Its been a while since we’ve done a proper Theme Park Bits round-up, so we have a lot to share with you. Here are some of the stories we’ll be talking about today:
- A tease of the Na’vi Animatronics from Avatar Land
- See photos of Avatar Land‘s construction
- New Footage and concept art from Star Wars Land
- Watch a preview of Soarin Around The World and learn when you’ll be able to ride it
- Finding Dory characters will be added to EPCOT attraction
- Watch sneak preview of Animal Kingdom‘s new Tree of Life and Rivers of Light night-time shows
- A first look at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, which will include Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman rides
- A look at Universal Studios Japan’s walking dinosaurs from Jurassic Park
- Universal Orlando raises annual price passes
All this and more, after the jump.
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Update: New details have been revealed about the Pandora: The World of Avatar rides. Get the new info and see some concept art after the jump.
At the last D23 Expo in 2013, Disney didn’t have much to reveal about Disney World’s upcoming theme park land based on James Cameron‘s epic Avatar franchise, offering just a vague tease of props and photos from Imagineering’s research scout to Pandora.
In February we got a bit more information when Walt Disney Imagineering released a video of the filmmaker visiting the Bioluminescent Forrest behind closed doors. Later that year, Disney finally revealed their plans and concept art for the upcoming project, with construction begining on Pandora in January 2014 in Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando Florida.
At D23 Expo 2015, Walt Disney Imagineering finally let fans get a close-up look at what they’re planning for Avatar Land. Hit the jump to see photos from the show floor exhibit and learn more about the upcoming theme park land.
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For years we’ve just referred to it it “Avatar Land” but, at a recent Q&A, James Cameron told audiences what the official name of the newest addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom might be. “It’s going to be called, I believe, Pandora: The Land of Avatar.”
He also discussed some of the technical advances Disney Imagineers are making in the park, particularly with the animatronic Na’vi. Read more about Cameron and Pandora The Land of Avatar below. Read More »
After years of rumor, conjecture and controversy, January 10, 2014 marks the day Disney finally broke ground on the brand-new Avatar Land. It’ll be a full day- and nighttime area of Animal Kingdom in Orlando, FL co-designed and imagined by James Cameron himself. The aim is to have the area open in 2017, which would be between the planned release dates of Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 in December 2016 and 2017.
Watch a video below. Read More »
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Update: Disney has revealed a 2017 projected opening date for the land. All three Avatar sequels are scheduled to begin shooting next year simultaneously, and the announced release date for Avatar 2 is currently December 2016. So it looks like the new land will be ready to promote the third and fourth films, and possibly the home video release of the sequel.
Update #2: A video is now available featuring James Cameron, who describes the creation of Avatar Land. Watch it at the bottom of the post below.
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We haven’t heard much about the Disney’s plans for Avatar-Land since the company first announced their plan to bring Pandora to the Magic Kingdom back in September 2011. And it doesn’t seem like they will be revealing anything new during D23 Expo this weekend, but Disney Imagineering did offer a little tease in their pavilion on the show floor. The tease is in the form of an exhibit of all the souvenirs they brought back from their “research trip to Pandora”. Check out the photos after the jump.
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UPDATE: We’ve been contacted by Disney Imagineering and told the quotes we originally reported, though from an official Disney website, were incorrect. Frank Reifsnyder, Communications & Media Relations Manager for Walt Disney Imagineering said, “There will be teases to Star Wars and to Avatar but nothing about any attractions or experiences based on those properties. Nor are we releasing any new information on those at the D23 Expo.” Basically, there will be teases, just not to anything specific or imminent.
Also, we’ve made a small change about which Marvel characters are appearing where at the event. Besides that, the original article follows.
The Walt Disney Company has officially acknowledged they’re working on new park attractions featuring Star Wars and Avatar. After months and months of speculation in regard to Star Wars (and uncertainty in regards to Avatar), a new blog from Disney Insider confirms the Walt Disney Imagineering exhibit at the D23 Expo in August will feature teases of attractions based on both franchises. Read More »
There’s a lot of movie-themed news and speculation going on in the theme park world and we’ve got it all in one place. In this edition of Theme Park Bits, read about the following:
- Is Disney planning a full Star Wars land at California Adventure?
- The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Ride is getting its own TV series
- The Lord of the Rings term “Middle Earth” has been trademarked for use in an amusement park.
- An Incredibles ride could be in the works
- Development on Avatar Land is reportedly not going well.
- The Marvel-themed Stark Expo has been stalled.
- Imagineering legend Tony Baxter is leaving Disney.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida (and soon Hollywood, CA) has upped the ante for what a movie themed theme park can be and they’re not stopping there. According to reports, actors from the Harry Potter franchise have been asked to reprise their roles from the films to shoot new footage for the currently under construction Wizarding World expansion in Florida.
Not to be outdone, Walt Disney World has begun work on Avatar Land, based on the James Cameron film. Not only did some blueprints leak in the last few weeks, now an image has surfaced showing the filmmaker working with Disney Imagineers. Check out info on both these theme part bits below. Read More »
When last we left the complicated development of an Avatar theme park at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom, James Cameron wasn’t happy. Rumors circulated that he and the Imagineers weren’t seeing eye to eye and, as a result, the park might be delayed. Bad news for fans of Cameron, Pandora and Disney.
Now onto the good news. New rumors have begun circulating that Cameron has finally signed off on Disney’s plans and things are once again full steam ahead. So what’s in the plans? A pair of blueprints for the park’s layout have leaked that reveal two possible rides: a 3D simulator and some kind of water ride. Check out the images below. Read More »