Posts Tagged ‘Na’vi River Journey’

Review: Pandora – The World of Avatar

by on May 15, 2017

How We Got to Pandora

The success of Universal’s Harry Potter lands – Hogsmeade Village at Islands of Aventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios – put the fear of God into Disney’s theme park management. The idea that their closest competitor could turn a worldwide film franchise into an immersive, immense tourist draw probably caused more sleepless nights than a warehouse full of wool pajamas. What Disney wanted desperately was to make sure they got the next big franchise for their own parks.

Valley of Mo'ara in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom

The problem that Disney faced was that only a handful of writers like J.K. Rowling can produce globally beloved stories worth billions of dollars: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, and James Cameron are on the short list. With Spielberg and Lucas nearing retirement, however, and Peter Jackson reportedly non-committal, Disney signed Cameron to a theme park development deal for his Avatar film franchise in September 2011.

That Avatar deal puzzled many Disney theme park fans, including us. Yes, Avatar is the second-highest grossing film of all time (Gone with the Wind is #1), earning more than $3 billion in inflation-adjusted ticket sales since its release in 2009. But it did so because of its then-revolutionary 3-D digital effects, not its writing. Avatar, we joked, was the film everyone saw about characters nobody liked. For Disney, whose motto had always been “It all begins with a story,” building rides based on Avatar was going to be its own kind of alien experience.

Disney tapped Joe Rohde, now an industry legend, to bring Avatar to life at the Animal Kingdom. Camp Minnie-Mickey was demolished to make way, its Festival of the Lion King stage show moved to the park’s Africa section. Five years of construction ensued – long enough for Universal to build a couple more hotels, several new rides, and an entire water park. Disney’s gamble on the Avatar franchise seemed riskier by the day.

Is Pandora Better than Diagon Alley?

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New Details and a Recap of What to Expect When Exploring Pandora – The World of Avatar

by on March 10, 2017

Pandora - The World of Avatar

©Disney

Wow! Yesterday was a flurry of new information all about Pandora – World of Avatar courtesy of a plethora of ABC shows -“The Chew”, “Good Morning America“, “The View“, and “Nightline.”  The goal of these spots were clearly to get excitement ramped up and it most certainly worked!

So if you’re looking forward to the official opening of this new land as much as I am, here’s what you should know courtesy of recent news developments. (If you want to avoid minor spoilers about the land, stop reading now. This is your only warning!)

According to James Cameron. The story is that we are found in a generation of Pandora after all the movies when the warfare between the humans and Na’vi is over. The Na’vi have welcomed us to Pandora to help us understand nature and ourselves better. Essentially, we are welcome because we are here to learn and educate ourselves.

There are two Pandoras that Guests will get to experience. Day and night. Trust me, you will want to see this place lit up at night!

Guests walk through an opening and will be immersed in the Valley of Mo’ara. Here, Guests can walk right under the enormous floating mountains. The land is lush and is a mixture of earth plants and Pandorian foliage that all helps to gives the idea that it’s a real ecosystem. Of course, these plants will come to life with beautiful bioluminescence each night.

The Valley of Mo’ara will also include a Na’vi-built drum circle that will contain instruments that are playable by all, Na’vi totems and other cultural items found. For those who are Wilderness Explorers fans, there will be brand new challenges and badges to collect in Pandora too! Guests who visit may even come across tour guides from Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative (PCI), or even an eclectic expat or two!

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Pandora – The World of Avatar to Open Memorial Day Weekend at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on February 7, 2017

Pandora - The World of Avatar Opening Date

©Disney

After YEARS of hype and build up, we officially have an opening date! Pandora – The World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27!

This new land will transport guests to the visually stunning world of Pandora, straight from the film Avatar. In Pandora, guests will wonder at floating mountains and bioluminescent plants as they make their way through the enchanting land.

Walt Disney Imagineering has collaborated with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment is bringing to life the mythical world of Pandora, inspired the film, Avatar, to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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New Details about Pandora-The World of AVATAR

by on November 6, 2015

Pandora Ð The World of AVATAR will bring a variety of new experiences to Disney's Animal Kingdom, including a family-friendly attraction called NaÕvi River Journey. The adventure begins as guests set out in canoes and venture down a mysterious, sacred river hidden within the bioluminescent rainforest. The full beauty of Pandora reveals itself as the canoes pass by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures. The journey culminates in an encounter with a NaÕvi shaman, who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora and sends positive energy out into the forest through her music. NaÕvi River Journey will open with Pandora Ð The World of AVATAR in 2017. Disney's Animal Kingdom is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Disney)

©Disney

This morning, Disney released more details about what we can expect to see in Pandora-The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The beautiful family-friendly attraction will be called Na’vi River Journey.

During the ride, guests will set out in canoes down mysterious sacred river hidden within the bioluminescent rainforest. The beauty of Pandora reveals itself as the canoes pass by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures. The journey culminates in an up-close encounter with a Na’vi shaman, who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora and sends positive energy out into the forest through her music.

Disney confirmed details of the boat-themed attraction at the D23 Expo in Japan and the attraction will be the second attraction for the AVATAR-themed land. The first, AVATAR Flight of Passage was discussed at California’s D23 Expo.

Na’vi River Journey is expected to open in 2017.