Walt Disney’s ambitious Pandora—The World of Avatar will open May 27 at Animal Kingdom in Orlando, FL, CEO Bob Iger announced Wednesday during a shareholders meeting.
The 12-acre land is based on Pandora, the mythical world from James Cameron’s box-office hit Avatar— which currently is filming the first of four sequels. The project will bring the franchise to life; guests can explore the Na'vi River or ride gigantic flying lizards above the forests of Pandora.
"This is a very big land with unique design and architecture that really does make you feel like you're in Pandora," Iger said.
There will be a themed restaurant, “Satu’li Canteen,” plus a bar and a gift shop. There will be two main attractions: Pandora on Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. The first ride will have guests flying over jungles and floating mountains atop a Mountain Banshee. On the latter, guests will sail down a river hidden inside a glowing forest.
The project is part of Disney’s larger plan to transform Disney’s Animal Kingdom from a day into a night-time theme park. It recently added Kilimanjaro Safaris, extending its hours past sunset so guests can experience nocturnal animals, and a “Rivers of Light” show in a new Discovery River waterside theater.
Iger also announced that the Star Wars-themed land for both Disneyland Park in California and Disney World in Florida are slated to open in 2019. Construction of the 14-acre expansion in Hollywood Studios started last April. While Disney has been mum on the park’s features, there reportedly will be a ride that allows visitors to pilot a full-size replica of the Millennium Falcon.
Star Wars Land concept. Photo: Disney