Disneyland Is Getting A New Avatar Experience
Returning CEO Bob Iger just announced that Avatar is coming to Disneyland.
Avatar: The Way of Water is now one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. When it comes to Disney franchises, you would expect that level of success would lead to new theme park attractions. Walt Disney World already has an entire Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom, but CEO Bob Iger just announced that a new Avatar experience is on the way to Disneyland.
Details on the Disney Q1 earnings call were basically non-existent, all Iger said was that some form of Avatar experience would be coming to the first Disney theme park, but since there is nothing Avatar-related there now, that's still a pretty huge announcement, especially since we're already expecting a new major Avengers attraction coming to Disney California Adventure.
Without more details, it's difficult to even guess what this Avatar "experience" could even be. Iger didn't use the word "attraction" when describing it, which is the term that would likely be used if we were talking about a ride or even a live show, so this might be something smaller than that, but we'll have to wait until we get more details.
Later on the call, while talking about Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Iger called the new Disneyland experience "a version of Avatar," indicating that maybe what we'll get could be an attraction or even a mini-land. At its simplest, we could see some element of Pandora - The World of Avatar transferred from Disney's Animal Kingdom over to Disneyland. This could be either of the two attractions in the land, the incredibly popular Avatar: Flight of Passage, or Na'Vi River Journey, or it could just be a character interaction. We've seen characters using the human utility suits hanging around the Disney World land at various times.
The bigger, and possibly more interesting question, is where such an "Avatar Experience" might be located inside the park. The most obvious place to put such a thing would be Disneyland's Tomorrowland, no other location at either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure would make much thematic sense. But that then raises the question of where in Tomorrowland such an experience might be placed.
Could this finally be the update to the Star Wars Launch Bay that we've been waiting for? The location had previously been used for Star Wars-related photo opportunities and merchandise sales, but with Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in place, the Launch Bay isn't really needed, and the ground floor of it has remained closed since Disneyland reopened following the pandemic closure.
Even if all we get here is the replacement of Star Wars photo ops with Avatar photo ops, at least then the space is being put to some use. At the same time, the Launch Bay space could also be used for a more significant "Avatar Experience."
Iger said that details on this new thing would be coming "very soon" so hopefully we won't be left grasping at straws for too long. The box office showed that fans still love Avatar, so getting something related to the franchise on the west coast will clearly be popular.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.