Some people love Disney‘s Animal Kingdom while others just look on it with a quiet indifference. It is rare that it evokes much emotion from those who are not fans of this beautifully themed park. That may change soon as it becomes more and more apparent that Avatar’s Pandora will be coming to the park in full force. Regardless of how you feel James cameron’s movie Avatar, there is no denying the beauty of Pandora and the simple fact that if anyone can make it come to life it is imagineering.
The question on everyone’s mind has been not can but should it be done. It now seems apparent that regardless of the “should” statement it is going ahead full steam. Construction walls are appearing all over Animal Kingdom in seemingly direct relation to the rumoured locations of Pandora and with the release from Japan’s D23 expo we can see the level of commitment that Imagineering has agreed upon which will change the face of Animal Kingdom permanently.
The images below show both the level of detail and the in depth theming Imagineering is planning on committing to.
The plans will include live performers, interactive areas to explore, rides and shows. In addition, imagineering will be adding a nighttime show to the park, which withe the necessity of darkness to truly enjoy the theming of pandora will no doubt see the park staying open significantly later that it currently is scheduled to be open.
The show, coming to Discovery river will include floating lanterns, water screens,live music and swirling animal imagery. If the pictures are to be an indication there may also be the bioluminescence of Pandora invading the Tree of Life. Disney has also stated they will remain open on the evening and add a night time version of their now very popular Kilimanjaro Safaris. However you feel about the introduction of Pandora to Animal Kingdom, there is no mistaking that this will bring new life to the park and more visitors. Whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen as the walls come down and Pandora becomes explorable.
The lifespan of the Avatar IP will also have a huge effect on this expansion, with James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment pushing for at least two more films rounding out the Pandora saga, the popularity of it will all hing on box-office numbers. Until then, despite many concerns and many public wishes (scrap Avatar-land and bring Star Wars-land instead being the most popular) Disney is now seemingly fully committed to making Pandora a physical reality.
We shall see what the future holds for this land. Until then start practicing your Banshee riding and we will see you at Hellsgate.