It's been seven years since Avatar was released, and the wait continues for Avatar 2 to hit theaters, which is now expected to be in late 2018. However, Pandora will be accessible to the public even earlier...in a way. It was announced in 2015 that an Avatar-themed area would be added to the Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in summer 2017, and in last month, we got our first look at one of the Na'vi residents. As a fun Christmas treat, a cool tour of the upcoming attraction has been uploaded, and it clearly blew director James Cameron's mind.
While not all of Pandora: The World of Avatar has been finished yet, a new video on the Disney Parks YouTube channel provides fans a first look at the attraction. Needless to say James Cameron, the man who created over 20 years ago and is directing these movies, was able to personally see the work being done, and it's safe to say he's impressed. The video combines peeks at the physical setting that's been built so far with concept artwork and clips from the 2009 movie, and the overall result is staggering. Joe Rohde, the Senior VP Creative at Walt Disney Imagineering, called the project, a "custom designed, complex, programmed piece of show equipment." In layman's terms, Disney isn't skimping to make this all look at realistic as possible, and the folks who came together to work on the attraction included digital design artists, structural engineers and robotics technicians.
Some of the highlights attendees can expect on the Avatar attraction include the Na'vi river journey, flying over the landscape of Pandora and walking underneath the jungle planet's mountains. While we won't know until how the final product will look for approximately another half year, this video does a goo job of demonstrating how immersive of an experience it will be. James Cameron even admitted that despite creating this mythology and knowing all the mechanics and engineering that went into the construction, he's amazed by how it's all come together. Of course, this is just one of many additions that are coming to the Disney Parks soon. Both the California and Florida branches are having a Star Wars Land installed, and Toy Story-themed areas will be added to both Hollywood Studios and the new Disney park in Shanghai, China.
As for the continuing Avatar cinematic experience, Avatar 2 is expected to arrive in theaters on December 21, 2018, and three more movies are set to follow in the years after. If you're eager to "explore" Pandora before then, start planning a trip to Disney World for next summer so you can be one of the attraction's first visitors.