Disney is taking notes from Universal’s spellbook following the success of the studio’s Harry Potter theme park. The company announced Tuesday that the magical world of Avatar will be making its way into Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park near Orlando, Fla.
“Avatar Land” will be a fully themed land within Animal Kingdom, complete with attractions, food, shopping, and entertainment. Disney has plans to break ground for the park in 2013, with plans to open three years later and eventually open in other cities.
(PHOTOS: The Real Science of Avatar)
Walt Disney Co. president and CEO Bob Iger delivered the news, along with director James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairs and co-CEOs Jim Gianopulos and Thomas Rothman.
Of course, avid fans of the movie will be worried about whether Disney can pull off bringing the full world of Avatar to life as they saw it (and fantasize about it) in the film. Luckily, Cameron and his producing partner Jon Landau will be serving as creative consultants, helping the Disney Imagineers bring Pandora to the masses in a way that stays true to their vision.
“Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of Avatar with an unprecedented sense of reality,” Cameron said during the press conference. “I quickly realized [the Imagineers’] vision for this thing was far beyond what I’d imagined—and I’ve got a pretty good imagination.”
“Avatar Land” does seem like it will be a nice addition to the Animal Kingdom, which serves as the perfect setting to feature the creatures and lush natural world that captivated audiences. And the timing couldn’t be better as interest in Pandora and its characters will likely grow with the release of the upcoming sequels to the film, planned for release in 2014 and 2015. So, if walking alongside eight-foot tall, blue Na’vi people seems like it would be your thing, you now know where to go.