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Pandora: The World of Avatar

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Hr avatar land 1

A model of the planned attraction.

Pandora - The World of Avatar is a themed area currently being constructed at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park in Florida. It will be based upon the world created in James Cameron's film franchise. Construction began in 2014, with the area expected to open in Summer 2017.

BackgroundEdit

Dragon Rock Fountain (05-09)

The dragon fountain on the site

As far back as 1995, Disney intended on building a Wild Animal Kingdom on the site, with a planned opening date in 1998 (coinciding with the other attractions in the park). It would have featured large animatronic creatures, including dinosaurs and mythical beasts.[1] Camp Minnie-Mickey was built as a placeholder for the site while the Wild Animal Kingdom was in development. With the exception of minor aesthetic pieces such as a dragon-shaped fountain, the area was never built, and the temporary Minnie-Mickie attractions remained in place in the northern half of the site for nearly sixteen years. The southern half remained an empty field for this period.

From 1998 to 2008, the site was also host to Pocahontas and her Forest Friends, a live show to teach children about living in peace with nature.

Initial talks on an Avatar attraction began in Spring 2011, with the intention of using the mostly empty site formerly earmarked for the unbuilt Wild Animal Kingdom area. Disney established the rights for the project in September of that year.[2] James Cameron announced that the area would contain elements from the second and third films- the only sequels planned at that point.[3]

The project was granted a budget of $400 million dollars. The first true public information about the project came about during the 2013 D23 expo, when a video was presented detailing the creative process that went on behind the scenes.[4] Further previews were presented via the Disney Parks blog on April 28, 2016.[5]

ConstructionEdit

Avatarland

Groundbreaking ceremony for Avatar Land

Construction was formally initiated on 10th January 2014, at a ceremonial photo-shoot with Jon Landau.[6] Chairman of Disney parks and resorts Tom Staggs referred to the development as “...a spectacular new world and an exciting set of attractions unlike any our guests have experienced.” The expansion will be the largest in the history of the park.[7] Camp Minnie-Mickey finally closed in 2014 to make way for the new area. The venue of Festival of the Lion King was demolished that April, with performances relocated to a new theatre in the Africa section.[8]

Avatar Full 25991

the first floating mountain, November 2015

Further details were unveiled at the 2015 D23 Expo, including a large model of the site and numerous concept images.[9] The event featured the debut appearance of Alpha Centauri Expeditions, the company that operates civilian flights to Pandora. In November and December, the first floating mountains were raised into place.

At the 2016 Destination D event, it was announced the area was set to open in Summer 2017.

Design and AttractionsEdit

The design of the area will have an element of storytelling. Rather than simply adapting scenes from the film directly, the attraction will be set on Pandora a century after the conflict has ended. "The gunships are all down and rusting in the jungle. Humans are being welcomed to Pandora.”[10] Numerous propaganda posters were displayed at D23 2015, advertising civillian trips to Pandora operated by Alpha Centauri Expeditions.[11]

The following attractions have been confirmed:

  • Flight of Passage: a motion simulator flight through Pandora on the back of a Banshee. Disney described the ride at D23 2015 as "a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage." The ride will be E-ticket based. A video from the ride was shown briefly at D23 2013.[12]
  • Na'vi River Journey: a boat ride through the rivers and jungles of Pandora, hosted by a Na'vi known as the Shaman of Songs

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://articles.latimes.com/1995-06-21/business/fi-15546_1_theme-park-division
  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/8782056/Disney-to-build-Avatar-attractions-at-its-theme-parks.html
  3. As important, he said, "Avatar Land" will include elements of all three "Avatar" movies -- not just the first.
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LwajYQeEWI
  5. https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/04/authentic-details-bring-to-life-pandora-the-world-of-avatar-at-disneys-animal-kingdom/
  6. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2014/01/construction-begins-for-avatar-inspired-land-at-disneys-animal-kingdom/
  7. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2013/10/first-look-avatar-to-come-to-life-at-disneys-animal-kingdom/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DisneyParks+%28Disney+Parks+Blog%29
  8. http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/avatar/news/03jun2014-photos---aerial-views-of-avatar-land-construction-progress.htm
  9. http://uk.ign.com/articles/2015/08/17/d23-2015-pandora-the-world-of-avatar-preview-images
  10. http://uk.ign.com/articles/2015/08/15/d23-2015-pandora-the-world-of-avatar-details-unveiled
  11. http://uk.ign.com/articles/2015/08/17/d23-2015-pandora-the-world-of-avatar-preview-images
  12. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LwajYQeEWI

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