Disney Teases Avatar at Animal Kingdom

Although ground officially broke last year on the long-awaited Avatar Pandora land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we still don’t know exactly what the new area will feature when it opens. The new area, inspired by the Avatar film franchise, will be a departure from Animal Kingdom’s (mostly) realistic, animal-inspired lands.

In a recent Disney Parks Blog post, we got a new glimpse at the fantasy-like land of Pandora in a new rendering:


© Disney Parks

The update author, Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, elaborated on the complexity of the Pandora project:

This creative process has been one of the most dynamic and collaborative ones we’ve ever undertaken. It began when our then-Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts proposed to James Cameron that together we might recreate the world of Pandora at Disney. Since that time, our creative development team, led by Joe Rohde, has been working hand-in-hand with Jim, Jon Landau and their team of artists and designers at Lightstorm on every aspect of this project—from overall design to the smallest—yet crucially important—details. And along each step of this process, Tom, as well as Disney CEO Bob Iger have been actively involved in helping guide the creative vision that is shaping the extraordinary world we’re building.

Watch the video below to see Avatar director James Cameron viewing some of the special effects guests may encounter when the new land opens:


The area will contain two major attractions: an E-ticket 3D dark ride simulating a flight on the film’s iconic Banshee creatures and a boat ride through the land of Pandora:

Guests will experience the wonders of Pandora when they fly with banshees and explore a rich natural environment with mountains that float and interactive plants that glow at night.

So when will Pandora open to guests?

“We’re planning to share Pandora’s grandeur with our guests in early 2017,” Vaughn writes in the comments section.

That date works, as the long-awaited Avatar sequel is also due out in 2017.

What do you think of Pandora from what you’ve seen so far? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.