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Can someone please explain to me why Na'vi River Journey is a disappointment?

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  • Can someone please explain to me why Na'vi River Journey is a disappointment?

    For a ride that is that beautifully themed and executed, I don't get the criticism. It's a nice, slow ride. I think it's honestly just an example of some people's privilege when they say they get "bored" by the ride. A nice, air conditioned , slow boat ride through a bio luminescent forest sounds like a more pleasing experience to me than having some cheesy story forced down my throat. You are there to admire the scenery, you are a tourist on Pandora. I'm going to ride the ride over and over again to look at the flora and fauna (which is the whole point of the ride). Sometimes a "story" just means a cohesive, immersive environment and setting- it does not literally mean that the ride has to have a rigged, structured plot (like Radiator Springs Racers). Sometimes things need to be ambiguous- I mean what's the whole story behind Pirates of the Caribbean?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Spectacular View Post
    Sometimes things need to be ambiguous- I mean what's the whole story behind Pirates of the Caribbean?
    We came across the hidden treasured and are "cursed" back in time to relive the events

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Benny View Post

      We came across the hidden treasured and are "cursed" back in time to relive the events
      Do you think that's obvious to guests? I mean it's the same idea with the Na'Vi River Journey. You are taking an 'ace expeditions' sponsored tour through the bio luminescent forest and you happen to encounter some of the locals, including a shaman.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Spectacular View Post
        Sometimes a "story" just means a cohesive, immersive environment and setting- it does not literally mean that the ride has to have a rigged, structured plot (like Radiator Springs Racers). Sometimes things need to be ambiguous- I mean what's the whole story behind Pirates of the Caribbean?
        I agree. Rides don't always need to have a character and a driven plot line. Just create an engaging and immersive environment. Space Mountain doesn't have a discernible story. Neither does Big Thunder. The stories on Pirates and Haunted Mansion are so subtle that they can barely be detected by most visitors.

        As for the new ride being disappointing, I haven't even been on it yet as it's not even open to the public. I'm not going to spend much time looking at other people's reviews.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Co Foo View Post
          I agree. Rides don't always need to have a character and a driven plot line. Just create an engaging and immersive environment. Space Mountain doesn't have a discernible story. Neither does Big Thunder. The stories on Pirates and Haunted Mansion are so subtle that they can barely be detected by most visitors.
          Every Disney ride has a character and a purpose for that character -- even (and especially) if the character is you and the purpose is only implied or ambiguous. You are Peter Pan, flying over London. You are piloting your personal Dumbo the Flying Elephant over the skies of Fantasyland (even if it is only in a circle). You are on a journey around the world, accompanied by the world's children, in Small World. You're an explorer in the Jungle Cruise, a sing-along participant with the Country Bears, a thrill-seeker in the Matterhorn, a romantic time traveler aboard the Mark Twain. On every ride, you are cast as something, and involved somehow in the purpose of the ride.

          So in Pandora, who is the character and what is the purpose?
          "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
          Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
          imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

          - Neil Gabler

          "I didn't know the story of baby Jesus could be any better,
          until Thor told it to me."
          -
          Young girl at Disneyland's 2017 Candlelight Ceremony

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post

            Every Disney ride has a character and a purpose for that character -- even (and especially) if the character is you and the purpose is only implied or ambiguous. You are Peter Pan, flying over London. You are piloting your personal Dumbo the Flying Elephant over the skies of Fantasyland (even if it is only in a circle). You are on a journey around the world, accompanied by the world's children, in Small World. You're an explorer in the Jungle Cruise, a sing-along participant with the Country Bears, a thrill-seeker in the Matterhorn, a romantic time traveler aboard the Mark Twain. On every ride, you are cast as something, and involved somehow in the purpose of the ride.

            So in Pandora, who is the character and what is the purpose?
            Having not yet been on the ride as the area isn't even open to the public yet, I'd be hesitant to speculate too much. However, based on what I've seen we are explorers of the pandora world and we are touring their bioluminescent forest.

            If being an explorer in the Jungle Cruise counts as being a character in that story, I don't see why being an explorer in Pandora can't be given that same credit.

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            • #7
              Not everything has to be a thrill a minute, exciting speed ride. Some of my favorite Disney experiences involve simply taking a leisurely ride and examining the scenery, such as the canoes, Small World, Railroad, Friendship boats at Epcot, Storybook Land at Disneyland, and the Main Street vehicles.

              Although it will be years before I get to see Pandora for myself, I am looking forward to exploring the Na'Vi River at a slow pace and savoring every moment.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Co Foo View Post

                Having not yet been on the ride as the area isn't even open to the public yet, I'd be hesitant to speculate too much. However, based on what I've seen we are explorers of the pandora world and we are touring their bioluminescent forest.

