This morning Disney has announced plans to bring James Cameron’s film franchise “Avatar” to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney world. In a “long-term creative partnership” and exclusive deal, Cameron and his team will act as creative consultants with Walt Disney Imagineering with construction on the new land beginning by 2013 with a projected opening by 2016.
Specifics of the new Animal Kingdom themed land are not yet revealed, though a press conference is being held at Walt Disney Imagineering headquarters in Glendale, Calif. today.
Award-winning director of AVATAR, James Cameron, shares his excitement in working with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to create AVATAR themed lands at Disney parks beginning with Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort, Fla.
Plans are expected to feature more than one ride in a whole new park area. The “Pandora” alien planet themed area for Animal Kingdom will also include more than just rides, offering entertainment, shopping, and dining. Many are already calling it Disney’s answer to Universal Orlando’s highly-immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
UPDATE (9/22/11): The new video below features interviews with Disney president and CEO Bob Iger, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs, and writer/director James Cameron discussing the announcement off “Avatar” coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
“James Cameron is a groundbreaking filmmaker and gifted storyteller who shares our passion for creativity, technological innovation and delivering the best experience possible,” said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “With this agreement, we have the extraordinary opportunity to combine James’ talent and vision with the imagination and expertise of Disney.”
“AVATAR created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new AVATAR films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said James Cameron. “I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our AVATAR universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of AVATAR with an unprecedented sense of reality.”