In what seemed like a lifetime away upon its announcement in 2011, Disney fans are finally just months away from the grand opening of Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom this summer. While it has been a controversial project since it’s very announcement, one thing that all Disney fans can certainly agree on; Avatar Land is going to be one of the most impressive theme park projects to come out of The Walt Disney Company.
While Disney has been keeping a tight lid on information and finished footage from the nearly-finished area, fans have been treated to a brief look and idea of what the park will look like through finished footage, concept art and state-of-the-art Audio-Animatronics, some of the most impressive AAs to date. While opinions of James Cameron’s Avatar range from praiseworthy to poor, the film stands as an important piece in cinematic history, creating breakthrough visuals that would inspire a new era of filmmaking, stretching as far as The Walt Disney Company itself, making way for stunning visual breakthroughs like The Jungle Book and Maleficent. Translating that beauty and innovation from the big screen into a physical, interactive, and four-dimensional theme park is a challenge right out of the gate, but it’s still one that Disney Imagineering didn’t shy away from. If the small bits of footage we’ve seen are any indication of the eye-candy we’re going to get this summer, that’s certainly something impressive to look forward to.
What We Know About The World of Avatar So Far:
Though it’s been in the works for a few years, details of how the area will be structured are still scarce, but we’ve luckily been given a glimpse as to some of the attractions guests will be able to experience. One of the attractions, ‘The Na’vi River Journey’ will take guests on a river journey through the world of Pandora. With stunning visuals and state of the art, lifelike Audio-Animatronics, the ‘Na’vi River Journey’ is bound to be one of Disney’s most impressive dark-rides yet, and we can’t wait to experience it first-hand.
The second known attraction, Avatar: Flight of Passage is a flight simulator and the area’s major E-ticket attraction. While we have yet to see footage from the finished attraction, fans have been treated to a look at the thrills that the attraction has to offer.
Why Pandora is Unlike Anything We’ve Seen Before:
Taking the amazing world of Avatar and translating it into the real world is something that many would have thought unimaginable, almost impossible. Building the world that feels reminiscent of the one that audiences journeyed to in 2009 is easily Disney’s biggest challenge yet, and it’s difficult to build an actual, tangible world within the Disney theme parks. But as Disney Imagineering continues to impress, we’re already getting a closer look at how the world of Avatar is going to be constructed.
The World of Avatar includes everything from floating mountains to flying banshees. Therefore, the structure of Avatar Land instantly needed to be unlike anything Disney has ever built before. Some of the most stunning works from this project includes the jaw-dropping work on the iconic ‘Floating Mountains’, complete with waterfalls, ropes and realistic detail, the moment you walk into the world of Avatar, you can tell this is unlike any theme park experience anywhere else in the world.
The Spirit of the Park is Very Much Still Present:
One of the biggest concerns that many Disney fans shared upon this theme park announcement was; “How is Avatar, a big blockbuster, non-Disney franchise milked just for its intellectual brand supposed to fit into a park that’s built on the message of world conservation and the environment?” Luckily, Disney hasn’t abandoned the vision for Disney’s Animal Kingdom yet, and one of the key parts of marketing Pandora is to make certain that the message of the theme park is still very front and center. Some of these important aspects are outlined by Disney Imagineer Joe Rhode in the video below.
So while Avatar in the Animal Kingdom is still and likely will forever be Disney’s most unique and unexpected projects ever, we’re thrilled to see Disney Imagineering take their talents and push it to the limits, and finally get a glimpse at the amazing world that Pandora has to offer when it opens this summer.
Are you excited for Avatar Land? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!