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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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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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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Na’vi River Journey Avatar Avatarland

During their quarterly earnings conference call earlier today, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger confirmed earlier the opening date for Walt Disney World’s Avatar-themed land. Pandora – The World of Avatar will have its grand opening at Walt Disney World Resort’s Animal Kingdom theme park on May 27th, 2017. Also, Iger also confirmed that Star Wars Land, which is currently being constructed in both Anaheim’s Disneyland and Orlando’s Hollywood Studios are on target for a 2019 opening.
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avatar na'vi river journey

For theme park fans, Walt Disney World’s Pandora: The World of Avatar has long existed as a series of rumors wrapped in photos taken from a distance, a handful of intriguing promises that didn’t quite line up with the fact that the Animal Kingdom theme park’s newest themed land has looked like a construction site for most of the past year. So this new video, which teases this endeavor as an actual place with rides you can go on and things you can do, is a pleasant surprise after so many aerial photos tracking minuscule changes.

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avatar na'vi river journey

Seven years after it became the highest-grossing film in history, everybody spends more time talking about why no one talks about Avatar than talking about Avatar itself. That’s why the upcoming Pandora: The World of Avatar expansion coming the Animal Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World feels like a bizarre combination of risky move and sure thing – building a theme park land around the most successful movie of all time certainly sounds like a license to print money until you remember that the film seems to have bounced off pop culture in the long run. They may have made less money, but Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Marvel are all embedded more deeply in the common psyche than James Cameron’s eco-centric science fiction epic. What if you build the most impressive theme park land ever devised and everyone shrugs?

That’s a question for the long term. Right now, your focus should be on the first footage of a Na’vi from one of the land’s attractions.

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Star Wars Land

Disney has started surveying Disneyland and Disney World annual passholders about the possibility of adding a block-out period for a theme park for the first two months of a new attraction like the upcoming Star Wars Lands, Pandora: The World of Avatar, Toy Story Land or Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. But will Disney add an AP block-out for Star Wars Land?

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soarin over the world

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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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Na’vi River Journey Avatar Avatarland

Disney has been teasing Disney World’s upcoming theme park land based on James Cameron‘s epic Avatar franchise for a few years now. But as we get closer to the land’s opening in early 2017, we’re beginning to get more details about the upcoming addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando Florida.  Right now D23 Expo Japan is going on and Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Bob Chapek shared some new information about the planned river ride that will be part of Pandora – The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Hit the jump for more information.

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