Fantastic Beasts

Universal Studios has been granted a couple of exciting new patents and they look like they could be for new Harry Potter-themed attractions being planned for their theme parks. Rumors continue to circulate that the Dragon Challenge coaster in Universal Islands of Adventure may be replaced with a new ride (or rides) based on the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Check out these crazy new patents and ponder whether or not they’re for new Fantastic Beasts rides below!

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Na’vi River Journey Avatar Avatarland

Pandora: The World of Avatar opens on May 27, 2017 in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Since “Avatar Land” (as we’ll always call it in our hearts) was first announced by Disney, one of the many selling points involved immersing guests in the world of Pandora, from the floating mountains down to the exotic alien food served at the restaurants. This is expected at this point – Universal’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has redefined food options at theme parks: gone are the cheap bad food choices, replaced with immersive food options that continue to transport guests into another world.

So what will the food of Pandora look like? Let’s take a look at the Avatar Land food below.

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avatar land videos

Oh, man. Theme park construction news grows up so fast. It seems like only yesterday we were scrutinizing blurry images from Walt Disney World’s Pandora – The World of Avatar. Now, full-blown videos walking us through this meticulously designed theme park land have arrived. I feel like I’m waving goodbye to a child as it drives to college, ready to finally complete its transformation from dirt pile to multi-million dollar tourist attraction. Let’s watch the videos below.

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at-at star wars

Construction on Star Wars land is ongoing at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, but we still haven’t seen much in the way of concept art since the Star Wars-themed theme park lands were announced at 2015’s D23 Expo. I’m sure we’ll learn a lot more about Disneyland’s Star Wars Experience (as it is rumored to be called) at D23 Expo in July.

But right now, the construction photos are finally beginning to get exciting now that everything is going vertical. New photographs show structures that appear to be framing for two life-size Galactic Empire Imperial AT-AT Walkers. Let’s check out photos of the Disneyland AT-ATs under construction below.

Update: Disney has released an official video confirming our original AT-AT scoop. Hit the jump for more info.

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avatar land tour

Universal Studio’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter didn’t just transport you to J.K. Rowling’s fantasy world – it transported you to a specific point in the Harry Potter canon, with the events of the attractions taking place at a specific point in the series. Not to be outdone, Walt Disney World’s Pandora: The World of Avatar isn’t just an extension of James Cameron‘s film (and soon to be film series). The entire experience is a sequel in its own right, sliding right into the series’ timeline.

This revelation arrived as Disney started opening the gates to the new theme park land (located in their Animal Kingdom theme park) to a few media outlets. This resulted in a bunch of new footage from the themed area, including a look at the new rides, arriving online.

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avatar ride footage

For the past three years, we’ve slowly watched Walt Disney World’s Pandora: The World of Avatar transform from a giant dirt pile into a jaw-dropping recreation of the alien jungle seen in James Cameron’s Avatar. Now, we’re on the homestretch, flying toward the theme park land’s May 27, 2017 opening, and first footage from the interior of one the area’s two main attractions has arrived online.

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hong kong disneyland marvel ride astro blasters header

While Disney California Adventure is in the middle of renovating Twilight Zone’s Tower Of Terror in Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, work is ongoing to bring Marvel into other Disney theme parks around the globe. Of course, an outstanding deal with Universal Orlando prevents Marvel rides from coming to Walt Disney World, but that isn’t stopping the comic book characters from invading Disney theme parks internationally. Hong Kong Disneyland recently opened up the Iron Man Experience attraction (based on the popular Star Tours ride vehicle). And now we get a first look at Hong Kong Disneyland’s second Marvel ride. Hit the jump to see the concept art and learn more.

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avatar na'vi river journey

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Universal Studios just got a little more expensive.
  • Disney’s latest technological breakthrough is pretty amazing.
  • Watch a new promo for Disneyland Paris’ updated Star Tours.
  • Movie Park Germany debuts a trailer for their new Star Trek roller coaster.
  • A new series of trailers for Pandora: The World of Avatar have arrived.

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Na’vi River Journey Avatar Avatarland

We’ve written before about the ongoing theme park cold war between Disney and Universal Studios, both of whom are battling it out to become the top dog in this industry. Universal took the high ground when it debuted the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but Disney is returning fire with a James Cameron-powered salvo: Pandora: The World of Avatar, which takes the highest grossing film in cinematic history and makes it a physical space you can explore. Honestly, there are no real losers in this conflict: both companies are forced to innovate (we have Star Wars and Nintendo-themed attractions on the horizon next) and we, those who enjoy theme parks, get to reap the rewards.

Even though Pandora is only a few months away from officially opening its gates (and will probably begin soft opening sooner than that), the area’s two main rides remain pretty mysterious. Do two new trailers reveal anything noteworthy?

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

guardians of the galaxy ride

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Disneyland prices just went up. Again.
  • Director James Gunn is working on Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – BREAKOUT!
  • Watch a new trailer for the Avatar-themed Flight of Passage.
  • You will soon be able to meet BB-8 at Walt Disney World.
  • The shark from Universal Studio‘s Jaws ride is taking a little break…
  • And more!

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