AVATAR Land Construction Expected to Start Soon

We all know how difficult it has been for the Walt Disney World Resort to release more information regarding the quite mysterious "AVATAR Land" project that will be built inside Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park. This week, Disney released the following update on this addition, which sounds reassuring:

AVATAR - Walt Disney Imagineers are currently in the design stage for AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with visionary filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of AVATAR to life creating themed lands that will give Guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of AVATAR first hand. With its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the AVATAR stories, which share the same philosophy. Construction is expected begin in 2013 and project of this size typically takes approximately five years to design and build.

According to this, they are still in the "design stage", but at least work will finally start before the end of the year (hopefully). What doesn't sound so good is that the update states that "[a] project of this size typically takes approximately five years to design and build." What do they mean? Do they count 2011 and 2012 as part of the "design stage" as well? if so, this new land should open in three years or less (2016). If not, it would mean that we may have to wait until 2018 before seeing anything AVATAR-related in the park. What do you think?


  1. This is the second saddest thing I've read all day.

  2. Waaay too long..Avatar will lose all of its popularity by then...They should reconsider building a Indiana Jones or Journey to the center of the Earth ride instead.

    1. Apparently, there are two sequels. Their release dates may be relative to progress on the park, but that's just speculation.

  3. Why does every attration Disney builds these days be a movie franchise.
    They used to do wonderfull original work. They lost it imho.

  4. I think that Disney over-thinks things for so long that by the time they are put into action, they are passé. I think they made a huge mistake by not kissing JK Rowlings butt the way Universal Studios did- that park is making money hand over fist and is RE-INVESTING the profits back into the parks.
    In the time it has taken to re-design, construct and open the new Fantasyland (remember, it's STILL not complete), Universal has opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me and Transformers (2013), has overhauled The Amazing Spiderman and will open a new attraction themed for The Simpsons. Their expansion of the Harry Potter attraction (while not formally acknowledged), including an enclosed roller coaster type ride will be opening around the same time as the Snow White Mine Car coaster, in 2014.
    Didn't Walt Disney have a quote about ,"the way to get started is to stop talking and start DOING?"

  5. Im surprised that disney chose the avatar franchise to invest so much time and money into. I really liked the movie, great story, I get how the animals and the people "lived" so closely with the land, BUT... There was an awful lot of killing and violence going on in the movie as well. It was not made for children, it's definitely adult themed. So if young kids have not seen the movie (probably because many parents would not want them to see so much violence), then who is the avatar land attraction being built for?

  6. FINALLY. This land has the opportunity of being a gorgeous environment and a strong piece of storytelling. Will it compliment AK's themes? Yes. I do think so. Glad to hear this project isn't in a coma. I'm more than ready to be whisked away to Pandora.

  7. The reason their saying its going to take 5-6 years is because they want it to open when the new movies come out..but this is going to be one huge mistake once they realize avatar has lost its popularity by then...Build Journey to the Center of the Earth or an Indiana Jones ride for heavens sake if you want the people to really come.

  8. I wonder if Rohde and the other Imagineers are aware that most Disney fans dislike the idea of Avatar land. They should read some of these blog comments.

  9. If they give you the chance to design your own avatar character and then go into a booth to control it and talk to other guests then that would be so cool.

  10. I still don't believe the Avatar franchise is a good place to invest in an entire land.

    That said I really do believe that Disney has the power to make the "land" amazing. The beauty and detail will/would probably be amazing but at the same time I'm sure all of us still have some concerns. Given the current level of blatant disregard for "show quality" that they've been showing is alarming at the same time.

    The other problem is Cameron keep pushing back the next two films. Frankly, it's not an original story in the least. We all saw it 20 years ago when Don Bluth called it "Furn Gully" and in every re-iteration of "Pocahontas" that's ever been made. With the next to films having release dates of "When Cameron damn well feels like it" I don't have much faith in this area having sticking power.

    Frankly, I think Disney would be better off to fix what's currently broken and finish what's already started before they fire off another project.

  11. But new projects get more guests thought the gates of Animal Kingdom. I doubt them building another Yeti will get more people to ride the coaster but they really need to sort out the tree of life as it ain't been the same since we couldn't see it with all the netting put up.

  12. All in all if Disney took this seriously instead of just trying to put any ride in the park that's had a successful movie...As what was said before..Adding a Journey to the Center ride or an Indiana Jones ride will solve all your problems. No design planning needed because the rides already exist. Its not rocket science Disney!

    Make Journey to the Center of the Earth or Indiana Jones. DONE

  13. The majority of the above comments are stupid, wrong and a perfect reflection of what's wrong with the Disney online fan community!

  14. Don't the two main characters in Avatar sleep together?
    Isn't that a bit of a Disney departure?
    I can see Universal pulling this off, but Disney?
    No thanks.

  15. Way too slow, especially if it will not open until 2018. Why are Disney so slow with construction, compare them to the progress Universal has made and continues to make. They've fallen behind Universal now as far as I am concerned.

    I come from Scotland but visit every year. Most years I don't even bother going to Disney. I maybe go to Hollywood Studios once, just for Star Wars.

    Given that they've just bought the rights to SW and plan on making more movies for the next several years, and the brand never gets old, why don't they just theme the land as SW, allow guests to visit the Moons of Endor and have an interactive Pod Race attraction.


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