The updates on AVATAR, first announced at D23 Expo Japan, also provided a look at some of Disney's concept art. The artwork focused the fantastical biodiversity created for Pandora, from its floating mountains to the nighttime beauty of the bioluminescent rainforests to flying Banshees.
Walt Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde notes the AVATAR-inspired land will be an immersive experience for guests. In the video announcement posted on Disney Parks Blog, Rohde said the lyrical, beautiful Pandora will “come to life when you interact with it and seems to be a living creature itself.”
The AVATAR-themed expansion will be located between DAK’s Africa and the Oasis, including the area housing Camp Minnie-Mickey and beyond. To make room for the new land, the popular “Festival of the Lion King” show is moving to a new theater in the Africa section of DAK.
Also included in DAK’s expansion plans is a focus on added nighttime entertainment, with an after-dark spectacular centered around and above Discovery River, live performers on Discovery Island, and a night version of the Kilimanjaro Safaris.
AVATAR is the centerpiece of the largest expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The land is expected to open in 2017.