfitters store on Discovery Island.  We were afraid this work may have some effect on the tip board, which is just outside the store.  Well, now it seems the tip board is no longer operating and is soon to be removed.

Let’s be honest, the tip board is something of a dinosaur, like a cassette player or a paper FastPass.  And let’s face it, the time is coming when we will all be looking wait times up on our phones, as soon as Disney can come up with a reliable app.  So what do you think will win out in the end, a barely used tip board or more space to sell stuff?  Not much of a contest there…

by Dave McBride

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Disney's Animal Kingdom News Round-Up for June 4, 2014: Birds, Numbers and Some Braggin'

Aeriel Photo Reveals What Safari Mike Has Been Saying For Months:   I will admit, being such a small website and not always beating the Disney corporate drum does mean we often get information well after the rest of the websites out there.  So when the time comes when we, or one of our friends, breaks a story, we like to brag.  And this is just one of those times!  Take a look at the photo below by photographer Scott Keating, the same guy who recently released a photo of the Pandora construction area.

This photo shows what Safari Mike has been saying for months on Radio Harambe.  A big project is being worked on behind the Mombasa Marketplace in Africa.  From what Mike understands, it will be an open air marketplace and will also serve as an alternative path for people leaving Africa and heading toward Asia, a path necessitated by the crowds moving to and from new the Festival of the Lion King theater.

The Bird is Back!:  So we all know about the yeti and how it hasn’t worked in years.  But there has been another lesser know effect that has also been down for an extended period, and one I am thrilled to say is back in operation.  How many of you remember the bird that used to come out from behind the mountain at the top where the train tracks are ripped up?  It was like the bird would say goodbye as you plunged backwards into the Himalayas?  Well, the bird has returned and we couldn't be happier!  It’s nice to see little touches like this being worked on and returned to the attraction.  (Now, can we move on to that yeti??)

Cast members are telling us that there is more work being done on the Forbidden Mountain, as construction vehicles and scaffolding are being seen in place just out of guest view.  Don’t get excited, it’s likely not the yeti being fixed.  From what we’ve been told several times over, that fix will require an extended closure of the attraction.

Animal Kingdom Maintains Strong Attendance Position:  As is a yearly ritual, the organization Themed Entertainment Association released its estimated theme park attendance numbers for 2013.  And the Animal Kingdom held steady in 6th place, up 2% from last year’s numbers.  We here at will happily admit that we get some strange and unexplained satisfaction out of the fact that DAK has higher attendance than the Studios…who knows…

Park Hours for this week are...

Wednesday: June 4 9am - 8pm
Thursday:  June 5  9am - 7pm
Friday: June 6  9am - 7pm
Saturday: June 7 9am - 7pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Sunday: June 8 9am - 8pm
Monday: June 9 9am - 8pm (Extra Magic Hour 8 - 9am)
Tuesday: June 10 8am - 8pm

Check Out Kenny the Pirate for this week’s Entertainment Schedule!

Attraction Closures:
Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade - closed permanentl
It’s Tough To Be A Bug - Scheduled to Close from July 7 through August 11

Have A Wild Time this week!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Photo For Today: A Fond Farewell

This past weekend we said our final farewells to Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade, after over a decade at Disney's Animal Kingdom.  So it seems appropriate enough to feature this photo of Mickey waving goodbye in this "A Photo For Today".

I think I speak for many DAK fans when I say I liked this parade.  But let me ask you this, would you like to see it replaced by another daily afternoon parade?  Or do you think DAK is just not the place for a parade?

by Dave McBride (@RadioHarambe)

Monday, June 2, 2014

"Pandora: the Land of Avatar" and Other Big Blue Tidbits

Over the last couple of days we seen a few bits of info regarding the upcoming Avatar project, some rumor and some concrete.  Individually these things may seem like only minor tidbits, but put them all together and we are really starting to get some serious insight into what we may find within “Pandora: The Land of Avatar”.

And let’s start with that name, shall we?  In an interview published by, James Cameron used the name “Pandora: The Land of Avatar” for the first time.  All over the internet we are seeing articles now proclaiming this as the official title for the land, right from the man’s mouth.  But let me sound this word of caution.  Besides the standard “things can always change” stuff, the full quote from Cameron was “It’s going to be called, I believe, Pandora: The Land of Avatar.”  And that sounds like a little less than one hundred percent confidence on his part.  Could he not have this completely accurate?  Of course, but let’s work with that name until we here otherwise.

Later on in the same interview, Cameron did have some fascinating specifics to share about the audio-animatronics being worked on for the project…
The animatronics for the Na’vi characters are gonna be fantastic. For example, their early animatronics would use 12 axis of motion and I think the most they’ve ever done was 32 axis recently. I think they’re up to 64 just in the face of the Na’vi characters.
This sounds really exciting, but it also seems to give us even more of an idea as to why this will take so long to build.  Now, anyone who listens to Radio Harambe will know I am the first one to point out how interminably long it seems to take WDI to build anything these days, but between engineering these AA’s, and the other things like floating mountains and bioluminescent scenery, maybe it’s time for me to cut them a little bit of a break.  There is apparently ALOT of thought and technology being developed here.

Finally, this photo started to appear in the Twitter world over the last day or so.  It is by a photographer named Scott Keating who takes a lot of Disney photos, including some aerial shots.  What you are looking at is the construction site for Pandora.  What does this tell us?  Not much, as you can probably tell they aren't much past the clearing phase.  But one big thing it tells us is that this area is REALLY BIG!  For a little scale, the building on the bottom left is the Rainforest Cafe, and you can also see some of the shops on Discovery Island and even a car or two.  Much of this space will likely be offstage, but even with that in mind, it appears that Pandora  will need a lot of space to fit everything in.

Finally, we are starting to hear rumors that the planned boat ride for Avatar may be shelved, but that’s just conjecture right now.  And considering within that  same interview mentioned above Cameron said Pandora would include “several rides and a number of other attractions” we are going to wait a bit on this and see if it persists.