Disney executives announced plans today to soon bring the imaginary world of AVATAR to park guests. The first park to feature elements from the imaginary world will be Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
For those who do not know or remember AVATAR, it was the 2009 blockbuster action adventure movie written and directed by James Cameron. The movie centered around the balance between nature and the creatures who lived in it on the planet of Pandora.
Fans flocked to the film in droves driving domestic ticket sales to almost 3/4 of a billion dollars. Worldwide movie-goers added another estimated $2 billion to drive the flick to the top of the all-time grossing charts for both domestic and worldwide sales.
Now, Disney is bringing Avatar to the parks with the Animal Kingdom seen as the logical first step in the process. Both the movie and the park lean heavily on the premise of man and nature living in harmony with each-other to a mutually beneficial end and the new alliance between James Cameron and Disney is likely to continue that.
According to the announcement, James Cameron’s team at Lightstorm Entertainment, including his producing partner Jon Landau, will serve as creative consultants on the planned projects. They will work in concert with Disney Imagineers to bring the AVATAR world to life.
Disney is just in the initial planning stages of the new partnership with few additional details available. Tom Skaggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts had this comment on the Disney Parks Blog about the timing of the Animal Kingdom attractions:
“We’ve just begun the design phase on our Animal Kingdom project and we expect to begin construction in 2013,” states Tom Skaggs. “From start to finish, a project of this size and scope takes about 5 years to design and build. We can’t give you an exact date but we know that when it’s complete, it’s going to be a truly unforgettable experience.”
Skaggs alludes to the fact that a new AVATAR land will be built. Whether the land will replace anything at Animal Kingdom is yet to be known but it is envisioned to include several attractions, restaurants and merchandising facilities themed around the idea of Pandora.
More details will be posted as they become known.