By Sara K. Clarke and Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel
September 26, 2011
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts' plan to build a multi-attraction "land" based on James Cameron's movie "Avatar" in Disney's Animal Kingdom received mixed reviews from fans on the company's blog last week.
Reactions ranged from uncontrolled excitement to outspoken disappointment. Some questioned if an extensive project based on the PG-13 movie — which includes profanity and violence — was appropriate for a family-friendly park. Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs tackled the topic in a Q&A on Disney's blog.
"At its core, Avatar is a film that embraces strong, positive themes of family, loyalty, living in harmony with nature, and belief in oneself — all values that we share at the Walt Disney Co.," Staggs said. "You can be sure that these are the same themes that we will explore throughout our Avatar lands. They will be places where friends and families can spend time together getting lost in a fantasy world, one of the true hallmarks of any Disney theme park experience."
Addition or replacement?
Staggs was less than forthcoming when asked whether the Avatar project at Walt Disney World will be a park expansion or whether the land will replace something else.
"We're just beginning the Blue Sky process so I don't have much to share about how we are going to execute our vision for our first Avatar land but we're focused on this being an important addition to Disney's Animal Kingdom," Staggs said.
Brazilian eatery comes to I-Drive
The company that built Dave & Buster's on International Drive has a new project: high-end Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao.
Shawmut Design and Construction of Boston said it has been selected to build a 12,600-square-foot building for the dining chain at 8282 International Drive. That prime spot on South I-Drive has had trouble keeping tenants; it was home to India Blue after the closing of Bogard's.
Shawmut plans to break ground on the new building Oct. 3; completion is set for early 2012.
Peabody starts compost program
The Peabody Orlando has partnered with Waste Management Inc. to launch a corporate composting program at the I-Drive resort.
The hotel will roll out an Organics Recycling Program in its banquet kitchen before expanding it to other food-and-beverage outlets. The Peabody's six compost containers will be collected twice a week and composted for 60 days at a Waste Management site in Apopka.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with the Peabody Orlando for the initial launch of our organics program in Orlando," said Domenica Farmer, director of sales for Waste Management Inc. of Florida. "With over 80 million tons of organic waste generated each year in the United States, we look forward to meeting the needs of consumers and businesses across Central Florida who are looking to divert food and other organic wastes from landfills."
The program is one of several sustainability efforts at the hotel, along with water conservation, indoor-air quality control, and toiletry recycling.
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