Animal Kingdom: AVATAR Land, Discovery Island Updates

Due to the ever-increasing number of projects taking place inside the park, the OTPN Team has decided to start posting multiple photo-updates focusing on just one or two themed areas of Animal Kingdom to avoid posting too many photos at once, slowing down some devices. This evening, we will focus on Discovery Island, which is currently one of Animal Kingdom's busiest themed lands, thanks to the large amount of work taking place in this particular area.

The new AVATAR themed land continues to take shape:

A view of the area from the Oasis:

This will surely be an impressive environment:

Take a look at these great shots of some of the floating islands and one of the massive showbuildings:

Entering Discovery Island:

The expansion of Disney Outfitters continues:

The back of the store:

The nearby Island Mercantile also continues to receive some attention:

This is one of our favorite theme parks in the area:

Work continues to be done around the Tree of Life:

The new Starbucks is proving to be very popular, especially during the morning (unsurprisingly):

Thank you for visiting these areas with us.

And that is all for now. Be sure to check back here on OTPN for more photos taken around Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park (we will post a new Rivers of Light construction update very soon).

PHOTOS BY: Alex, Official Orlando Theme Park News Team Member and Photographer.


  1. Can anyone even find anything AVATAR related in stores anymore?
    I mean I can still walk into a Walmart or a Toys r Us and still find Back to the Future, Robocop, 80's TMNT stuff! Hell I'll even find Matrix stuff before I could find anything related to AVATAR. How did Disney think such a forgettable movie would be such a draw?

  2. Did it feel good to get that out? Good, now shut up.

  3. You're probably right that Avatar hasn't proved to be as successful as some of the wonderfully iconic franchises like Back to the Future.
    But there are some things to consider. Firstly that BTTF was a franchise of three movies whereas,to date, Avatar was a one-off, The second thing is that Avatar lends itself to a theme park experience more readily than some other movies that have had success in the merchandising arm of the business.
    I do not include BTTF in this as it's one of my favourite franchises and did not deserve to lose it's place at the Universal Parks.
    Just my opinions by the way.

  4. Also Avatar still remains to be the highest grossing movie of all time. Yes it might not be the 'best' movie ever created but there is no getting away from how successful it was. I expect the sequels won't live up to the originals performance, as it definitely seemed to be more of an 'event' movie, being the first big 3D success.

    Regardless of how well the sequels do, Avatar at Animal Kingdom will be more about the experience of the environment, which will work with or without the long running success of the franchise.

  5. Exactly my point.
    Actually I'm really looking forward to it. I think the Avatar attraction could be a totally immersive experience where all our senses are brought into play. Visually it has the potential to be absolutely stunning.
    I'm not a huge Harry Potter fan but the Park attraction is excellent and has encouraged me to return to the movies and give them another chance.
    Either way it's all fun and positive in a World that is often negative. So full marks there at least.

  6. How many people enjoy Splash Mountain without even knowing it's based on Songs of the South? Big Thunder doesn't even have a movie connection, yet it's in every Disney area in the world.

    The important thing about Pandora isn't that it fits with the movies, the important thing is that the movie provided a template to create a number of interrelated experiences that blend together well in a fantastic land. Had the imagineers figured out a way to do the same thing as well without needing to purchase the IP I suspect they would have, but Beastly Kingdom had been on the drawing board for a long time for a reason, I suspect.

  7. Avatar will not be as successful as people are saying. Great themed world's rely strongly on the culture of the place over just the environment. For example:
    -The music of a culture or film helps people feel in the location rather than a set. Epcot and Harry Potter do this very well, Avatar has a forgettable soundtrack that people wont recognize to transport them into the world. Even unknown movies like Song of the South became great rides based off music alone.
    -Customs and lifestyles- This is what makes Harry Potter so great! You can be part of a wizard world. Buy what wizards buy, eat what wizards eat, and even more. The lifestyle of avatar is so far removed it becomes unrelatable. What items or foods could you possibly buy that will help immerse you?
    -Characters. Avatar has no big standouts. Plus cast members in the parks fill a role. Epcot has citizens of countries, Potter has wizards, Magic Kingdom has an entire array. Avatar cast members will be humans, which in this storyline are the bad guys. How does that make sense in the context of the rides?
    While I do know it will be visually stunning, immersion is based on more than that. The IP is just not strong enough to warrant a whole land.

  8. James Cameron has already shot the 3 Avatar sequels and the are in post now. While they be hits? Probably not but who knows. Avatarland is not trying to be an immersive experience like the Harry Potter world is. It really is a facade/copout to get Beastly Kingdom to come to life. It is going to be an incredibly themed area with new innovations and a couple of rides. I don't think the IP really matters in this case, a new land that was previously meet and greats is what matters. I did not care for the movie at all but I know this area of the park will be incredible.

  9. I think because of how long it takes to develop a massive area such as this one you have to think back five plus years to when Avatar was fresh in peoples minds when the area was first drawn up. So when the movie was so successful I think it was perfectly logical to develop an immersive area not necessarily to make people to feel like they are the Avatars themselves but simply feel like you were in that area in the film. As the years go by and the land is further developed and finalized yes people will tend to forget about the film. The development of this area though does create the possibilities of new story lines, new merchandising opportunities, new revenue options etc. Just my thoughts. Great update as usual.

  10. People will defend Disney no matter what they do as they snort pixie dust. To them Disney can do no wrong.

  11. Buyers can only buy what is available. Can't find _______ in a store? That's because a company has decided to not sell that product. The lack of Avatar merchandise is because its not produced, made available for sale, by the companies.

    Go into Home Depot and you'll find 2 or 3 brands of tools that don't exist outside of Home Depot, and other HD only products as well. To walk into a generic hardware store, not find a HD brand tool on the shelf and declare "that brand is dead, you can't find it on the shelf" would be a very poor statement to make.

    When the time comes, Avatar merchandise will be flooded into the stores. People will buy it because its new and different. After the first year, then one could look at the sales figures and determine success or failure.

    This isn't a pro-Disney point of view: its basic marketing and economics If you can't see that, you're one poorly educated troll.

  12. "James Cameron has already shot the 3 Avatar sequels and the are in post now."

    Ooh boy, that's not true at all. They have yet to begin principal photography.

    As for Avatar Land, I prefer to wait and see. This will likely be something very special, and with the first sequel coming in 2 1/2 years, the brand name will be inescapable.


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