The lush scenery and awe-inspiring landscapes of James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster Avatar will make a mark on Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2015. According to a recent announcement by the Disney Company, an entire land themed on the film is coming to the theme park, joining Asia, Africa and DinoLand U.S.A. Disney expects to break ground on the new land in 2013, and it will take about two years to complete.
The timing of the new Disney World land lines up with the planned releases of two Avatar sequels, currently in planning or production. “With two new Avatar films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” filmmaker James Cameron explained during the press briefing.
Disney fans may recall the original Animal Kingdom concept art included a land based on fantasy creatures, the Beastly Kingdom. Few signs remain of the Beastly Kingdom concept — sharp-eyed visitors will note that one parking lot is labeled “Unicorn” and a beast-themed boat landing can be found near the Winnie the Pooh greeting area.
The arrival of Avatar land may signal an embrace of the fantasy elements that gave the original Beastly Kingdom so much fan appeal. Guests can expect Avatar land to resemble Pandora, the lush landscape highlighted in the film; the Animal Kingdom’s strong conservation message goes well with Avatar’s eco-consious stance as well.
While there is no news yet on the actual rides or attractions planned for Avatar in Disney World, the success of the recently revamped Star Tours shows Disney’s expertise in combining movies and ride technology. Expect to hear more about Avatar and Disney World as plans progress; curious park visitors can start looking for signs of construction in early 2013.