iTunes is Celebrating the Opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar

In Celebration of the opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, iTunes is providing a limited time offer that is “out of this world”!

The Avatar Extended Collector’s Edition on iTunes is available at the reduced price of $7.99 (reg. $19.99) through June 5th. Exclusively on iTunes, the Extended Collector’s Edition will include a video behind the scenes look inside the Land. The over eight minute piece features an in-depth look at how this dream world became a reality through the collaboration between Lightstorm Entertainment, led by James Cameron (Creator/Director of Avatar) and Jon Landau (Producer of Avatar), and the Walt Disney Imagineering team led by Joe Rohde, Creative Executive.

The Extended Collector’s Edition also offers a look at the filmmakers’ journey in the documentary Capturing Avatar, featuring interviews with the creative team behind the film. The set includes three versions of the film including a Family Friendly Audio version, plus over 45 minutes of never-before-seen footage, the Exclusive Alternate Opening on Earth, The Art of Avatar and more!

Visit apple.co/Avatar for this very special, limited time offer and share with Avatar fans

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River Cruise Appears to be Confirmed for AVATAR Themed Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Avatar River Cruise

LA Times reporter Brady MacDonald is reporting that the D-Ticket river cruise will be coming to AVATAR Land when it debuts in 2017.

Even though it was revealed on the originally released permits, the possibility of the second ride being built had been in question. MacDonald from the LA Times has a pretty good track record on accurate park information, so it seems as near confirmed as we can expect. that the river cruise will join the E-Ticket Soarin’ type ride as the land’s attraction lineup.

The river cruise will takes guests on an indoor ride through the illuminated landscape of Pandora, complete with bioluminescent trees and audio-animatronics.

In the article Joe Rohde states that the new E-Ticket banshee flight ride system will be “considerably more thrilling” than the original Soarin’, and from James Cameron, Avatar Land will let visitors “live, eat, breathe and smell Pandora.”

Has Disney Filed Permits for More Avatar Work at Animal Kingdom?

Avatar-DAK

There are rumors floating around that Walt Disney World may have filed some new paperwork with Orange County regarding the Avatar expansion at Animal Kingdom.

Two notice of commencements have been filed by Disney related to a project called “Morpho” that is reportedly the codename of the Avatar project.

The two permits describe their respective work as “DAK Expansion — Morpho 803 Completion Package” and “DAK Expansion — Morpho Canopy Mockups.” No other details of the work is included in the permit description.

Link to permit information

The permits don’t shed much light on the work, but the Avatar expansion which broke ground last January is said to include scenery taken straight out of Avatar Director James Cameron’s world, and imagineers also are expected to help recreate the floating mountains and illuminating plant life of Avatar’s world of Pandora.

The new area is expected to have rides such as guests riding on the movie’s flying creatures called Banshees, and maybe a boat attraction. In addition, it’s possible that the land may have nighttime entertainment that will help the park keep guests in later in the evenings.

The general contractor on the project is Balfour Beatty Construction LLC, and the architect is Morris Architects Inc.

The timeline of the attraction also coincides with news that Cameron expects the next sequels to Avatar to not be released until 2017. Earlier this week, it was reported those movies were now delayed, which may help further boost marketing efforts with the theme park’s opening.

‘Avatar’ Ride Coming to Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Avatar

From Variety

There are many perks to running the Walt Disney Co. It turns out one of them is getting to be the first to ride the winged beasts that will be one of Animal Kingdom’s signature rides when “Avatar” land opens inside the Walt Disney World theme park in 2017.

Bob Iger said he was recently given the chance to try out the ride, which will enable guests to fly through “Avatar’s” Pandora on the back of a flying banshee.

“It felt so real, so lifelike,” Iger said of the prototype vehicle guests will board to travel through the fictional land. “There’s never been anything like it.”

The vessels that guests will ride upon will essentially be the banshees themselves, with bodies that move to mimic a breathing beast. The flying sequences will be brought to life through large video screens — similar to “Soarin’” — with vehicles moving with the 3D action inside a massive theater.

While Disney and “Avatar” franchise creator and director James Cameron and producer Jon Landau already had announced that “Avatar” land would include the flying attraction, Iger excitedly provided a better glimpse of the experience, describing how he had to scale scaffolding in order to try out the ride for the first time.

Iger discussed the new theme park shortly after discussing plans for “Star Wars” at the company’s resorts during a Q&A with Variety co-editor-in-chief Claudia Eller at a Dealmakers Breakfast Wednesday morning, presented by Bank of America and sponsored by Delta.

Disney broke ground on the “Avatar” park in January. The themed addition, designed with Cameron, represents the largest expansion to Animal Kingdom since the park opened in 1998.

Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, the land will include Pandora’s floating mountains and bioluminescent plants across several acres that will house attractions, including a boat-based attraction, and eateries.

The addition of “Avatar” land is clearly Disney’s answer to Universal’s pair-up with Warner Bros. to build the wildly successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter park and Diagon Alley expansion inside Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios in Orlando.

The themed land will open as Cameron releases the first of three new “Avatar” sequels, starting in December 2016.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Parking Lot to Expand Ahead of New Additions

DAK-Entrance

In anticipation of the larger crowds at Disney’s Animal Kingdom over the next few years, work will be beginning on expanding the parking lots.

The grassy area at the rear of the lot will soon be paved and merged into the existing parking lot space. Work should be complete by late September 2014.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the focus of Walt Disney World’s new construction over the next 3 years, with the night show ‘Rivers of Light,’ a nighttime edition of Kilimanjaro, and of course AVATAR land all set to open.

“Pandora The Land of Avatar” is Tentative Name of New Avatar Themed Area

WDI-Cameron-Avatar

Ever since it was announced, we’ve just referred to it it “Avatar Land” but, at a recent Q&A, James Cameron told audiences what the official name of the newest addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom might be. “It’s going to be called, I believe, Pandora: The Land of Avatar.”

Cameron also discussed some of the technical advances Disney Imagineers are making in the park, particularly with the animatronic Na’vi. 

Cameron spoke about the park at the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festivalon Saturday May 31. He said Imagineers were looking into doing something olfactory in the park to simulate the experience of being in a rain forest, then added the following.

“It’s going to have floating mountains. It’s pretty cool. I’ve seen the model and the design work the Imagineering people have done is spectacular. They’ve got a quarter inch to the foot scale model of the whole park and I’ve looked at all the sight lines…it’s not a park, it’s a land within the park but a land is not just a ride. There will be several rides and a number of other attractions. It’s really just a place you’re gonna wanna go and hang out. It’s gonna be gorgeous. Of course it’s gonna be gorgeous at night and they’re using every new trick, every new bit of technology that they’ve created.

The animatronics for the Na’vi characters are gonna be fantastic. For example, their early animatronics would use 12 axis of motion and I think the most they’ve ever done was 32 axis recently. I think they’re up to 64 just in the face of the Na’vi characters. So it’s gonna be remarkable. They really see it as a major, major attraction.”

Of course, until Disney makes it official, it’s impossible to say this is the 100% final name of the Land but, this seems pretty solid, considering the source.

Pandora The Land of Avatar is scheduled to open at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida in 2017, which will be between the release of Avatar 2 and Avatar 3. Construction began earlier this year.