Disney and Fox Join to Bring Avatar to Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World

Look out Harry Potter, you may soon need all the magic of Hogwarts to compete against the newest attraction planned for Walt Disney World.

Just announced today, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of Avatar to life at Disney’s theme parks. The agreement gives The Walt Disney Company exclusive global theme park rights to the Avatar franchise and provides for Avatar-themed lands at any Disney park. The other locations will be determined by Disney and its international theme park partners.

How awesome is that?! Even better, the world of Pandora will be brought to life with the first Avatar-themed land planned for Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park right here in Orlando.

.. James Cameron at the press conference ..

At the press conference announcing the partnership, Cameron said, “Avatar created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before.”

“With two new Avatar films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore. I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our Avatar universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of Avatar with an unprecedented sense of reality.”

This is a huge coup for Disney, as Avatar is the #1 grossing film of all time worldwide. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie grossed over $760 million in the U.S. and over $2.7 billion worldwide in theaters. Add in DVD sales and those figures jump significantly.

Nothing has been released as to the details of any rides, but one can only imagine what Cameron, who developed the technology that created the world of Pandora on film, and Disney’s Imagineers (who’ve pioneered many tech advancements at theme parks), can cook up.

No word either on where in the park this Avatar land will be placed. Original plans for Disney’s Animal Kingdom called for a section named Beastly Kingdom, a fantasy-type area where animals like dragons and unicorns would live. I was looking forward to that, however it never came to fruition and Camp Minnie-Mickey was built in its place. But it’s not like Disney doesn’t have the land available over there to build.

The $300 million attraction is expected to begin in 2013, with a planned opening date of sometime in 2016.

In the meantime, here’s a look at the world of Avatar for you to enjoy:

httpv://youtu.be/l9SbDcoaF3M

[Images courtesy of Disney and Fox Filmed Entertainment]

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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