Disney announces partnership with James Cameron for Avatar attractions, starting at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2011 10:47 AM | Contributed by maXairMike

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Walt Disney Imagineering, Bob Iger and Tom Staggs just announced a long-term creative partnership with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the fantasy world of AVATAR to life at Disney Parks. And it’ll all begin at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

Read more from the official Disney Parks Blog, as well as Q&A about the announcement.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011 9:05 PM

Avatar was a fantastic film.

It's interesting Disney decided to go this route. Though it's not the first time they've incorporated non-Disney movie attractions into its parks (i.e. Star Tours, Indiana Jones Adventure), those existing rides were perfectly implemented into appropriate "lands" that weren't entirely devoted to those films (such as Adventureland and Tomorrowland).

It'll be really interesting to see how this is implemented. Avatarland? Pandoraland?

And even more interesting to note is that Disney has plans to install these in multiple parks. Disneyland? California Adventure? Tokyo Disneysea?

But if anything, Disney has the best resources and technology to bring the film to life and all of its cinematic glory to the real world. I had always thought Pandora would make a great amusement park addition somewhere. Glad it's happening!

Thursday, September 22, 2011 9:54 PM
kpjb's avatar

Jeff beat me to the punch. They already have the license in place for Star Wars. Why not do more than one simulator ride? If anything is begging for a full "land-size" treatment, it's Star Wars. It has proven to be popular for 30-some years and is cross-cultural and multi-generational.

Just don't have Jar-Jar costumed characters. That dude'll get punched daily.


Thursday, September 22, 2011 10:27 PM
Vater's avatar

I say take it a step further: have Disney build an entire Star Wars-themed park.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 10:47 PM
cubkev's avatar


Never fear, I got your pop-culture references. I especially like the attention to detail where "he" is in italics for "the night he came home".

You forgot:
Avatar takes Manhattan


"I got sucked into this crazy.." Debbie Harry

Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:44 PM

My dream park would have a Lord of the Rings-themed land in the front, Star Wars on the right, Monty Python on the left, and Hustler in the back...


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

Friday, September 23, 2011 12:49 AM
LostKause's avatar

Nintendo, darnit.

Donkey Kong Mine Ride
Mario Kart go-cart track with new game play technology
Yoshi ride similar to Dumbo.
dark ride shooter themed to Mario's ghosts or Metroid
Super Mario carousel
Starfox B&M Wingrider
Mushroom Kingdom kids climbing net and slide area with a wet area themed to plumbers Mario and Luigi
Princess Peach ice cream stand
Wario hamburger stand
Legend of Zelda themed attraction like Adventure mountain at Dollywood, complete with a zip line

I mean, it's one of the world's most popular collection of licensed properties. It's whimsical, family-friendly, and is loved by both children and adults. Nintendo has endless possibilities for amusement attraction themeing. Plus, it could be a hot spot for new video game technology. Each attraction could encompass some new Nintendo-like ideas to make them more interesting. Heck, build a whole theme park based on the company!

About Avatar, I do remember reading shortly after the movie release that some people were suffering from a spell of depression after watching the film in 3-D because real life was so dull compared to the vivid world in the film. I personally recall a strong desire to live on Pandora after each time I saw the movie as well. It looked so much more interesting than real life, which was a shock to me because I am always telling my younger family members to get their face out from in front of screens and look at real life for a change.

Friday, September 23, 2011 2:06 AM
Jeff's avatar

Who said anything about this being an entire land?

I wouldn't get your hopes up about anything keeping Animal Kingdom open later. Most of the park is animal attractions that are done well before it gets dark. T-rex doesn't care about park schedules. :)

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Friday, September 23, 2011 7:34 AM

Tom Staggs in the Q&A linked to above.

"While we’re still in the very early stages of design and planning, we expect this land to be anchored by multiple attractions, entertainment, merchandise locations, restaurants and other immersive elements. Our AVATAR lands will give guests the chance to see, hear and touch the world of Pandora and we can’t wait to dive in with James Cameron and his team as we create new experiences that will delight and thrill our guests."

I don't see anything about expanded schedules, but they make it pretty clear it will be an expanded "land".

- Jeff

If I were more clever, something funny would be here.
Friday, September 23, 2011 9:52 AM

I am guessing this new land will be similar to Wizarding World and Carsland in that it will have one groundbreaking, big budget, major attraction and one to three smaller, lower budget rides

Friday, September 23, 2011 1:44 PM

Jeff said:
Who said anything about this being an entire land?

It is going to be an entire land. You don't spend 4 years constructing one attraction (expected 2013 start date to 2017 from his years comment), even if this is Disney. Also, Staggs mentioned that parts of the AVATAR land may be ready as early as 2015. Multi-part attraction? No, it is a land.

Original BlueStreak64

Friday, September 23, 2011 2:08 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

cubkev said:

Never fear, I got your pop-culture references. I especially like the attention to detail where "he" is in italics for "the night he came home".

You forgot:
Avatar takes Manhattan

Thanks Kev; Manhattan would have been too easy. Wanted to make it more interesting - dig deeper.


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