Pandora – The World of Avatar

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Pandora – The World of Avatar
Pandora – The World of Avatar logo (black).svg
Avatar Land concept.jpg
Concept art
Location Disney's Animal Kingdom
Status Under construction
Opening date May 27, 2017 (2017-05-27)[1][2][3][4]
Replaced Camp Minnie-Mickey
Theme Avatar
Area 12[5] acres (4.9 ha)
Attractions 2 total

Pandora – The World of Avatar[6] is a themed area based on James Cameron's Avatar film series, currently set to open in Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando.

Set a generation after the events of the films, the area is based upon the fictional exoplanetary moon, Pandora and will feature Pandora's floating mountains, alien wildlife, and bioluminescent plants.[7][8][9] Pandora – The World of Avatar spans 12 acres (4.9 ha) and will include multiple attractions, entertainment, audio-animatronics, 3-D holograms as well as retail, food and beverage outlets.[10][11][12]

Disney announced the area's development in September 2011. Construction began on January 10, 2014, with the land scheduled to open on May 27, 2017.[1][2][3][4][10][11][13][14]


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.[15] 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.[16] Tom Staggs suggested to incorporate the film into a newly designed "land" at Disney's Animal Kingdom to improve the park's attraction roster.[16] On September 17, 2011, Disney entered into an exclusive, long-term licensing agreement with Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment for the worldwide theme park rights to Avatar.[15][17] This deal was officially announced to the public on September 20, 2011.[18] The highlight of the announcement was that Disney's Animal Kingdom would receive a new themed area entirely devoted to Avatar.[9] The area is set to cost approximately $500 million.[15] Construction began in January 2014,[13] with an initially planned opening date in 2016.[10][11] The deal could see Avatar attractions added to other Disney theme parks in the future, however, there are no immediate plans to do so.[19] The opening date was later revised to summer 2017.[1][2][3][10][11][13] In February 2017, the official opening day was confirmed to be May 27, 2017.[4]


Construction of the floating mountains' rockwork

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.[17][20] 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.[21] Disney and Cameron decided to set the land's timeline a generation after the warring conflict between the indigenous Na'vi and the Resources Development Administration (RDA) that sought to exploit Pandora for its unobtanium in the first film.[22] According to the backstory, the Na'vi and humans have achieved peace and Alpha Centauri Expeditions–a fictional tourism company–has partnered with the Na'vi to present Pandora as a new destination for ecotourism.[23]

Disney showcased a first look presentation of the land at the 2013 Japan D23 Expo.[1] 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.[15] Pandora – The World of Avatar includes elements from the original Avatar film as well as its four, yet-to-be-released sequels.[20]

A major visual feature of Pandora is the Valley of Mo'ara and its floating mountain ranges. The 156 foot (48 m)-tall mountains employ forced perspective to appear larger than they physically are, and are held aloft by steel beams concealed with rockwork and vinery.[24] Pandora's bioluminescent species of flora will be found throughout the area.[7][8][9] The landscaping consists of real Earth plant species mixed with sculpted Pandora flora.[25] New motion sensor technology developed by Disney Research, will allow the plant life to respond to tactile interaction from guests.[26]


At Disney's 2015 D23 Expo, Walt Disney Imagineering confirmed two major attractions.[27]

Pandora – The World of Avatar will also contain Satu'li Canteen, a full-service restaurant, and Pongu Pongu, a food and beverage stand.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d 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. 
  2. ^ a b c Smith, Thomas. "Na'vi River Journey adds music, energy to Pandora – The World of AVATAR". Disney Parks Blog. 
  3. ^ a b c Fickley-Baker, Jennifer (November 19, 2016). "Pandora – The World of Avatar Set To Open Summer 2017". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved November 19, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Smith, Thomas (February 7, 2017). "Just Announced: Pandora – The World of Avatar Will Open May 27 at Disney's Animal Kingdom". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  5. ^ Tribou, Richard (May 6, 2016). "What we know about 'Avatar'-inspired Pandora coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ a b Graser, Marc (February 26, 2015). "Disney 'Pushing Boundaries' with 'Avatar' Land at Animal Kingdom Theme Park". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Richwine, Lisa (21 September 2011). "Disney, Cameron to create theme-park "Avatar"". Reuters Canada. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c Cody, Anthony (22 September 2011). "Disney to build Avatar attractions at its theme parks". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d Staggs, Tom (20 September 2011). "Answering Your Questions About AVATAR at Disney Parks". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d e Associated Press (21 September 2011). "Disney to Build 'Avatar' Attraction in Theme Parks". Fox News. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Clark, Jayne (22 September 2011). "'Avatar' land is coming to Disney World". USA Today. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  13. ^ a b c 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. 
  14. ^ "Pandora – The World of Avatar to Open May 27, Star Wars Lands Coming in 2019 - The Walt Disney Company". The Walt Disney Company. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 8 February 2017. 
  15. ^ a b c d 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. 
  16. ^ a b Barnes, Brooks (April 25, 2015). "Thomas Staggs: Disney's Heir, Apparently". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b 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. 
  18. ^ Smith, Thomas (20 September 2011). "AVATAR Coming To Disney Parks". Disney Parks Blog. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "Coming to Disney World: Avatar Land". New Zealand Herald. Australian Associated Press. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Weinstein, Joshua L. (21 September 2011). "James Cameron on 3D, "Titanic" and all things "Avatar"". Reuters. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  21. ^ MacDonald, Brady (July 7, 2015). "What to expect from Avatar Land at Disney's Animal Kingdom". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 16, 2015. 
  22. ^ Gettal, Oliver (March 9, 2017). "James Cameron previews Avatar Disney World attraction". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  23. ^ Lee, Ashley (March 9, 2017). "James Cameron Goes Inside Walt Disney World's Avatar Attractions". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  24. ^ Mauney, Matt (January 8, 2016). "Animal Kingdom: A look at the 'floating mountain' illusion of Pandora". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 
  25. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (March 9, 2017). "Disney: James Cameron takes Whoopi Goldberg to Pandora". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  26. ^ Alton, Elizabeth (August 11, 2016). "New Disney Patents Hint at Bioluminescent Plants in Avatar Attraction". Entertainment Designer. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 
  27. ^ 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. 
  28. ^ Graser, Marc (December 10, 2014). "'Avatar' Ride Coming to Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom". Variety. Retrieved August 14, 2015. 
  29. ^ Martens, Todd (August 14, 2015). "Here's what Disney World's 'Avatar' land will be like". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 15, 2015. 

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