The Avatar-inspired land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one step closer to reality, as a ceremonial groundbreaking was held last week.
Leaders from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Lightstorm Entertainment – a collaborator on the project – appeared with Na’vi-sized shovels to break ground on the expansion that will bring the world of Pandora to life.
In the Avatar-inspired land, guests will encounter floating mountains, and have a chance to walk through a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants. They’ll also have the opportunity to discover what it feels like ride a Banshee.
The new Avatar area will be located between Africa and the Oasis, taking over and expanding beyond the Camp Minnie-Mickey area. The Festival of the Lion King is also moving to an all-new theater in the Africa area of the park.
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In addition to the Avatar land, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also adding new entertainment experiences, including a nighttime spectacular with live music, floating lanterns, water screens, and animal imagery in a show at Discovery River. There are also plans for live performers on Discovery Island, and a nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris.
The Avatar area – scheduled to open in 2017 – will be the largest expansion in Animal Kingdom history.
To see more about the ceremonial groundbreaking, check out this video.