On Sept. 20, the Disney Parks Blog announced Disney’s Animal Kingdom, part of Walt Disney World Resort, will be the first home to a fantasy world based on AVATAR, the James Cameron film.
Disney’s creative partnership with Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment, was announced at a press conference with Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney President and CEO Bob Iger and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs.
“James Cameron is a groundbreaking filmmaker and gifted storyteller who shares our passion for creativity, technological innovation and delivering the best experience possible,” said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company in a press statement. “With this agreement, we have the extraordinary opportunity to combine James’ talent and vision with the imagination and expertise of Disney.”
Construction at an AVATAR themed land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK) is expected to begin by 2013. Disney cited the park’s focus on “adventure, living in harmony with nature and environmental stewardship” as being a good fit for AVATAR. Cameron mentioned Disney’s work with tecnology and storytelling.
“AVATAR created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new AVATAR films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said James Cameron.
“I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our AVATAR universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of AVATAR with an unprecedented sense of reality.”
Update, Sept. 20: Added photos from the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts press conference about AVATAR.
Although the design phase has just started, and details of the partnership have not been released, the Disney Parks Blog announcement hints at two things.
First, the partnership is anticipated to be long-term; not only is construction expected to begin more than a year from now, but the announcement referenced two sequels that will offer more stories, characters, and locations – an AVATAR universe.
Second, the announcement notes that Disney’s Animal Kingdom will not be the only location for “Avatar” experiences. It specifically states DAK is the site of the first – not only – AVATAR land.
Both these details indicate extensive plans are in the works for Disney Parks, and the agreement provides Disney with exclusive global theme park rights to the AVATAR franchise.
As a follow-up to the announcement, a special Q & A blog post by Chairman Staggs will address Disney Parks Blog reader questions. Email questions today, Sept. 20, to [email protected]
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