Drone provides Aerial Video of Avatar Construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Update: The drone owner has decided to take down his channel after receiving a lot of blow-back.

animal-kingdom-avatar-drone

A YouTube channel called Your Flying Camera has added a drone flyover of the Avatar – World of Pandora expansion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In it you can clearly see that vertical construction has begun on one of the two main rides, as well as the giant cliff/wall that will hide the show buildings from the main guest portion of the land.

If you look at the image above, the the large cement slab with what looks like a pool is expected to eventually house the indoor/outdoor boat attraction that will take you into the bio-luminescent night-time world of the planet Pandora. The build at the top of the image will house four theaters with motion platforms that will take you flying over the planet. If you look close in the upper right you can see some of the foundations that have been laid to hold the giant ‘floating rocks’ that the concept art made famous.

It’s great to get this footage, but I don’t recommend you do this with your drone. I’m sure Disney frowns on this, for both worker safety and secrecy reasons. But that said, you’re not seeing much more here than you would in a helicopter fly-by and a good long range lens. So I am happy to share the video with you. With all of the Avatar construction taking place well-away from guest areas, aerial photography is about the only way we can get updates on the project.

What are your expectations for when Avatar opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Do you think it will be a game changer for the park and Walt Disney World?

Previously: Concept art for Avatar-land and concept video.

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9 thoughts on “Drone provides Aerial Video of Avatar Construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  1. Hank Scorpio

    If the Disney Imagineers fulfill just half the potential of such a visually stunning project as bringing the make-believe world of Pandora to life, it will definitely be a game changer for AK. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

    Floating mountains? Vegetation that lights up at night? What’s not to like?

    1. Tom

      I love the idea of AK’s Pandora *personally*, but worry about it *financially*.
      *Personally, I love the idea. Sounds like a place my 5-year old will love to walk through, bringing new nightlife to AK, and something that Disney does best but has rarely been seen lately in their parks: ‘Architectural and aesthetic beauty’. I can’t wait to go!

      *Financially tho, it’s a very, VERY big question-mark.
      The problem: If the very expensive upcoming Avatar sequels flop hard(ala John Carter), or even if the Pandora craze simply dies down a bit, I think people will question why Disney spent SO much time, money, and space in their parks on a James Cameron movie, while the 2 properties that look virtually destined to rule the movie/toy world for at least the next decade(Star Wars and Marvel Superheroes), are both owned by Disney, yet neither have a real presence in their parks. Everybody knows if we were doing this over, Star Wars and Marvel deserve this kind of land/push in the Disney Parks. But we’re already too far into Pandora to turn around now…so here’s hoping it all works out, and kids eventually want to buy Pandora toys and shirts as much as they do darth vader and iron man.

      I guess good for disney tho. They chose emotion over financials, Pandoric beauty and disney park imagineering over the almighty dollar. And that’s a good thing, I think………

  2. Toby Tyler

    This activity of flying a drone over key tourist destinations is now illegal with new regulations that were recently announced by the FAA. In addition, there is a no-fly zone over the Disney parks as outlined by the Homeland Security Administration. Even flying a helicopter over a Disney park is illegal. This isn’t about Disney not frowning on you for,doing this. They can actually go after you legally.

      1. Toby Tyler

        That is correct at the moment but the FAA is expected to have the law expanded by this fall to include non-commercial drones as well. Regardless it is illegal to fly anything over Disney parks since the 9/11 laws were passed governing no-fly zones over key tourist areas like Disney

  3. DisneyDad

    It’s illegal. Period.
    “On October 27, 2014 the FAA issued three Permanent Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) creating restrictions for the airspace surrounding major sporting events and the Disney properties in Anaheim CA and Orlando FL. The new flight restrictions permanently prohibit the operation of unmanned and radio-controlled model aircraft within roughly 3.5 miles of both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks. The restrictions are also in place for a period of one hour before and one hour after major sporting events.”

    http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_4_3635.html

  4. JBird

    Yes there is a NOTAM to restrict flying over Disney parks, but someone didn’t read the fine print:
    “THE RESTRICTIONS DO NOT APPLY TO THOSE AIRCRAFT AUTHORIZED BY AND IN CONTACT WITH ATC FOR OPERATIONAL OR SAFETY OF FLIGHT PURPOSES, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND AIR AMBULANCE FLIGHT OPERATIONS. FLIGHTS CONDUCTED FOR OPERATIONAL PURPOSES OF ANY DISNEYLAND EVENT AND VENUE ARE AUTHORIZED WITH AN APPROVED WAIVER. AN FAA AIRSPACE WAIVER DOES NOT RELIEVE OPERATORS FROM OBTAINING ALL OTHER NECESSARY AUTHORIZATIONS AND COMPLYING WITH ALL APPLICABLE FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATIONS.”

    So all you have to do is contact Orlando Approach and they will allow you to fly through Disney airspace with Flight Following on the radio frequency.

Comments are closed.