In a surprising announcement, Walt Disney Imagineering announced today that a new land is coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at WDW. You might be asking, “What is that new land?” and I would be tempted to trick you with Beastly Kingdom, but the truth is that Disney has teamed up with Lightstorm Entertainment to bring the world of Pandora (the mythical moon in James Cameron’s “Avatar”) to both parks. From the announcement:
We believe Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great fit for this project because it was created to give guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature – real and mythical – in new ways. Disney’s Animal Kingdom also celebrates adventure, living in harmony with nature and environmental stewardship – themes that are deeply rooted in the story of AVATAR.
Construction is slated to begin in 2013, with opening by 2016.
RE: Whether or not the world of Avatar belongs in Animal Kingdom, I present you this:
Welcome to a kingdom of animals… real, ancient and imagined: a kingdom ruled by lions, dinosaurs and dragons; a kingdom of balance, harmony and survival; a kingdom we enter to share in the wonder, gaze at the beauty, thrill at the drama, and learn. — Michael Eisner, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Dedication, April 1998