BREAKING: Details of AVATAR Land Announced, New Nighttime Show & Attraction Revealed!

Very late this evening, Disney decided to reveal to the world the details of the AVATAR project for Animal Kingdom, including the announcement of a new nighttime spectacular and a nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris for Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park!

Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment is bringing to life the mythical world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s AVATAR, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. The awe-inspiring land of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and soaring Banshees will become real for Disney guests to see, hear and touch. Scheduled to open in 2017, the AVATAR-inspired land will be part of the largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history. (Concept art, Walt Disney Imagineering)

Scheduled to open in 2017, guests will enter the world of Pandora and experience what seems to be two attractions…

Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment is bringing to life the mythical world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s AVATAR, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. The awe-inspiring land of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and soaring Banshees will become real for Disney guests to see, hear and touch. Scheduled to open in 2017, the AVATAR-inspired land will be part of the largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history. (Concept art, Walt Disney Imagineering)

First will be a boat ride through the nighttime forests of the planet, sure to be an audio-animatronics extravaganza like Pirates of the Caribbean…

Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment is bringing to life the mythical world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s AVATAR, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. The awe-inspiring land of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and soaring Banshees will become real for Disney guests to see, hear and touch. Scheduled to open in 2017, the AVATAR-inspired land will be part of the largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history. (Concept art, Walt Disney Imagineering)

Another attraction will allow guests to board a Banshee and fly through the skies…

As part of the largest expansion in its history, Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park will be adding all-new entertainment experiences including a new after-dark spectacular centered around and above Discovery River, new nighttime entertainment including live performers on Discovery Island (pictured) and a new night version of Kilimanjaro Safaris. (Concept art, Walt Disney Imagineering)

Disney didn’t stop at AVATAR projects tonight, also announcing a nighttime show that will take place on the Discovery River. The new show will combine live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery to delight guests and truly cap off their day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Also announced was that there will be a nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris for guests to enjoy!

Live evening entertainment will also be added to the park, like that seen in the above concept art. We can also assume new nighttime lighting on the Tree of Life will be added like you can also see in the concept art above.

Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment is bringing to life the mythical world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s AVATAR, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. WDI’s Joe Rohde (right) shares highlights of the project model with Cameron (left) and Walt Disney Parks & Resort Chairman Tom Staggs. Scheduled to open in 2017, the AVATAR-inspired land will be part of the largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history. (Disney)

No more information is available at this time, but you can expect we will keep you updated as more becomes available on this breaking story!

So, what do you think? Are you excited about all of these additions to Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

22 comments

  1. Glad they are adding to Animal Kingdom, but AVATAR was a train wreck of a movie and if I have to see those blue cat things walking around, I may puke. I mean, if it wasn't for the Gungans in the Star Wars prequels, they'd be the lamest characters in movie history. So I'm kinda "mixed" on my feelings on all of this.

    • Annette

      So, Michael, let me get this straight. This is in your "Do Not Care file"…but you cared enough to comment on it. Kind of a pointless "file" for you to have, isn't it?

      • Yeah, I'm sorry I said what I said that way.
        I've actually thought more about it and I can see a place for it there and can look forward to it.

        I wasn't exactly polite in my comment. Kind of rude actually and I apologize for it. I wish you didn't feel the need to be mean.

        • What's actually really exciting to me now is to see the message behind the movie, protecting the environment, really has a place at Animal Kingdom, even if I didn't find the movie to be nearly as incredible as others did. So upon further reflection I am able to see how it could fit, and admittedly be pretty cool.

          That's what you get going off on first impressions! I've learned a valuable lesson to think harder before I post a comment!
          :)

  2. Lexi

    It's a very smart move to add evening entertainment to Animal Kingdom, they were missing that element and I think it will improve park attendance. I'm glad to see some updates, but I still think AVATAR land is a bad investment…

    It was a cool movie and it does have fans, but I don't see it being something that will stand the test of time.

    • Yes Over time it may become…dated. But then again, hasn't DW updated just recently with Tomorrowland, and Fantasyland (and probably rightly so as some of the attractions IMO were getting dated). However, I know that there are some attractions that I dearly miss now as an adult like the 20,000 leagues under the sea…Granted you only went about 7-8 feet underwater, but it will still a fun ride as a kid.

      I, for one, have not yet seen the AVATAR Film, yet amusement parks have been becoming more and more themed as of late. Harry Potter,Jurassic Park, Batman/Superman, Snoopy/Peanuts/Garfield. Universal Studios regularly updates, as they got rid of the Back to the Future Ride.

      The only thing I hope, is that they do the Avatar land right, vs IMO what Universal Park did wrong with Harry Potter. Harry Potter to me was really HogWarts Castle. Universal stuck a castle alright, but it's a shell with a big ride inside. I myself wanted to see the things the kids saw in the movie INSIDE the castle. Fluffy behind the closed doors. Talking Pictures, one set of moving stairs, holograms for the rest. Most of Hogwarts is truly just a huge advertisement and marketing. If Disney gets lazy and I've not seen Disney get Lazy yet….it could be really really bad vision of Avatar land. I suppose it's in the Details.

  3. Lynniemp

    I think it looks beautiful…and if you don't like Avatar, you can just ignore the Avatar link…pretend Pandora is just an interpretation of the "mythical" area that was expected at AK. Love the boat ride idea…simple, yet open to amazing possibilities. Thanks WDWNT! :)

  4. The Puppeteer

    I love it, it's amazing. And they add 2 rides to AK, a boot ride partly trough a black light lit building and a Sourin clone in 3D. That is definitely what AK needs although I hope they don't make them to big because that is difficult.
    Can't wait to see a Sigorney Weaver character walking around cursing and smoking and the huge robots ploughing trough the tree of life with huge explosions. I would love to get my photo taken with the blue genital hair aliens and eat chicken waffles under the fibber optic tree. And thank god for concrete to create more mountains and waterfalls.
    I'm ready to buy my unobtanium souvenir that floats due to a few magnets and all the other stuff that Walmarkt and toy stories struggled to sell during the run of the movie.

    I really wish Disney would have gone with the original concept. It didn't had or needed a lame movie franchise. It was all immaginering and would have been magical. From what I've seen here I just can't get excited.

  5. Jason Albert

    This looks incredible. Being a Disney fanatic, I CANT WAIT!! Disney seems to always get it right. And they continue to show everyone else how its done.

  6. Debbie

    If anyone can do it, it is Disney!!! Looks spectacular!!! We are a Disney Family, have been coming since WDW opened, with our one year old, now we are coming with our children and grandchildren.

  7. Has there been any speculation as to what the folks (performers and audience) in the nighttime entertainment picture are wearing on/around their eyes? I can't tell if they are meant to be glasses (my best guess), face paint (maybe on some of the audience), or what. If glasses, what would their purpose be? 3D something or other, or am I being silly?

  8. Lin

    If we are trying to protect the environment and respect the animals why the night time show? Wasn't that the whole reason NOT to do all this, because it would upset the animals in their natural habitat? Or don't we care about that anymore?

    Also, did Disney buy Avatar?Wish it was ANYTHING else…Star Wars land, pretty much ANYTHING land. Avatar is so empty of real emotion, it is all special effects…Disney has always had a heart. Hope they redeem themselves at Epcot with the Imagination Pavilion and bringing back Figment and imaginative activities that actually involve kids' thinking and creativity.

  9. jeanylaser

    yeah me too! Avatarland will be awesome for the Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the new nighttime entertainment will be awesome too!

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