When Disney parks chair Tom Staggs announced a partnership with James Cameron to bring Avatar to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I sort of assumed that Cameron and his production partner Jon Landau had already toured the park with its chief creative influence Joe Rohde. Apparently, they had not. That tour happened on Monday with those four, along with Meg Crofton (in white jacket) and other Disney managers, exploring the future home of Avatar at Walt Disney World.
“Getting the chance to roll up my sleeves and explore Disney’s Animal Kingdom from the inside out was a phenomenal experience,” said James Cameron. “As I walked through the park, I kept imagining Pandora coming to life all around me and found my mind racing with all the possibilities of what we will be able to create in the years ahead. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is truly a remarkable place and I can’t think of a better home for our first Avatar experience.”
Construction of the first Avatar-themed land is expected to begin as soon as late 2012. However, I still haven’t heard what site they’re considering for the expansion.
“We do a significant amount of work at the beginning of our projects to ensure that the final experience has the attention to detail, theme and uniqueness for which Disney is known,” said Tom Staggs. “Today’s visit is an important step in the creative process and we are excited about getting started on what will be a spectacular addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.”
In the above photo Rohde, Staggs, and Cameron are seen on the Wild Africa Trek an up-charge experience available at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I don’t know a Disney fan who wouldn’t give up something substantial to get the full tour of the park from Rohde.
“Avatar and Disney’s Animal Kingdom share a common bond in that they both focus on adventures that will radically change your perspective. They call you to take action on behalf of nature wherever it may be found,” said Joe Rohde. “This is a rare opportunity to collaborate with Jim, who has an incredible eye for detail and a passion for doing things that haven’t been done before.”
Read our previous coverage of Avatar-land on The Disney Blog.