Disney Confirm Name Of Avatar Boat Ride Attraction

Hey Thrill Seekers,

When they’re not spending Billions on in park technology or buying up awesome IP like Star Wars, Disney also build lands at their theme parks. The Land that’s getting the Disney magical touch at the moment will find a home at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and will be based around the movie franchise Avatar.

We’ve reported a lot about this project over the months including some awesome artists impressions and the all important name, Pandora the World of Avatar. Today at D23 Expo in Japan, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, dropped some more news about the Avatar expansion. I’ll let Disney’s words speak for themselves…

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Pandora – The World of AVATAR will bring a variety of new experiences to the Park, including a family-friendly attraction called Na’vi River Journey. The adventure begins as guests set out in canoes and venture down a mysterious, sacred river hidden within the bioluminescent rainforest. The full beauty of Pandora reveals itself as the canoes pass by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures. The journey culminates in an encounter with a Na’vi shaman, who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora and sends positive energy out into the forest through her music.

So we now know two of the rides that will be featured in Pandora, Na’vi River and the 3D movie attraction, Flight of Passage.

Pandora – The World of Avatar is set to open in 2017, we’re expecting more updates and we’ll keep you all posted.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Disney Confirm New Land Will Be Called Pandora – The World Of Avatar

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Disney’s D23 expo has proven to be very insightful in terms of theme park news, on top of the Star Wars bombshell and the Toy Story Land confirmation Disney also confirmed the name of their Avatar offering at Animal Kingdom.

Pandora – The World of Avatar will emerge guests into the magnificent world created by James Cameron. Disney confirmed the following will appear in the park;

  • AVATAR Flight of Passage – The centerpiece of Pandora – The World of AVATAR, brings guests into one of the most thrilling scenes from the film, in which they will soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world.
  • “Rivers of Light” – Expected to open next spring, “Rivers of Light” will be an innovative show unlike anything ever seen in Disney Parks, combining live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery.

imageDisney will also be extending parks hours with the introduction of Sunset Kilimanjaro Safaris –guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.

Disney are absolutely flying at the moment, the other parks best take notice!

Smiles included…

Jamie

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What Can We Expect From Disney’s Avatar Land?

Hey Thrill Seekers,

A lot is happening at Disney these days they’ve recently closed the Magic of Animation and DisneyQuest is set for retirement in 2016 but it’s not all about closures. As we’ve reported several times Disney are busy building Pandora, the world in which the 2009 film Avatar is set.

Scheduled to open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 2017 the Avatar Land is a massive investment and shows that along with the new Star Wars area Disney are investing heavily in content after the huge expense of My Magic Plus but what can we expect from Disney’s Avatar Land?

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Avatar Land will take over a location once occupied by the Disney character meet-and-greet area and the “Festival of the Lion King” show, which has been relocated to a new theater.

Pandora’s flagship attraction will be a banshee flight simulator similar to Soarin’ at Epcot however Disney are stating it will be  “considerably more thrilling”!

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Also being touted is an indoor boat ride with similar dynamics to Pirates of the Caribbean will take riders on a river journey through the illuminated forest of Pandora.

Disney are also looking to to introduce a some nighttime entertainment featuring music, performers and water screen projections which will take place on Discovery River. For the new show, Disney is reportedly teaming up with Cirque du Soleil and WET, the design firm responsible for the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas.

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The LA Times also reports that;

After dark, lighting effects will play a prominent role in Avatar Land, with LED-lighted sidewalks and illuminated plants that respond to the touch. The man-made Tree of Life, the centerpiece of the park, is expected to undergo a major makeover that will incorporate lighting effects into every branch and leaf.

By day, the futuristic Avatar Land will be populated by lush jungle foliage, floating mountains and the ruins of a military base camp sprinkled with audio-animatronics, 3-D projections and hologram effects. An area themed as the Pandora landing station mess hall could serve as a quick-service restaurant.

The major announcement that seems to be missing from any reports I’ve read is if Avatar Land will incorporate any kind of flying experience around the Mountain Banshee’s, the flying dragon type creatures depicted in the films….Surely they will?

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What would you like to see in Avatar Land?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Disney Confirm Avatar Land Details

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s no secret that Disney are looking to build an Avatar based land at Animal Kingdom, what we’ve been very short of though is actual details.

On the 28th of January Joe Rohde Disney Imagineer and Jon Landa Avatar Producer spoke to Disney cast members about the future of the land and some of the things we could expect, here’s a the video provided by BigFatPanda.com.

Here’s a quick breakdown;

Banshee Ride

The main attraction/ride will be a flying ride. As per the film riders will board “Banshee’s” we’re assuming in a similar riding position as you’d get on Manta at SeaWorld, the ride will feature 3D elements. Think Soaring meets Manta!

Interactive Land

In the video Landau states that the land will be an attraction itself, with interactive elements. With Disney spending Billions on My Magic+ could we see some kind of link here?

Disney are going big

This is Disney’s version of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and as Rohde  is quick to point out Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time and with 2 more in the pipeline I think Disney are looking for a but of that Cameron magic to rub off.

Although we’ve previously posted these pics I thought you might like to see some of the renderings again.

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Could Video Games Be The Next Theme Park Lands?

