In January 2014, construction began on a major update to Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. Disney is working on a new land based on the 2009 hit James Cameron film, “Avatar”. The new land will be located between Africa and the Oasis. It will include and expand past the current Camp Minnie-Mickey area. Few details were known about the new addition until the D23 Expo 2015 this year when Disney’s Imagineering revealed a close-up look to a select audience. Here are some of the highlights from their preview.
The story line behind the new Avatar-themed land is that guests are on a trip to the alien planet, operated by Alpha Centuri Expeditions or ACE. Award-winning Avatar producer, Jon Landau appeared as the founder of ACE, Marshall Lamm, in a special 2-minute video at the D23 booth’s entrance. Visitors also received pamphlets with information about future expeditions. The pamphlets revealed a lot about Disney’s plans for the new park in a fun, thematic way.
Some planned attractions and rides are:
- A Pirates of the Caribbean-like water ride.
- A flying simulation ride called “The Flight of Passage”, which will serve as the centerpiece of Pandora: The World of Avatar. Guests will “climb up the mountains of Pandora in the queue before entering the show building where they will take off from the cliff on a Banshee and “discover what it feels like to soar into the sky”.
- Walk through a bioluminescent jungle experience.
- At night, the Tree of Life will be transformed into the Mother Tree from Avatar using electronics and light projections during a new nighttime spectacular experience.
- Another attraction known only as “the boar ride” is described as “fluid, romantic, lyrical” and “emotional”. Guests will be taken through a bioluminescent forest populated by animatronic animals.
The new expansion includes a big emphasis on nighttime entertainment and introduces many new nightlife specific attractions, such as a nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris and live performers on Discovery Island. The entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a kind theme park. A “Rivers of light” show opening next Spring combines live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery for an experience “unlike anything ever seen in Disney parks”.
No dates have been announced, but guests can still check out Walt Disney World Resort by purchasing your discount attraction tickets at tickets2you.com!