Disney first announced in 2011 that a new land inspired by Avatar, the record-breaking film from James Cameron, was heading to Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom park. The planning stage took quite a bit of time because both Cameron and Disney’s Imagineers wanted to get it right. Construction is now underway, as the ambitious new themed-area is set to open in 2017. After the break, watch a video marking the beginning of construction, where we see hints of what is to come!
In a new video posted by the Disney Parks Blog, Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, along with Jon Landau, producer of Avatar, discuss the upcoming expansion to Animal Kingdom. If you have seen the concept art (below), you can understand the ambitious nature of the planned attractions as well as the theming. From the “floating mountains” and night-time transformation of the area, it will be a wonder to behold if Disney can get it right. From what we have seen from the recent addition of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure, I have no doubt that Imagineers are up to the task.
Looking at Cars Land, and how it functions during the day and night, gives us an idea about how this Avatar-inspired land might work. The beautiful new California Adventure area is breathtaking at night, as it almost becomes an entirely new experience, making it a must-see during both the early and late hours. Whether the upcoming addition will utilize similar technology to Cars Land remains to be seen.
If you look closely at the video above, we see a piece of concept art we have seen before, where a family is walking through the area with mountains floating in the distance. Directly after it, though, we see the same spot, except at night. There is a bit of animation at work here, too, as we see the ground illuminated where the humans step, and the plant-life appears to move. The night scenes in Avatar were some of the most jaw-dropping because of the sheer number of gorgeous colors on the screen and the way the characters interacted with the plant-life. It was one of the best things about the film and bringing it to the park is a no-brainer, but will no doubt take an incredible amount of technology and creativity to successfully capture.
The Avatar expansion is set to open in 2017!