Saturday, November 19, 2016

D23 Event : Pandora: The World of Avatar Set to Open Summer 2017, New Renderings Released, Night View Concept-Art of DHS Star Wars Land, Epcot Overhaul, and more...

Yesterday at the D23’s Destination D: Amazing Adventures presentation, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts unveiled a new rendering showing how Disney's Hollywood Studios Star Wars Land will look at night. The land will take on a whole new dimension after dark and feature adventures and surprises around each corner. 

He also revealed that a Star Tours update is also underway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, to bring more stories from a galaxy, far, far away to life in the parks.

A new adventure to Star Tours – the Adventures Continue attraction will be added. Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm teams are currently in production to add an exciting new mission to the attraction based on elements from Star Wars Episode VIII. 

Let's move to Animal Kingdom and Pandora – The World of Avatar as Bob Chapek also gave a construction update about the new land which is now officially scheduled for an opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in summer 2017. Three renderings were also released showing new locations in Pandora : the World of Avatar. 

Pongu Pongu will be a special drink location with a design that is as eclectic as its Expat owner... 

Satu’li Canteen will be the main restaurant in Pandora – The World of Avatar and will feature Na’vi art and cultural items. 

At Windtraders, travelers will be able to find Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits, and more.

He also shared a look at a recent construction milestone - scaffolding has just been removed from the entry bridge into the new land (near Tiffins restaurant), officially connecting the land with the rest of the park.

According to the storyline developed by Walt Disney Imagineering and Lightstorm Entertainment, this bridge was built during a time when a destructive company called the RDA came to Pandora. Now that they’re long gone, nature is breaking down evidence of their presence. This bridge will soon serve as an entry into the base camp of Alpha Centauri Expeditions, the eco-tour group that is preparing Pandora for future explorers and adventure seekers. 

The story of the bridge is just our first look inside this land, which fulfills the original mission of Disney’s Animal Kingdom of being a park that honors animals and natural environments “real, ancient and imagined.” 

The entire Pandora – The World of Avatar land will transport guests to a visually stunning world complete with floating mountains and bioluminescent plants. Here, guests will be able to experience two excursions that will truly push adventure to the next level. First, the family friendly Na’vi River Journey will send guests down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest. 

Their journey will end in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. 

And second, the Avatar Flight of Passage excursion will offer the jaw-dropping experience of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora.

Last but not least, a good news for all Epcot fans as Bob Chapek at Destination D announced that an overhaul is in the plans for WDW Epcot! Chapek said that he asked WDI creative team to "dream big" about the upcoming transformations and that the park will become “more Disney, timeless, relevant, family-friendly” while staying faithful to Epcot original vision of an edutainment park. Well, let's give him the benefit of the doubt about that one, would we?

Pictures: copyright Disney


Anonymous said...

Well, this sounds hopeful, maybe now that Shanghai is built, Disney can get back to fixing the domestic parks.

My suggestions for Epcot: Take It's a Small World out of Magic Kingdom and put it in the space in between Future World and World Showcase. It's theme of children and peace was made for Epcot.

Put the Carousel of Progress somewhere in Future World, it was originally showcased the original vision of Epcot anyway.

These first two suggestions should not cost that much, but it would greatly reinforce the theme of Epcot.

Put the Tron coaster in Future World, but make it longer, I heard it was too short in Shanghai.

Put the Swiss Pavilion in World Showcase with Matterhorn Bobsleds ride. There, done.

The problem with Avatar Land is that no one remembers the movie. So it's like a non-IP land, but I guess that's ok.

topdad said...

"overhaul is in the plans for WDW Epcot" More Disney means more bad tie ins with characters that barely fit into the original EPCOT concept.

Brandon said...

I think this will be a great, unique addition to animal kingdom which lacked sorely in the previous space! although I still think the same could have been achieved with the help of imagineers and not the movie tie in which Disney paid over a billion dollars for the rights too!
My only real concern is that the Actual floating mountains as seen on many YouTube videos seem really underwhelming! They don't appear to float at all! As I'm grateful for the addition, the same can be said for part of the fantasyland at Magic kingdom which relies a little too heavily on "forced perspective" to illustrate an experience rather than create one!