It has been a while since we visited Pandora in WDW. Since the ground breaking in 2014 of Walt Disney World‘s Pandora Project, fans of both Disney Parks and The Avatar films (yes there are more coming) have been waiting to see what Imagineers will come up with.
The initial images we all saw with concept art were spectacular and had everyone wondering if it may in fact be possible to bring the spectacular (seemingly drug induced) world of Pandora to life.
Disney has released another piece of concept art showing the “weenie” for the area of the land as well as a very in-depth yet short video of Imagineers and Avatar director James Cameron looking over some of the R&D that will be used for the park. This includes a model of the land itself, full-scale plant life, and bio-luminescent flooring that actually records and simulates guest’s footsteps. What does all of this equate to? Some serious tech being put into the park, which will be needed if they are going to build the world of Pandora while retaining the magic and tranquillity of the Animal Kingdom (the land’s parent park).
This is the first time that Disney has allowed this kind of “on set” development to be seen while a park/land is being created. Disney seems to be finally embracing the idea that guests want to see it being built, as this is how Walt originally pitched Disneyland. These “insider looks” into the development are no longer seen as spoilers but as a way of wetting the appetites of future guests and building momentum for the project.
With the promise (and proof) of bio-luminescent plants and ground interactions, water and jungle areas, new eateries with Pandora themed meals, and lands, it will be interesting to see how much space this land will actually acquire. We have not even mentioned the rides, which are still being kept under wraps. The only hint given so far id the rumour of a Sourin‘ style ride on Banshees over and through Pandora. While not a BtT Team favourite, this style ride has kept long queues filled over in Walt Disney World‘s EPCOT for years, so it stands to reason that the tech would be used for this kind of environment. Keeping most rides indoors is an obvious choice in Pandora as well so as not to disturb the neighbouring animals of Africa and Asia.
Our initial scepticism are slowly being cast aside as despite our feeling for the Avatar films (many of our staff worked on the actual film) we are slowly not only accepting the idea of the Pandora Project, but actually looking forward to visiting. Time will tell if Cameron’s world will ring as true and lifelike as it did in the film but we are now at least holding out hope… as long as they don’t ask us to mine for Unobtanium, because no one can do that with a straight face.