'Avatar'-Themed Virtual World Comes To Orlando

'Avatar'-Themed Virtual World Comes To Orlando
January 2, 2017

Next summer, the long-awaited "Avatar"-themed park, Pandora, will open at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.


"Pandora: The World of Avatar," which will be in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, will take fans to the home of the Na’vi world introduced in James Cameron’s 2009 movie “Avatar.”


Christmas Day, Disney released a new video showing off more of the park’s development.


We've rounded up everything we know about the upcoming park. Keep reading to take a peek at how Pandora will look when it opens in 2017.


Construction first began on the Avatar-inspired land at Disney World in 2014.

"Avatar" character Jake Sully breaks ground for Pandora at Disney World along with Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts along with other leaders at the parks and Lightstorm Entertainment. Disney Parks


It's being designed by Disney Imagineers and director James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment.

In February 2015, Disney Parks showed off the first concept art for the park which will transform Disney's Animal Kingdom into the world of Pandora.

Director James Cameron has been working closely with Disney to bring the world to life from his imagination.

James Cameron looking over a miniature model of the upcoming "Avatar"-themed land in Disney World.Disney Parks


The park will consist of hundreds of plants such as this one.

In 2015, Disney Parks showed off a cool carpet that will change colors as guests walk across it.

Here it is with the lights both on and off. Disney Parks


Here's a closer look at it lit up in the dark. Look at how the carpet reacts when weight is placed on it.



This looks like it will be part of the park's bioluminescent forest it teased in 2013. Here's a rendering for it at nighttime.

And here's how that will look in the daytime.

One of the rides in Pandora will take you on the back of a mountain banshee, the giant bird-like creatures the Na'vi ride in "Avatar."

Here's a look at the motion simulator ride behind the scenes. It will be called "Avatar: Flight of Passage."

It will allow guests to ride upon banshees with flying scenes shown on screens, similar to Disney's "Soarin'" ride. According to Variety, vehicles will move along to the action in a theater.

"Riding the ikranay is a thrill," says Cameron. "You're gonna plunge, you're gonna dive, you're gonna see the world flying through it."

Here's concept art for a boat ride through the Na'vi's world at night.

"The Na'vi River Journey is this beautiful, lyrical ride into the bioluminescent forest," says Disney Imagineering senior VP of creative Joe Rhode.

Here are the floating mountains in "Avatar" the movie.

The Disney Imagineers will make it appear as if they're floating up high.

Those won't be the only things to see in Pandora. The main restaurant will be named Satu'li Canteen and will also have Na'vi art and cultural items.

A store called Windtraders will sell science kits in addition to toys and other Na'vi items.

Pongu Pongu will serve other themed drinks in Pandora.

You can watch the latest behind-the-scenes video for "Pandora: The World of Avatar" below. The park will open in Animal Kingdom some time in summer 2017.

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