ORLANDO, Fla. - Disney World's new Pandora - World of Avatar promises guests a true cinematic experience.
The soon-to-be-opened theme park spreads across 12 acres of Disney's Animal Kingdom. The attraction is based on filmmaker James Cameron's 2009 box office blockbuster, "Avatar."
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But here's the twist: this new land is set a generation after Cameron's final film in the series, which is still years away. The planning for Pandora began in 2011, so this world is a long time coming and is a collaboration of Walt Disney Imagineering, Cameron, and his production company.
"This is amazing because we take on these seemingly impossible tasks, but we just have to do it," executive producer Lisa Girolami said. "Imagineers are crazy people, as you've probably already figured out, but we have to make things happen and we have to figure it out and we have to create these great environments. It's just the coolest thing - I love it."
You get a real sense of nature at this new park, all in a place seemingly light years away from Earth. Girolami said there are many layers to the meanings behind each and everything in Pandora.
"It truly is a vision. There are deeper messages like conservation, taking care of the land, taking care of each other and animals and plants and things - I think that's really important," she said. "But I also want them to come out going, 'My gosh, this was so amazing. I've never done something like this before. I was taken to this whole other place, and maybe I'm going to be a little more adventurous when I get home.'"
But don't think you have to have a Ph.D. in "Avatar" to understand and enjoy.
"All you need to do is have a sense of adventure," Girolami said.
Inside Pandora, people can go on a river journey deep into a bio-luminescent rain forest, steeped in the tradition of the Navi people who live there. People can also link up with an Avatar and fly across Pandora.
Pandora - World of Avatar opens May 27.
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