Thanks to the fact that the Walt Disney Company now owns Marvel and Star Wars their theme parks are becoming one-stop locations to celebrate most of pop culture. Now, they're about to add another brand they don't even own. The world of Pandora will become part of Disney's Animal Kingdom park in the summer of 2017 and now we have our first look at a character that will be part of the ride, the Shaman of Songs.
The ride will be titled Pandora -The World of Avatar and will see guests float down a river in Pandora that will end in a bioluminescent rainforest. Once there, the riders will be greeted by this Shaman of Songs character. That's not the only Avatar inspired ride that is opening, however. According to Entertainment Weekly, a ride called Avatar - Flight of Passage will have guests riding banshees over the world of Pandora as well.
While the clip of the Shaman speaking doesn't necessarily tell us a lot, the slide at the end of the clip does tell us how the ride is going to be framed. The advertisement for Alpha Centauri Expeditions bringing you to Pandora seems to imply that the setup for the ride will be similar to Star Tours, where the idea is that the people on the ride are tourists (it's a stretch) who have been brought to Pandora on vacation. On Star Tours, your vacation goes terribly wrong, we won't be shocked if something similar happens on our trip to Pandora.
The expansion of Disney's Animal Kingdom to include Avatar is going on schedule, which is more than we can say for Avatar as a film property. When Disney announced this expansion the plan was to see a new Avatar movie by next Christmas, which would put the sequel opening just a few months after the ride. As it stands now Avatar 2 is still in pre-production with no official release date. Your guess is as good as ours.
The addition of the new Avatar themed area is just one of several new additions that Disney Parks is making to their properties. Both Disneyland in California and Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida are currently under construction to bring each park a Star Wars Land. In addition, Toy Story themed areas are also being added to both Hollywood Studios and Disney's newest park in Shanghai, China. Following several years of quiet on the theme park front, it appears that Disney has some money to spend to update their parks, which Walt Disney always said would never be finished.
How excited are you to float down the rivers of Pandora? Would it be better if they were still actually making movies? Let us know what you think in the comments.