                If being an explorer in the Jungle Cruise counts as being a character in that story, I don't see why being an explorer in Pandora can't be given that same credit.
                I'm very much not a part of the Pandora fan club, but I can see a story here - it dovetails with the overall AK ecological mission. You're being exposed to the same things that seduced the main character from the movie from "harvester" to "protector". I'm gathering that the overall story of the land is similar - "What a mighty, beautiful place Pandora is - we should protect it, and hey why not the Earth too?"
                Account abandoned due to trolls

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by BogLurch View Post

                  I'm very much not a part of the Pandora fan club, but I can see a story here - it dovetails with the overall AK ecological mission. You're being exposed to the same things that seduced the main character from the movie from "harvester" to "protector". I'm gathering that the overall story of the land is similar - "What a mighty, beautiful place Pandora is - we should protect it, and hey why not the Earth too?"
                  I barely remember Avatar at all, but I'm pretty jazzed about the new land because I'm a fan of immersive imagineering. The story might be present, but that's probably not what's going to make the attraction work. Compared to Indiana Jones where it's more than just driving through some cursed temple, but following a well known character on his adventure.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Co Foo View Post

                    I barely remember Avatar at all, but I'm pretty jazzed about the new land because I'm a fan of immersive imagineering. The story might be present, but that's probably not what's going to make the attraction work. Compared to Indiana Jones where it's more than just driving through some cursed temple, but following a well known character on his adventure.
                    Yeah. I'm not seeing it as an "in your face" kind of narrative story, more a rough framework for guests to hang their own interpretation on (the aforementioned "Take care of places like this, no, seriously.")
                    Account abandoned due to trolls

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BogLurch View Post

                      Yeah. I'm not seeing it as an "in your face" kind of narrative story, more a rough framework for guests to hang their own interpretation on (the aforementioned "Take care of places like this, no, seriously.")
                      Which is basically the theme for the whole park. My sense is that the best rides rely more on evoking a feeling, rather than a cohesive narrative.

                      I'm going next month and the anticipation is reaching the fever pitch level.

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                      • #12
                        Animal Kingdom is definitely more about a calm relaxed type feel. We haven't ridden it yet, but there are plenty of rides that don't throw the narrative into your face. Some rides are just about enjoying the beauty of nature or something interesting!
                        Theme Park Brews - Where theme parks are just half the fun!

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                        • #13
                          From Kevin Yee's review:

                          Originally posted by Kevin Yee
                          ...Na’Vi River Journey highlights nature with equal single-mindedness. The ride is physically gentle, but its only purpose is to showcase Pandora’s flora and fauna, which will be confusing for some visitors, who by now expect most Disney attractions to tell a story. There’s a very impressive animatronic in the form of an Ewya tree shaman, but the ride has no storyline to speak of. Nothing in preshows, and not even really a transition into the nighttime version of the land (even though it’s daytime outside). It many ways, it’s the embodiment of my original assertion about the entire land: exceptional and ground-breaking eye candy, but not enough story and leaves you wanting more (the ride was also a bit shorter than I expected). I liked the Marc Davis-era Disneyland attractions that focused on atmosphere more than narrative, though such attractions weren’t always billed as E-Tickets.
                          "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
                          Disney may have finally found the grail. You don't need
                          imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

                          - Neil Gabler

                          "I didn't know the story of baby Jesus could be any better,
                          until Thor told it to me."
                          -
                          Young girl at Disneyland's 2017 Candlelight Ceremony

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Muerte Mouse View Post
                            Animal Kingdom is definitely more about a calm relaxed type feel. We haven't ridden it yet, but there are plenty of rides that don't throw the narrative into your face. Some rides are just about enjoying the beauty of nature or something interesting!
                            In fact, they seem to have been purposefully cutting back on more sophisticated narratives. A long time ago, the Kilimanjaro Safari ride had an entire side-story about poachers trying to steal a baby elephant, and your vehicle got involved in trying to stop them. When I was there last year, that story element was completely gone. It was simply a safari ride with no story. Not necessarily complaining, but personally, I thought they had a good balance originally.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sbk1234 View Post

                              In fact, they seem to have been purposefully cutting back on more sophisticated narratives. A long time ago, the Kilimanjaro Safari ride had an entire side-story about poachers trying to steal a baby elephant, and your vehicle got involved in trying to stop them. When I was there last year, that story element was completely gone. It was simply a safari ride with no story. Not necessarily complaining, but personally, I thought they had a good balance originally.
                              I remember that now! I had forgotten until you pointed it out. I thought that was fun as well. I definitely understand enjoying some back story, I guess I usually try and use Animal Kingdom as a buffer to the other parks, more easy going and laid back.
                              Theme Park Brews - Where theme parks are just half the fun!

                              http://youtube.com/ThemeParkBrews

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