There is still a lot of excitement around the Avatar Flight of Passage attraction, for which I am glad. Anything that gets people hyped about Walt Disney World is a good thing. I do however, have a concern.
I’m hoping that most of the new marquee attractions coming out do not end up being 3D screens with simulated motion. I have a feeling that may be the direction things are going.
In full disclosure, I am one of the 10% of people for whom 3D just doesn’t look right. It’s not as bad for me as it is for some people; I can see the depth and what it’s trying to do, but there are always blurred edges and some double images.
In addition to that problem, for a lot of folks, the body type restrictions on Flight of Passage have been a major source of complaint. You can’t always make an attraction that everyone can ride, as that would severely hamper the boundaries of immersion that can be pushed. However, you can make sure there is a wide variety available. Something for everyone. Disney has done a great job of doing that so far.
Now I’m not saying Disney shouldn’t make these 3D rides, far from it. My wife and daughters love them, and I enjoy seeing them have fun. I just hope it doesn’t become the go to default whenever a new, big name ride is thought up.
From a business perspective, however, this type of ride makes the most sense. It is obviously much cheaper to build a big screen and mechanical chairs than to construct a full scale themed coaster ride—much easier to maintain as well. And people were lining up and waiting for up to 6 hours for Flight of Passage, so the demand is there.
But the overall appeal of Disney World is that it is a physical, tangible place to explore. So I hope it doesn’t start to lean too heavily on virtual reality.