Disney’s Animal Kingdom park at Walt Disney World opened over 16 years ago, back in 1998, making fans eager for changes to the animal-themed theme park. Last year, Disney officially announced that a new land was heading to Animal Kingdom, one that would be inspired by the fictional (and stunning) Pandora seen in James Cameron’s Avatar, which had many referring to the addition as Avatar Land. We do not know many details about the Avatar attractions that are on the way, but Bob Iger opened up a bit and provided some new details. See what he had to say after the break!
Speaking at Variety’s annual Dealmakers Breakfast, Iger expanded on what one of the attractions will feel like. We have seen glimpses and heard tiny details about a ride that will recreate the experience of riding on the massive Banshees seen in the film, but if Disney Imagineers wanted to transport guests to Pandora, something massive was needed. Variety reports that Iger recently had the opportunity to ride an early version of the attraction and was impressed, commenting, “It felt so real, so lifelike,” and “There’s never been anything like it.”
The vessels that guests will ride upon will essentially be the banshees themselves, with bodies that move to mimic a breathing beast. The flying sequences will be brought to life through large video screens — similar to “Soarin’” — with vehicles moving with the 3D action inside a massive theater.
Confirming rumors, it sounds like this attraction will essentially be Soarin’ on steroids, with groups of guests placed onto/inside vehicles modeled after the Banshees, and will move in ways that the massive flying creatures would. Apparently, the scale of the attraction is so massive that Iger had to “scale scaffolding in order to try out the ride for the first time.”
This Avatar Land has the potential to dramatically change Disney’s Animal Kingdom. One of the biggest shifts will be that the park’s hours will be extended so visitors can experience the new area of the park at night, when the gorgeous colors seen in the film will take hold throughout the themed land. It is a significant change to the park, which will have guests lining up to explore it. If the Imagineers can capture some of the magic they extended to Cars Land in Disney California Adventure, we will be in for a treat.
The Avatar-themed land is slated to open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2016. Stay tuned for many more details as they are released.