Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens May 27 at Walt Disney World Resort. The all-new land will immerse us in a mystical world of floating mountains, bio-luminescent rain forests and breathtaking new experiences.
Pandora-The World of Avatar
The largest addition in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora carries on the parks tradition of celebrating the intrinsic value of nature, transformation through adventure and a personal call to action.
Based on Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron’s record-breaking box-office hit, AVATAR, the new land will welcome you to the lush world of Pandora. The dramatic daytime beauty of the land transforms each night when bio-luminescent flora and intricate nighttime experiences add a dreamlike quality to Pandora.
Pandora – The World of Avatar is a creative collaboration of Walt Disney Imagineering, Cameron and Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.
“We are taking guests on a journey to this world in an experience that’s as realistic and immersive as possible,” says Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. “In the movie, the world of Pandora is a setting for the action and characters whose story we follow. Here, guests are the primary characters immersed in an extremely vivid, authentic experience.”
What to Expect
Guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will cross the Discovery River into Pandora – The World of Avatar, and continue along a winding rain forest path for their first glimpse of the land’s iconic floating mountains.
“When guests come across the bridge, they are transferred light-years away, to the Alpha-Centauri solar system and Pandora,” says Jon Landau, AVATAR producer, Lightstorm Entertainment. “It’s an otherworldly, fully themed experience.”
As guests explore the verdant terrain sprawling beneath mountains that appear to float in the sky, they see waterfalls cascading down the mountainside into meandering streams and pools, and they discover two thrilling new expeditions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey.
Avatar Flight of Passage
Avatar Flight of Passage launches guests on an exhilarating, wind-in-your-face experience on a winged mountain banshee over the awe-inspiring world of Pandora. Guests will feel the banshee breathe beneath them as they soar through the forest and past floating mountains. What was a rite of passage for Na’vi in Cameron’s film becomes a multi-sensory experience for guests seeking the ultimate adventure – a faceoff with the most feared predator of Pandora, the Great Leonopteryx.
Na’vi River Journey
On the family friendly Na’vi River Journey, guests travel down a sacred river deep into a bio-luminescent rain forest. The eight-seat reed boats float past exotic glowing plants and Pandoran creatures into the midst of a musical Na’vi ceremony. The mystical journey culminates in an encounter with a breathtakingly realistic Na’vi Shaman of Songs who is deeply connected with Pandora’s life force and sends positive energy through her music into the forest.
“The Pandora landscape will be alive with creatures,” Rohde says. “We’re bringing to life everything from the largest creature you might encounter to the most microscopic. Animals will appear out of the underbrush – big Pandoran animals will appear at the edge of the forest and you’ll hear the very complicated calls they issue back and forth.”
Dining and Shopping
The artful storytelling in Pandora continues as guests stop for sustenance at the land’s Satu’li Canteen (pronounced “Sa-too-lee”), a Quonset-hut-style building. The fast-casual restaurant is inspired the healthful bounty of Pandora – wholesome grains, fresh vegetables, and hearty proteins. Guests can grab a drink at nearby Pongu Pongu.
Windtraders is a shopper’s delight where guests can choose from Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more.
Authenticity and realism were drivers in the creation of Pandora, and the result is a world beyond belief.
“The attractions have very deliberate emotional moments crafted into them, the way a good story does, the way a good film does.” Rohde says. “It’s not as simple as just coming to a place that looks realistic. It’s a place that’s been deliberately imbued with the emotions of awe, of wonder, of respect, of harmony.”
I am so excited to see this land come alive, especially at night. What are you looking forward to in Pandora?