Pandora: World of Avatar at Disney World

By Kaylan Kha

Features Editor

Based on director James Cameron’s 2009 movie “Avatar,” Disney World’s new Pandora: World of Avatar opens to the public this Saturday. The 12-acre land spans Animal Kingdom, featuring a bioluminescent forest and three new attractions.

The World of Avatar combines real life vegetation with fictional plants from the film to create a unique experience for Disney park goers.

As guests walk through the park, they are met with 150 feet tall floating mountains and glowing flora.

“All of the lighting fixtures go back to a huge programming board that allow us to create the bioluminescence, not just in one static state, but in an evolving state throughout the night,” John Landau, “Avatar” producer, told CNET.

Disney.go.com stated that Avatar Flight of Passage is a 3D simulation ride that takes guests over Pandora’s landscape. Guests will be fully immersed in the ride as they wear 3D glasses and assume an animated alien body, giving them the effect of becoming a Na’vi.

They are then strapped into a motorcycle-eque seat aboard a mountain banshee that journeys through the land with the help of special effects and animatronics.

For those who prefer a more peaceful approach to Pandora, the Na’vi River Journey is an indoor boat ride that ventures into the bioluminescent forest, finishing with an encounter with a Na’vi Shaman of Songs at the end.

The Valley of Mo’ara offers tourists a chance to explore the land even further. Guests are allowed to hike through the mountains and interact with the plants. Some of the plants light up in response to guests while others can be played like drums.

Disney maintains this worldly theme from its attractions to its food.

Visitors can dine at Satu’li Canteen, a quick service restaurant where cheeseburgers lose their recognizable form in place of steamed baos and boba balls are served with each meal.

The park’s story is set decades after the first movie, where the inhabitants of Pandora are struggling to rebuild the planet. Following this storyline, the park stresses the importance of conservation and celebrates the beauty of nature.

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