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First Look: AVATAR to Come to Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

From the moment AVATAR was released, people were captivated by the mythical world of Pandora. When we announced that we’d be working with James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment to bring this world to life in our parks, we felt certain that this partnership and combination of talent and imagination would produce an experience unlike any other ever created.
Artist Rendering of AVATAR-Themed Land During the Day, Coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

Our combined team has taken huge steps forward in “imagineering” Pandora as a real place for our guests to see, hear and touch. At the first-ever D23 Expo in Japan, we shared an early glimpse of the plans for AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park and I wanted to share some of these breathtaking images and a short preview of what’s to come with all of you.
Artist Rendering of AVATAR-Themed Land at Night, Coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

As these concept renderings show in epic scale, in the world of AVATAR guests will encounter awe-inspiring floating mountains and wander through a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants that are alive with light and sound. Guests will also discover what it feels like to soar into the sky riding a Banshee.
Guests Will Discover What it Feels Like to Soar into the Sky Riding a Banshee When AVATAR Comes to Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

And the new AVATAR-inspired land won’t be the only change coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Live Performers on Discovery Island Will be Part of New Entertainment Experiences Available to Guests as Part of Expansion at Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

As part of the largest expansion in the history of the park, we’ll be adding all-new entertainment experiences, including a new nighttime spectacular where live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery all combine to bring a show to Discovery River that will delight our guests and truly cap off their day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The park will introduce more nighttime entertainment as well, including live performers on Discovery Island (pictured above) and a new nighttime version of the Kilimanjaro Safaris.
James Cameron, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs and Imagineer Joe Rohde View a Model of the AVATAR-Themed Land Coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

As the world of AVATAR becomes real at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the energy and passion shared by our Imagineers and the Lightstorm team for this monumental task continues to be remarkable. I can’t wait to see the reactions of our guests as they step into a world that until now has only existed on the screen.

We look forward to sharing more details in the future here on the Disney Parks Blog.

See more updates on the AVATAR-themed expansion coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the posts below:


  • This is the coolest addition to anything in Orlando for years, awesome!!!

  • This should be a fantastic addtion to the Animal Kingdom Park, my favorite WDW Park.

  • I’m such a Disney nerd. I’m even going there for Christmas, something I wish everyone to do at least once in their lives.
    Merry Christmas everyone!

  • I see where the Disney exec posted a reply to the schedule question, but not the “I thought Animal Kingdom always closed earlier for the animals” question. Can we get an answer to this question?

  • Personally I LOVE DISNEY and go all the time. I have NEVER EVER been dissapointed by anything Disney has ever done and I love Avatar so this for me is fabulous! Plus it makes animal kingdom a full day which is way better. I can’t wait til next year when I come and bring my 2 year old- hopefully it will be open – but if not it will just give me another excuse to go again!

  • Animal Kingdom is already my favorite themed park, I can’t wait for this.

  • Amazing stuff!!!! Very happy to see the Magic & Tech Wizardry returning BACK at WDW where it belongs!

  • WOW! Thank you for this preview of what is to come. You weren’t kidding when you kindly replied to me in your post about Iron Man coming to Hong Kong that details on Avatar would be released very soon.

    The video added to the Parks Blog earlier today showed off even more of what an impressive land this looks to be. Very excited to see it all come reality.

    I’m also anxious to hear more about what types of rides that may be included as time goes on. Based on the above, it sounds like a thrill based Banshee ride and a boat ride. Will the Banshee ride use a new type of ride system for Disney Parks?

  • So it will be 2017 for all the new additions? Even the night time addition of Kilimanjaro Safari and night time entertainment?

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