Disney’s New Avatar Land Update

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The Latest on Pandora and The New Avatar Land

Almost five years in the making, Pandora – The World of Avatar is less than a year from opening. In September 2011 at D23, Disney announced it would be creating an Avatar land at its Animal Kingdom Park in Orlando. A full scale model was shown at D23, and fans of the parks and Avatar alike celebrated the coming attractions. The expansion would be the largest in the park’s 18 year history.

Avatar Land Model

Imagineers went to work constructing the new land in 2013. Set to open in 2017, we’re finally beginning to see some progress at the parks. The floating islands can be seen as you approach the park gates. When completed, the new land will include several audio-animatronic attractions, themed restaurants and two E-ticket attractions based on James Cameron’s 2009  Avatar movie and its upcoming sequels. Guests can look forward to floating mountains, alien creatures, 3-D holograms and bioluminescent plants.

Avatar Floating Island

Still Relevant?

Released in 2009, Avatar was a huge hit. It earned $2.8 billion from the US box office alone. If you adjust for inflation, it’s the second highest grossing film worldwide, even when compared to incredible hits like Star Wars the Force Awakens and The Avengers. With all that success it was no surprise Disney reached out to creator James Cameron to develop attractions for one of its parks.

While quite a bit of time has passed since the original movie hit theaters, 20th Century Fox and James Cameron have once again partnered up on not one but four Avatar sequels. The first of the sequels is expected to hit theaters in 2018, one year after Pandora – The World of Avatar opens at Animal Kingdom.


What to Expect

When The World of Avatar opens at The Animal Kingdom Park it will add great value to arguably one of the better World Disney World Parks. Animal Kingdom offers guests unique experiences and attractions like Expedition Everest and the Kali River Rapids, but offers far fewer E-Ticket attractions than other parks. When Pandora opens in 2017, guests will have two new attractions and an entirely new planet to explore.


Na’vi River Journey

Audiences loved the world James Cameron helped to create. The World of Avatar will transport park guests to Pandora, where they’ll be able to explore and discover what makes this world so unique. Na’vi River Journey is a canoe ride where guests will travel down a mysterious, sacred river hidden in the bioluminescent rainforest. On your route, you will encounter everything from native glowing plants to unique creatures. Guests will come face to face with a Na’vi shaman who will share their deep connection with Pandora with you through music.


Avatar Flight of Passage

In addition to a new boat ride, guests will also gain the opportunity to soar the skies of Pandora on a mountain Banshee. At D23 guests were promised a very “personalized” experience, where they would be able to fly through the floating islands and over the lands of Pandora. The ride will be a simulation ride, similar to Soarin’ where guests will take flight in a large theater.

Watch James Cameron speaking at D23 about Pandora – The World of Avatar land now.



Michelle McKinley is a journalist and digital marketer from Los Angeles, CA. She earned her Journalism degree from Pepperdine University, and has been writing for the web since 2003. She’s a life-long Disney fan who travels and writes about her experiences for fun.

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