Avatar Land

In early 2017, the Animal Kingdom will be getting a massive upgrade when Pandora – The World of Avatar opens.  This new land will explore the world of Pandora, from the popular movie Avatar.  On this page, we’ll keep you up-to-date on all the latest news and information.  Naturally, there are a few questions that we all have about Avatar Land, as it’s being called by many.  We’ll try to answer the following:

  • When will it open?
  • What rides and attractions will be included?
  • What Other Attractions and Festivities will be at Avatar Land?
  • What will this mean for the Animal Kingdom?

When will Avatar Land open?

Avatar Land will open in early 2017.  An exact date probably won’t be known for quite some time.  Usually Disney will allow soft openings a few weeks ahead of the actual official open date.

Do you want to plan a trip to Disney World to see this new area?  If so, go ahead and begin planning a trip for Summer or Fall of 2017.  That’s the safest bet.  I wouldn’t try to risk planning an expensive trip for early 2017 until I knew the exact dates.  Unless, of course, you want to go twice in one year!

avatar land

Na’vi River Journey will open with Pandora Ð The World of AVATAR in 2017. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Disney)

Avatar Land Rides and Attractions

Na’Vi River Journey — As you see in the above picture and caption, the Na’Vi River Journey will be one of the big attractions.  This will be a ride for all ages, and the point of this ride is to completely capture the stunning visual world of Avatar.

I’d expect a ride that is similar to the Pirates of the Caribbean, as it’s slow-moving and designed to immerse you in Pandora.  Similar to Pirates, there are likely to be a small drop or two, just to add a bit of excitement.  But this isn’t a thrill ride, just a ride to show off what the Imagineers can do!

Avatar Flight of Passage — 

“You will actually feel like you are flying…I know you’ve heard that before, but this is on a whole other level”.  Those words from James Cameron describe the headlining thrill ride, Avatar Flight of Passage.  This ride is promised to deliver a unique experience to the guest, to simulate flight in a new and completely advanced way, and to immerse guests in the world of Pandora.

While there isn’t a lot of additional info on these two rides, the long and short of it is that there will be an attraction for both thrill-seekers and for young children.

pandora the world of avatar

 Scheduled to open in 2017, the AVATAR-inspired land will be part of the largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history. (Concept art, Walt Disney Imagineering)

What Other Attractions will be at Avatar Land?

Currently the two listed attractions are the only rides that this land will have.  But the entire area itself is going to be transformed into Pandora.  There will be floating mountains, the blue moon and details everywhere that will make it exciting just to walk around.

It is Disney, so expect plenty of shopping areas as well as new places to eat.  The Animal Kingdom is already a great place to eat, and I expect this to enhance that experience even more.

Avatar Land at Night

Avatar Land should be visually stunning at night, as it will come alive with bio-luminescent lights, and LED-sidewalks, and illuminated plants that respond to touch.

One of the most exciting elements of Avatarland will be a new Nighttime show that will play at the Animal Kingdom.  The show is supposed to play on the Discovery River, but there aren’t a lot of details about the show.  According to the LA Times, Disney is teaming up with Cirque du Soleil for this show.


Looking over a scale model of Avatar Land (Disney)

What Will Avatar Land Mean for the Animal Kingdom?

This new world should benefit not only the Animal Kingdom, but all of Walt Disney World.  The primary benefit is that the Animal Kingdom will be open at night, which spreads guests out even further.

The Animal Kingdom currently is a park you can knock out by 2-3PM currently.  With Avatarland, it becomes a full day and night experience.  The addition of another thrill ride is sorely needed, so Flight of Passage will be huge for a theme park in desperate need of more attractions.


In future months, we’ll keep you up-to-date with any news and updates that we get from Disney as we all await early 2017 and the opening of Avatar Land!

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