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Oct 13

Disney Finally Reveals Plans For The Highly Anticipated Avatar Land

D23ExpoJapanA great deal of Disney fans were left disappointed at the lack of information revealed by the Walt Disney Company at the recent D23 Expo in Anaheim in August. However, fans are buzzing with yesterday’s news, revealed by Walt Disney Parks & Resort Chairman Tom Staggs at the first-ever D23 Expo in Japan. Staggs offered a preview of the highly anticipated Avatar Land under development at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Since it was first publicly announced in September 2011, Avatar Land has had fans and bloggers speculating about when and what exactly it will consist of, as well as the constant rumors that the project had been cancelled completely. But in Japan yesterday, Staggs not only confirmed Avatar Land, but also presented a variety of images of concept art for the new land, which will replace Camp Mickey-Minnie at the theme park. And finally, fans were given an opening date of 2017! (Yes, that’s a long way off, but at least now we have a timeframe for this expansion project!)

An overview of the new Avatar Land

An overview of the new Avatar Land

Here are the details released at the Japan D23 Expo by Tom Staggs:

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.

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.

A look at the incredible new boat ride, designed to showcase the beauty of Pandora at night.

A look at the incredible new boat ride, designed to showcase the beauty of Pandora at night.

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.

Guests will be able to soar into the sky on the backs of a Banshee, in a new attraction that's  expected to emulate the projection movie experience of Epcot's Soarin’ attraction.

Guests will be able to soar into the sky on the backs of a Banshee, in a new attraction that’s expected to emulate the projection movie experience of Epcot’s Soarin’.

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

A new nighttime show centered around the Tree of Life and Discovery River will link the park's icon to the world of Avatar, in which a glowing tree is the focal point of the Na'vi race.

A new nighttime show centered around the Tree of Life and Discovery River will link the park’s icon to the world of Avatar, in which a glowing tree is the focal point of the Na’vi race.

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.

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.

This photo released by Disney shows Imagineer Joe Rohde looking over an Avatar project model with James Cameron (left) and Walt Disney Parks & Resort Chairman Tom Staggs.

This photo shows Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde looking over an Avatar project model with James Cameron (left) and Walt Disney Parks & Resort Chairman Tom Staggs.

We look forward to sharing future details for Avatar Land and other information about changes coming to Animal Kingdom as work progresses on these exciting new projects at the Walt Disney World Resort.

 

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