pandora

Construction Begins on Avatar-Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom was originally envisioned as a full day park. Designers had included a large section of the park devoted to imaginary animals of the beastly kingdom. This land would have giant coasters, flying beasts, family friendly attractions, and really allow the Imagineers imaginations to go wild with the possibilities. Sadly, the budget for that area was cut and left to the dustbin of history.

But Disney has always known it would need to add to DAK eventually. If you look at the details for Avatarland, we are getting something close to the original idea for a land of fantasy creatures (just without the giant coaster, which ended up at Islands of Adventure when some Imagineers let go by Disney took their ideas to Universal). Just not the fantasy creatures you were expecting.

What’s clear is that DAK needs to expand its offerings into the night and that Pandora: The Worlds of Avatar (or whatever the name is these days) can be a big part of that. Just look at that concept art above. The potential of bio-luminescence is amazing. I don’t think Imagineers would release that art if they didn’t know they could pull it off. I urge fans who still have questions about Disney’s decision to partner with James Cameron and his Avatar movies to give Disney’s team a chance to add something amazing to DAK.

You really don’t have a choice anyway, as Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion makes it all as official as it gets in the world of Disney anyway.Read More »Construction Begins on Avatar-Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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

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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:

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

Avatar Revealed in New Concept Art and Model for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Disney Parks Chair Tom Staggs was the first to reach out to Director James Cameron with the idea to bring the worlds of Avatar to life at Disney’s theme parks. At Japan’s D23 event, Staggs shared the most details yet about the exciting plans for the first Avatar-land to be built at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Currently scheduled to open in 2017, Avatar will take guests to the mythical world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s Avatar. The awe-inspiring land of floating mountains, bio-luminescence rainforests and soaring Banshees will become real for Disney guests to see, hear and touch. The Avatar-inspired land will be part of the largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history.

Four pieces of concept art and one photo of Staggs, Cameron and Imagineer Joe Rohde were published. These appear to confirm many of the rumors about the land, including the presence of a boat ride and an emphasis on the bioluminescent glowing plants night effects that wowed so many in the movies. Guests will also be able to soar into the sky on the backs of a Banshee. The latter, is expected to be a motion platform projection movie experience similar to Soarin’ but with the latest digital technology (and most-likely 3D).

Avatar_8Read More »Avatar Revealed in New Concept Art and Model for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Festival of the Lion King Relocation Plans Revealed

Back in August we had the news that the most popular and best rated show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and, quite possibly, on property, the Festival of the Lion King, was scheduled to move to a new location. The biggest open questions where when and where. We now know the where and it’s likely the when will come soon.

FotLK had to move to make way for Avatar, which will be coming to where Camp Minnie Mickey is now. Cast members were notified that it would shuttering early in 2013, but so far there hasn’t been much progress as to how the move would be made.

In paperwork filed with the Florida water district management agency, we now know that the FotLK theater will be moved to a new plot of land in Africa. It will be to your left as you cross over the bridge, behind the Tusker House restaurant. Imagineers have been spotted in the area taking a few measurements. So its possible work on fencing in and clearing the plot could begin any day now.

Read More »Festival of the Lion King Relocation Plans Revealed

Avatar Model

Avatar On Track for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Three years ago today Avatar debuted on the big screen and changed the way cinema was experienced forever. It might take 3 more years before it opens, but we did get confirmation that a project that would build Avatar’s Pandora is still on track for… Read More »Avatar On Track for Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Leaked Avatar Plans

Avatar Plans for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Leaked

Your typical HVAC plan for a building isn’t all that exciting. There are color overlays showing which rooms will be cooled or heated by which unit. But when the building will be home to one of the most anticipated, not to mention heavily debated, new… Read More »Avatar Plans for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Leaked