** Update **
After breaking ground on the Pandora/Avatar project in January of this year, Disney’s $400+ million upgrade is moving along as expected. They plan on 0penning in 2017 and it will feature at least two major attractions set against a luminescent landscape where the fictional Na’vi tribe inhabit the moon Pandora.
**UPDATE** Construction has begun for Pandora at the Magic Kingdom. Friday, January 10th, they broke out the big blue shovels and got to work.
When James Cameron’s hit movie, Avatar, made its debut in 2009 the nation was buzzing in anticipation of what it would be like. And fans were not disappointed. Avatar dazzled both the young and old. It was the kind of movie that thought outside the box. Seriously outside!
Pandora was the home of the tall and blue skinned Na’Vi. Disney plans to build an expansion to Animal Kingdom that is modeled after Pandora. THAT is a huge and ambitious undertaking. Building a jungle of bioluminescent plants is absolutely within the type of thing Disney could pull off. Here’s more: “Other than the color, the trees resemble those of Earth. They have the familiar trunks, branches and leaves, though due to the difference in planetary gravity, many of the shapes appear strange to humans and the proportions are greater because of the lower gravity. The trees and plant life of Pandora have formed electrochemical connections between their roots and effectively act as neurons, creating a planet-wide “brain” that has achieved sentience.”
Plus, remember the strange animals? Mountain banshees that the Na’vi would ride in the sky, viperwolves, thick skinned hammerhead titanotheres, and of course the thanator! Disney will also be adding new entertainment experiences including a night show with music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.
This new “Avatar Land” (final name yet to be announced) will open in 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort’s Animal Kingdom.
Avatar is the highest grossing movie of all time worldwide at $2.7 billion. Plus, if you didn’t already know, three sequels are planned to be released in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
The addition of the world of Pandora to Disney’s theme park in Florida will be huge. The kind of huge that will make all theme parks jealous of the buzz that will be created. It will also help draw more tourists, fill more restaurants, book more hotel rooms, and sell more timeshares. Disney has a timeshare development at the Animal Kingdom. One of the best selling timeshare projects of Disney Vacation Club, the Animal Kingdom has the thematic resort notion hammered into place. Imagine the sales of timeshares at the Animal Kingdom resort once the Avatar/Pandora section opens in 2017! A sales persons’ dream. I bet the prices for Disney Vacation Club memberships will be higher that year as well. That’s just part of the “Magic”!