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Avatar land moves closer to construction as Walt Disney World announces new theater for ‘Festival of the Lion King’

Avatar land moves closer to construction as Walt Disney World announces new theater for ‘Festival of the Lion King’

Walt Disney World is preparing for the arrival of Pandora. Today Disney confirmed the relocation of the popular “Festival of the Lion King” stage show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom from its longtime Camp Minnie-Mickey home to a new theater in the Africa section of the park, set to open in 2014.

The show has been a staple of Disney’s Animal Kingdom since it opened 15 years ago and Disney has no plans of closing it any time soon. But with a themed land devoted to James Cameron’s soon-to-be “Avatar” series of films on the way, Disney is moving a few things around in the park to get ready for groundbreaking.

Recently the new Adventurers Outpost meet-and-greet opened, moving Mickey and Minnie Mouse away from their namesake Camp Minnie-Mickey, where they have been meeting guests for years. Now, with the area’s only big attraction on its way out, Camp Minnie-Mickey is ready to be taken over by the colorful forest world of Pandora.

Few details are known about what Disney is planning with its upcoming Avatar land, still several years away from opening. They’ve promised to tease a bit about the project at the upcoming D23 Expo next week, but no major announcements are expected there.

With James Cameron continuing to push back the expected release dates for sequels to “Avatar,” Disney is also hesitant to commit even to an opening time frame for Pandora, not likely to be seen until around 2016 or 2017. But there’s no doubt it is happening, with Walt Disney World president George Kalogridis recently confirming they are “committed” to the project.


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