While fans await the sequels to James Cameron‘s Avatar, Walt Disney World‘s Animal Kingdom is nearly finished with the expansion based upon the first Avatar film. Now, Disney has officially announced that Pandora: The World of Avatar is opening in summer 2017, and the company has also offered a new glimpse of the attraction.
The news broke via the Disney Parks blog, which also debuted four new images from the Pandora attraction while explaining some of the mythology behind them. First up was a photo of the bridge connecting Pandora to the rest of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Within the backstory constructed by Lightstorm and Disney’s team of Imagineers, this bridge is actually a relic from a previous attempt to exploit Pandora’s resources by the Resources Development Administration. But within the present of Pandora, the bridge is now being used by Alpha Centauri Expeditions, an intergalactic tour group that’s on more friendly terms with the Na’vi.
A separate Disney Parks blog post revealed additional pieces of concept art for a few of the primary locations within the new corner of the theme park.
If you get hungry while visiting Pandora, you can dine at the Satu’li Canteen, a large restaurant that will prominently feature “Na’vi art and cultural items.” But if you just have a thirst for drinks, Pongu Pongu is where you want to go for beverages unique to Pandora.
Finally, there’s a gift store, which is called “Windtraders.” This is where you can buy “Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits, and more.”
Disney did not reveal any new art for Pandora’s primary rides: Avatar: Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey; but we’re still very excited to experience them next year. The Orlando Sentinel has also posted a video of Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde and Lightstorm producer Jon Landau discussing the Avatar attraction from this weekend’s D23’s Destination D: Amazing Adventures. It’s not an embeddable clip, but you can watch the video here.
Are you excited about the chance to visit Pandora next summer? Transfer your minds into your avatars, and share your thoughts below!
Images: Lightstorm/20th Century Fox/Disney