Hiya Thrill Seekers,

With theme parks eager to seize the initiative for any Intellectual assassins_creedProperty that becomes popular (See Avatar and Potter) it got us thinking about the massive video games industry and could there be an opportunity for someone?

Grand Theft Auto V, for example made an amazing $800 million in the first 24 hours of launch, if that doesn’t scream popular then nothing will. Now I’m not suggesting one of our partners opens a land dedicated to GTA but would they be missing a trick if they didn’t at least consider video games in the same way they look at films?

Perhaps some parks are already doing this? Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights this year featured a house based on a computer game, Resident Evil, some of you may point to the fact it was also a film but the house concept itself didn’t concentrate on the movie but stuck to the roots and placed you inside the video game! Kennedy Space Center has already launched its Angry Birds encounter based around the popular game.

We took a look at some of the top games of 2013 and tried to pick out which of them could be a dream fit for Orlando Theme Parks.

Assassin’s Creed

Not a child friendly name granted, but the story behind the title might just be a perfect match. Very basically in Assassin’s Creed the gamer takes control of a character who through artificial intelligence can be placed anywhere in time to live out a story as part of the Assassin’s guild.

With the trend in 3D generated attractions so popular at the moment this title lends itself perfectly to the phase and might allow a park to pick up a certain amount of cool points.

Perfect for? – Universal Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios are probably the only parks that could get away with this title.

Mario

Everyone knows who Mario is, he’s the small Italian plumber who has appeared in over 200 Nintendo games across the World. Most of Mario’s games are based around him rescuing Princess Peach from the evil Bowser.

I could see Mario being an entire land and incorporating a multitude of Nintendo characters.

Perfect for? – Very much aimed at children, in an ideal World it would be perfect for either Disney or LEGOLAND Florida.

Temple Run

The mobile first game built around the idea of an Indiana Jones type character claiming an ancient artifact which then triggers traps that must be outrun is being turned in to a Film!

If its good enough to be turned into a film then its definitely good enough for a Theme Park and with such a great visual IP it could be a perfect match for a jungle or safari type land.

Perfect for? Busch Gardens Tampa or perhaps Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

I could go on for a lot longer than you’re willing to read naming games that would make great lands but I wont. With the popularity of gaming its only a matter of time until we see lands based on popular titles, perhaps even connecting the two so that even when you’ve completed the game on your console additional material would be available at the park!

Is their a game you’d like to see turned in to a theme park land?

Smiles included…

Jamie

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Disney Reveal First Glimpse Of Avatar At Animal Kingdom

Morning Thrill Seekers,

With all the hype and excitement building for the launch of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Expansion, it’s easy to forget that Disney have their own blockbuster in the pipeline.

As we reported, Disney have been in talks with Avatar creator James Cameron to turn his multi-million dollar movie from the screen to their Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando. Disney have been a little quiet on developments that was until this weekend when via their blog, gave us all a sneak peak.

Disney are calling this there largest ever expansion and by the looks of the imagineers renderings you can see why. Disney’s own Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resort wrote;

In the world of AVATAR guests will encounter awe-inspiring floating mountains and wander through a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants that are alive with light and sound. Guests will also discover what it feels like to soar into the sky riding a Banshee.

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Tom went on to mention how the Disney Imagineers have been busy working out how to make AVATAR land not only a visual experience but also geared towards the other senses.

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The concept drawings show the huge scale in which Disney is planning to introduce AVATAR.

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Disney also mentioned that the expansion wont just be centered around AVATAR.

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As part of the largest expansion in the history of the park, we’ll be adding all-new entertainment experiences, including a new nighttime spectacular where live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery all combine to bring a show to Discovery River that will delight our guests and truly cap off their day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The park will introduce more nighttime entertainment as well, including live performers on Discovery Island (pictured above) and a new nighttime version of the Kilimanjaro Safaris.

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The sheer size of the expansion is very impressive and I can’t wait to see how they transfer their renderings to Animal Kingdom.

Smiles included..

Jamie

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Disney Confirm MyMagic+ Full Roll Out & Avatar Land

Afternoon Thrill Seekers,

Much has been said about Disney’s Billion Dollar investment in its Avatarnew MyMagic+ system, one thing that hasn’t been confirmed though is the full roll out date.

Today Bob Iger, Disney Chairman and CEO confirmed that his company would complete full integration in the next couple of months just in time to start its first quarter for 2014. Mr Iger also confirmed that over 200,000 Disney visitors had successfully beta tested the product.

For those of you who haven’t heard, Disney’s new system is based around RFID (radio-frequency identification) microchips embbedded in to plastic credit card style tickets or wristbands. The RDIF chips can be used as theme-park tickets, hotel-room keys, credit cards for in park purchases and FastPasses.

The major game changer for Disney is the upgrade of their FastPass facility which will now allow customers to book a limited number of ride times from the comfort of their own home months in advance. Check out our recent trial of the RDIF Disney Tickets

Iger also briefly mentioned Avatar Land which Disney have until now been pretty quiet about. Avatar Land is set to be introduced to Animal Kingdom in the near future and although it wasn’t anything special it gives you an idea of perhaps where Disney think the next big project is after RFID.

We’re very excited about Avatar Land, I think that will generate substantial growth down there.

We’ve always been a fan of green more than blue…but what do you think, are you excited about Avatar?

Smiles included

Jamie

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