Pandora – The World of Avatar
|Pandora – The World of Avatar|
|Location||Disney's Animal Kingdom|
|Area||12 acres (4.9 ha)|
Pandora – The World of Avatar is a themed area currently being constructed in the south-west portion of Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando. The area will be based upon the fictional exoplanetary moon, Pandora from James Cameron's Avatar film series, and will include Pandora's floating mountains, alien wildlife, and bioluminescent plants. Pandora – The World of Avatar is expected to span 12 acres (4.9 ha) and feature multiple attractions, entertainment, audio-animatronics, 3-D holograms as well as retail, food and beverage outlets.
In early 2011, James Cameron was approached by The Walt Disney Company's chief executive officer, Bob Iger, regarding the possibility of Avatar-themed attractions in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Originally, discussions were held about creating an Avatar-themed attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios, perhaps at the park's then-functioning Studio Backlot Tour. Tom Staggs suggested to incorporate the film into a newly designed "land" at Disney's Animal Kingdom to improve the park's attraction roster. On September 17, 2011, Disney entered into an exclusive, long-term licensing agreement with Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment. This deal was officially announced to the public on September 20, 2011, on the Disney Parks Blog. The highlight of the announcement was that Disney's Animal Kingdom would receive a new themed area entirely devoted to Avatar. The area is set to cost approximately $500 million. Construction began in January 2014, with a planned opening date between 3 and 5 years later. The deal could see Avatar attractions added to other Disney theme parks in the future, however, there are no immediate plans to do so.
Pandora – The World of Avatar is designed by Walt Disney Imagineering and Lightstorm Entertainment with Avatar producers James Cameron and Jon Landau acting as creative consultants. The area is being built in the former location of Camp Minnie-Mickey, which was originally earmarked for the Beastly Kingdom, a never-built themed land which would have been based around mythological creatures.
Disney showcased a first look presentation of the land at the 2013 Japan D23 Expo. In September 2011, Cameron confirmed that a flying attraction featuring "3-D projections and creature designs that were cut from the original film" was a concept on the drawing board for the area. Pandora – The World of Avatar will include elements from the original Avatar film as well as its four, yet-to-be-released sequels.
A major visual feature of the area are Pandora's floating mountain ranges. The mountain designs employ forced perspective to appear larger than they physically are, and are held aloft by steel beams concealed with rockwork and vinery. Pandora's bioluminescent species of flora will be found throughout the area. New motion sensor technology developed by Disney Research, will allow the plant life to respond to tactile interaction from guests.
- Avatar: Flight of Passage, a flying E-ticket simulator attraction, where guests will learn to fly with a mountain Banshee.
- Na'vi River Journey, a boat ride attraction showcasing the native fauna and flora of Pandora, that will include Audio-animatronics and small drops.
- Cars Land, a themed land at Disney California Adventure Park
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a themed land at Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida theme park
- Star Wars Land, a future themed land at Disneyland Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Staggs, Tom. "First Look: AVATAR to Come to Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom". The Walt Disney Company. The Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "Na'vi River Journey adds music, energy to Pandora – The World of AVATAR". Disney Parks Blog.
- Tribou, Richard (May 6, 2016). "What we know about 'Avatar'-inspired Pandora coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Smith, Thomas (August 16, 2015). "Pandora – The World of AVATAR will be New Land at Disney's Animal Kingdom". Disney Parks Blog. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
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- Staggs, Tom (20 September 2011). "Answering Your Questions About AVATAR at Disney Parks". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Associated Press (21 September 2011). "Disney to Build 'Avatar' Attraction in Theme Parks". Fox News. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Clark, Jayne (22 September 2011). "'Avatar' land is coming to Disney World". USA Today. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Smith, Thomas. "Construction Begins For AVATAR-Inspired Land At Disney's Animal Kingdom". The Walt Disney Company. The Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
- Chmielewski, Dawn C.; Keegan, Rebecca (21 September 2011). "Disney to license rights to 'Avatar' for theme park attractions". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Barnes, Brooks (April 25, 2015). "Thomas Staggs: Disney's Heir, Apparently". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2015.
- Chmielewski, Dawn C.; MacDonald, Brady (20 September 2011). "Details emerge on Disney's plans to bring 'Avatar' to its parks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Smith, Thomas (20 September 2011). "AVATAR Coming To Disney Parks". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Australian Associated Press (22 September 2011). "Coming to Disney World: Avatar Land". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Weinstein, Joshua L. (21 September 2011). "James Cameron on 3D, "Titanic" and all things "Avatar"". Reuters. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- MacDonald, Brady (July 7, 2015). "What to expect from Avatar Land at Disney's Animal Kingdom". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- Mauney, Matt (January 8, 2016). "Animal Kingdom: A look at the 'floating mountain' illusion of Pandora". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Alton, Elizabeth (August 11, 2016). "New Disney Patents Hint at Bioluminescent Plants in Avatar Attraction". Entertainment Designer. Retrieved August 16, 2016.
- Martens, Todd (August 15, 2015). "Disney reveals plans for 'Toy Story Land' and 'Avatar' and more 'Star Wars'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- Graser, Marc (December 10, 2014). "'Avatar' Ride Coming to Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2015.
- Martens, Todd (August 14, 2015). "Here's what Disney World's 'Avatar' land will be like". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
- Official announcement at the Disney Parks Blog