In the two years since Walt Disney World announced it would build a new land at Animal Kingdom based on the Avatar movies, the company has remained tight-lipped about details. In fact, such a dearth of information was forthcoming that fan sites speculated the plans had fizzled and would never be built.
But Friday, at a conference in Japan, Tom Staggs, chairman of Disneys parks division, released the first renderings of Avatar land and said it will open in 2017.
The drawings are fanciful and vague on detail, but the mythical world of Pandora will include a ride on banshees large bird-like aerial predators from the movie that are used in battle, hunting and travel.
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, Staggs said.
When Disney first announced the partnership that would allow it to build attractions based on James Camerons 2009 movie as well as sequels due starting in 2016 the company said similar attractions would follow in other Disney parks. No update on other parks was provided with Fridays unveiling.
At the same time, Staggs also said Animal Kingdom will get 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. In addition, the park which has the resorts earliest closing times, typically 5 or 6 p.m. will get nighttime entertainment, including live performers on Discovery Island and a nighttime version of Kilimanjaro safaris.