In Disney news, the media was recently offered a sneak peek into Pandora — The World of Avatar, a new themed area inside Disney World’s Animal Kingdom that’s set to open on May 27. Development of Pandora — The World of Avatar began over five years ago, with construction lasting over three years, but the new 12-acre Avatar-themed area will finally open up to the public on May 27, complete with “extra magic hours,” according to the Disney World website. But before Animal Kingdom visitors experience the all-new Avatar land, Disney let members of the media get a first-hand look at Pandora — The World of Avatar and everything that it has to offer to fans of the Avatar film.
On Saturday, April 29, the Orlando Sentinel took part in the media preview of Pandora — The World of Avatar and gave readers a sneak peek of some of the exhibits, visual effects, futuristic food, rides, and other activities that visitors will get to experience in just over three weeks. Disney is keeping potential visitors updated via news on the Disney World website, and calls Pandora — The World of Avatar a “world beyond belief.” During the recent media preview of Pandora — The World of Avatar, members of the media were able to thoroughly explore the land of Pandora and capture what they learned on video.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Pandora — The World of Avatar offers an enjoyable experience for anyone, even to visitors who haven’t yet watched the hit 2009 James Cameron science fiction film. Expanding on the Pandora universe, a walk through Pandora — The World of Avatar should put to rest any depression that Avatar viewers experienced after the release of the film. CNN wrote in 2010 that some fans of Avatar became depressed and even suicidal after watching the film in theaters. There is even an Avatar fan forum with a thread that’s devoted to helping audiences “cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible.”
The Walt Disney Imagineering team was skeptical that it was even possible to build the world of Pandora and that it was a “crazy thing to try to do,” according to a Pandora — The World of Avatar behind-the-scenes video on the Disney Parks YouTube channel. But the recent media preview of Pandora — the World of Avatar unveiled a finished Disney World attraction that’s true to the movie and puts fans directly into the world of Pandora, with exotic tropical and bioluminescent plants, a floating mountain with glowing fauna and flora, cascading waterfalls, futuristic tastes and flavors, and two rides: the River Journey, a boat ride, and Flight of Passage, a simulator attraction.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Pandora — The World of Avatar is actually set “about a generation after the conflict in the film,” and shows Pandora after the war in the Avatar film, as it would look during rehabilitation.
Sighting of the Na’Vi are reportedly rare throughout Pandora — the World of Avatar, but MovieWeb shared that the “really big” Flight of Passage thrill ride gives visitors a look at a “very creepy animatronic” Na’Vi, while waiting in line to take a 3D ride the back of a mountain Banshee.
Disney describes Pandora — The World of Avatar as an expedition for “adventurers of all ages,” with memories that will “last long after” guests have left. According to Blastr, Pandora — The World of Avatar is an “interactive experience that changes from day to night.” Avatar producer Jon Landau said in an interview on Travel Weekly that there are not even signs to the rides, an intentional choice that lets visitors “explore and discover” on their own.
Less than a day ago, Walt Disney World released a map of Pandora — The World of Avatar on WDWMagic, and five days ago released first-look photos of merchandise coming to Pandora — The World of Avatar. Orlando Weekly also shared what the name tags will look like for Pandora — The World of Avatar employees, and die-hard Avatar fans will be excited to learn that release dates have finally been set for the four Avatar sequels, starting with the release of Avatar 2 on December 18, 2020, as previously reported by Variety.
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