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Avatar to Come to Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

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First Look: AVATAR to Come to Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

posted on October 12th, 2013

 

 

From the moment AVATAR was released, people were captivated by the mythical world of Pandora. When we announced that we’d be working with James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment to bring this world to life in our parks, we felt certain that this partnership and combination of talent and imagination would produce an experience unlike any other ever created.

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Our combined team has taken huge steps forward in “imagineering” Pandora as a real place for our guests to see, hear and touch. At the first-ever D23 Expo in Japan, we shared an early glimpse of the plans for AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and I wanted to share some of these breathtaking images and a short preview of what’s to come with all of you.

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As these concept renderings show in epic scale, in the world of AVATAR guests will encounter awe-inspiring floating mountains and wander through a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants that are alive with light and sound. Guests will also discover what it feels like to soar into the sky riding a Banshee.

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And the new AVATAR-inspired land won’t be the only change coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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As part of the largest expansion in the history of the park, we’ll be adding all-new entertainment experiences, including a new nighttime spectacular where live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery all combine to bring a show to Discovery River that will delight our guests and truly cap off their day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The park will introduce more nighttime entertainment as well, including live performers on Discovery Island (pictured above) and a new nighttime version of the Kilimanjaro Safaris.

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As the world of AVATAR becomes real at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the energy and passion shared by our Imagineers and the Lightstorm team for this monumental task continues to be remarkable. I can’t wait to see the reactions of our guests as they step into a world that until now has only existed on the screen.

 

 

Not a big Avatar fan but I am happy to see that the Animal Kingdom will finally be a park that stays open at night.

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It looks like this will be very good for the park, giving it much-needed attractions, in addition to the increased hours and the nighttime show. As it is Animal Kingdom is really a half-day park, with Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, the safari, and Kali River Rapids as the only big attractions, these additions will help a lot in elevating its status to a full day park.

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I was really hoping they weren't going to go through with that Avatar area but the safari at night sounds cool.

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This section of AK that will be Avatarland was supposed to be Beastly Kingdom, but was never built due to budget cuts (the choice was either Beastly Kingdom or Dinoland, Dinoland won)

 

The concept is similar to Beastly Kingdom, just different fictional creatures.

 

Not a fan of Avatar btw, but happy for anything to make AK more than a half day park.

 

Another note - this should put AK back as world's largest theme park...

Edited by sfgalocal

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Another note - this should put AK back as world's largest theme park...

 

Who knows, Great Adventure's theme park and Hurricane Harbor could be combined by the time AvatarLand opens in 2017!

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I think this area should be given a chance first before being deemed a bad fit for AK. If they focus more on the environment of the Avatar world and less on the movie aspect (which judging by the video they seem to be), then it could work well. Most of the recent major additions put in the US Disney parks have been based around characters and movies (the last major non-movie based attraction in the USA was Expedition Everest, way back in 2006), Avatar probably is the movie/character set that best fits AK.

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Who knows, Great Adventure's theme park and Hurricane Harbor could be combined by the time AvatarLand opens in 2017!

Good point. I have seen people mention this (moving hh) in this blog. However I am not sure how credible that is or even why that is something sf wants to do, do not understand justification of such a major expenditure.

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Combining HH with the theme park would mean cost savings in the long run and a HUGE spike in attendance numbers (theme park's 2.6 million + water park's .5 million) puts them over 3 million and makes it the most attended seasonal theme park in the world.

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The only thing with moving the water park is would they move all the theming (or what's left of it) too? If moving the water park means plopping the slides down on concrete and leaving the current water park area abandoned (like the old Safari entrance) I would rather see it stay as it is.

Edited by RC98

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Some more details on the new Avatar land are here http://themeparks.about.com/od/disneyparks/ss/Avatar-at-Disneys-Animal-Kingdom_2.htm. It gives details on the two attractions that will be in the area. According to this article, one will be a boat ride through the Pandora environment with "bioluminescent" plants, the other being the aforementioned Banshee flight simulator, except according to this article, it will be "more thrilling" and "ground-breaking" in some way.

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Not a huge Avatar fan but the concept art looks cool. The rotorcopters and mech suits were the coolest parts of the film. Anything to get more rides in AK is fine by me.

 

I don't get the desire of moving HH either. Things like the wave pool and the river can't be moved. The old ones would have to be filled in along with the old slide landing pools and new ones built over in the new spot.

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They've started vertical construction in the area on one of the buildings, picture from Screamscapedb_2015_0223_Avatar21.jpg

 

I saw it when I was there last week. Hopefully it will come out good considering the amount of time it has taken for them just to get to this point.

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Will they have any of the RDA corp stuff?

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James Cameron has started work on Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5. (Story HERE.)

 

I am sorry, but I just can't get worked up about Avatar. I mean, I am not a huge Star Wars or Harry Potter fan either (I have never seen any of the HP movies). But I have never heard of anyone other than James Cameron excited about Avatar. Even the Disney Imagineers sound like they are acting when they describe how good the IP is for making theme park attractions.

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I'm only looking forward to the area because of the new rides that will be added (I would have rather seen Beastly Kingdom or something else). Otherwise I have no interest in Avatar.

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James waited 9 years to make a sequel which was too long and let Avatar's popularity to dissipate. Not to mention he recycled many elements from Aliens. I would rather see a beastly kingdom or Australia sections.

Edited by The Master

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James Cameron has started work on Avatar 2, 3, 4, and 5. (Story HERE.)

 

I am sorry, but I just can't get worked up about Avatar. I mean, I am not a huge Star Wars or Harry Potter fan either (I have never seen any of the HP movies). But I have never heard of anyone other than James Cameron excited about Avatar. Even the Disney Imagineers sound like they are acting when they describe how good the IP is for making theme park attractions.

I had never seen any of the Harry Potter movies either until last year, my gf is a huge fan and we had a planned trip to Orlando so I figured I'd finally give them a watch. I thought they were entertaining, much better then I expected and it definitely made me appreciate all the details in the parks more. Can't say I'd re-watch them or anything though.

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The HP movies are decent films, though I do not find them too rewatchable, especially the later ones. There is so many of them they kind of blend together.

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I'm not a big Avatar fan either. I think its really bold and weird move for them to suddenly make a huge investment in this after so much time has passed. But I feel like I'm going to have to relax and trust that they know what they're doing, they clearly have a lot of faith in this. I was saddened by Maelstrom's closing but Frozen turned out to be great. And I look at what they're doing with Hollywood Studios and I couldn't be happier about that. I also would have rather seen a Beastly Kingdom, but just because I dislike the Avatar movies might not necessarily mean that they don't make for an immersive Disney experience. Its also not going to be like the Star Wars expansion in Disneyland where if it flops (which I highly doubt it will) it could ruin the integrity of the park. If its bad, Avatar at Animal Kingdom wouldn't really change anything. And at the very least it could finally give me a reason to stay at the park for more than a couple of hours.

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I liked the movie and do look forward to seeing the others. I'm also a fan of WDW. We still feel the magic even though there is a lot to complain about. Was thinking about going in June to check out all the new stuff but might wait till October to beat the crowds and give them time to work out any issues launching AL.

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Disney is really promoting their new Avatar land. There are a few local billboards as well as ads on local TV stations like 6ABC.

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