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New Avatar-land concept art and video from James Cameron and Joe Rohde


Early Saturday morning here in Orlando, but mid-day Japan time at the first D23 expo in that country, Disney revealed big news with the first concept art for the new AVATAR land coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2017. Today they’ve released the video James Cameron and Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde filmed for the D23 announcement.

It highlights the creative work underway on the AVATAR-inspired land coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The promise the new AVATAR-inspired land will be a transformational experience that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Sounds pretty good to me, what do you think?

Make sure you watch through. At the 3:00 mark there’s a preview of the ‘Soarin’ over Pandora’ attraction in pre-viz mode and then some wow moment bio-luminescence technology.

A few interesting frame caps from the video are below with my comments:

Pretty much a who’s who of Disney and Imagineering in this picture. Among the big hitters are: Disney CEO Bob Iger between Joe and James; to Joe’s right is Meg Crofton, President of Disney Domestic Parks (& Paris), Bruce Vaughn a VP from WDI and Disney Parks chair Thomas Staggs. This section of the model shows what looks like a base on the left and on the right is some sort of structure. Maybe a crashed ship. There are a additional pieces of concept art up on the wall. If this is the final model, it certainly looks like they’re ground ready.


Behind James here is another view of the model we saw in the earlier post. This appears to have Discovery River in the front of it with the bridge into the land just on the left edge (behind that wall). Gives you an idea of how impressive the floating rock structure will be. Should be around 150 ft tall (almost as tall as the Tree of Life)


Another view of the same model.


This is another angle of the floating rock structure and some paths leading into and out of the show building for the two main attractions of Avatarland. Note how lush the environment is and how many plants there are. It does look like they’ll work native plants into the feel of Pandora. Your visit to Pandora will occur chronologically after the ‘liberation’ that happens at end of the movie. So it looks like we’re seeing some ruins spread about.


We already saw the daytime version of this concept art. But here they’re showing how the whole area will transform at night with even your footsteps illuminating patterns on the ground. This is obviously the greatest potential of the new land if they can pull it off, and the biggest potential letdown if they can’t.


Now that you’ve heard what Joe Rohde is expecting to delivery, do you feel any different about Avatarland?

4 thoughts on “New Avatar-land concept art and video from James Cameron and Joe Rohde”

  1. I still don’t see the correlation between Disney’s Animal Kingdom & Avatar. I don’t think Avatar has nearly the longevity that say Star Wars or Harry Potter over at Universal has. It’s been a few years since Avatar and honestly as much as I enjoyed the film, its merely a forgotten film for me. Haven’t seen it again since.

    This reminds me of alot of attractions that Disney has simply “jumped the shark” as they say. Attractions like American Idol and Who wants to be a Millionaire? have simply been short fads that don’t gain much popularity in the parks.

    I think considering the investment Disney is thinking of making to create Avatar land, this is quite a leap of faith for them. In the end I think it may be interesting but if they expect to get the reaction Universal did with Harry Potter they are sadly mistaken. This appears to be the next disney attraction flop even if the imagineering is great. They better hope James Cameron’s new sequels are amazing.. thats all they’re riding on.

    Am I the only one who wonders why they don’t use some of their old cartoons from the vault? Bring back Robin hood, Tarzan or Jungle Book! Even some Wall-E would work with all the Environmental Awareness in the park. It’s sad that these wonderful old Disney CLassic get lost and forgotten… especially in this generation.

  2. Stuff like this makes me confused why people love Disney World. This has NOTHING disney related. Though thats how I feel about disney world now either way so. they can do w/e weird things they want to DW and hopefully they learn some awesome technique they can use on Disneyland so we can have a better more true Disney experience there.

  3. Quick query….

    With the idea of being able to explore Pandora at night, this would mean Animal Kingdom staying open a lot later than we are used to.

    Does anyone know if Disney has put out figures or costs on the money they will have to spend on the rest of the park to make it a nighttime friendly park eg. lights, safer pathways, transport, parking etc?

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