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Avatar and theme park fans will be buzzing with excitement after the announcement this week that Disney has partnered with James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the idyllic planet of Pandora to life at Disney's Animal Kingdom in 2016.

It also looks likely that other Disney parks around the world may also be in for a slice of the Pandora magic in years to come, with Disney clinching the global rights to create theme park rides based on the movie. With two sequels for the highly acclaimed Avatar in the pipeline, the hype surrounding the new land is set to really explode as the Imagineers start flexing their creative muscles and plans become clearer of what we can expect.

I am blown away by the prospect of being able to visit the planet of Pandora and my head is filled with ideas of the perfect rides I would just love to see included. It is therefore obvious that this week's Big Debate had to focus on this and asks "What types of attraction would you most like to see in the Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom?"

What would you most like to see in Avatar land?

The list of potential rides, shows and other attractions for an Avatar land is almost endless. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
  • Rollercoaster - Can you imagine strapping into a coaster and being blasted around the luscious forested expanses of Pandora as if you were one of the Na'vi people taking flight on an Ikran? The options are endless for a super rollercoaster set in the heart of the new land.
  • Dark Ride - One of my favorite types of ride is the dark ride where the latest technological effects are often used to their best advantage. Could Disney top Harry Potter at the Forbidden Journey at Universal's Islands of Adventure?
  • 4D Cinema - Perhaps an obvious choice would be a 4D cinema to extend guests' submersion in the world of Pandora. A new section of film could be created to offer further insight into the lives of the Na'vi people.
  • Drop Tower - A fantastic way of giving amazing views over the new land could be through the use of a drop tower and I'm sure Disney could shake a bit of fairy dust to create a slightly different slant on this traditional attraction (as it has already proved with the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror).
  • Water ride - This could be an opportunity for Disney to add another water ride to Animal Kingdom. This would surely score a few votes with those guests visiting in the sweltering Florida summer months and how idyllic would a splash of water be in the middle of beautiful Pandora?

Vote now!

Let us know which type of ride you would like to see in Avatar Land by voting in our poll below:

What should Disney's first Avatar attraction be?

Share your thoughts

Thanks for voting in Theme Park Tourist's Big Debate. Why not let us know why you voted as you did using the comments section below?



I want to ride something truly unique. Why can't we have a dark ride that is also a roller coaster? Avatar is a big enough franchise that inventing a completely new type of ride is entirely justified. Let's not just create another Harry Potter or Spiderman using this franchise. Let's do something revolutionary. Combine the dark ride with a roller coaster!

What I want Disney to do is to create a ride based on taming the Toruk/Great Leonopteryx and chasing off some mercenaries with it. Experience is key. People go to Disney for the experience, not the g-forces, inversions, thrills, and spills. Put riders in a Spiderman-like car that runs on roller coaster tracks. Control the pace of the early ride. Expedition Everest has a pair of controlled sections so this is definitely possible. Start with climbing a big tree or cliff. While the ride car is going up the silent/cable lift hill surround it with screens showing us climbing to get higher than our target. When we get to the top show the riders jumping for the creature, getting hold, and then send the ride vehicle out a door or exit point to a fast and gently curving roller coaster section similar to Millenium Force. I want height, speed, and smoothness. Have the tracks interacting with environmental things that look like plant life, waterfalls, and floating islands. Enjoy the scenery for a bit after the beast is tamed.

Then calm down the ride by entering another enclosed section. Control the ride pace again while we watch more screens implying we're in stable flight atop Toruk/Great Leonopteryx and we've spotted some mercenaries. Begin a battle sequence. Maybe send the ride car out another door/exit point swooping around mercenary vehicles and an outpost. Return to a controlled section with screens and finish the battle. Drive them off, congratulate the rider, and it's over. Then put a gift shop at the end of the ride featuring characters from the ride, mercenary toy vehicles from the movies, beast plushies, and so on.

With today's fully articulated robotic arms and ride vehicles it should be within Disney's reach to combine the excitement of a dark ride like Spiderman or Harry Potter with the speed, height, and smoothness of a coaster like Millenium Force. We have quiet elevator-style lift hills, booster motors, and everything else that's necessary to make this idea a reality. The strength of this idea is that the scenery of Pandora is visible to everyone in the new section while the ride provides a unique experience visible at times to create a crowd draw.

This is a very expensive idea. Disney did secure the rights to Avatar; a very expensive movie. GO BIG OR GO HOME!

In reply to by BigDragon (not verified)

Wow- it sounds amazing! I agree, I think Disney need to do something really special with Avatar Land. The world of Pandora should be used to its full advantage.

I love dark rides (Spiderman is one of my favourites) but purely having a dark ride in Pandora would surely be scandalous judging on the plans for the outside Disney's Imagineers ae no doubt already conjuring up. Combining a dark ride with a smooth gliding coaster would surely be quite something.

I can't wait to see what Disney come up with- let's hope it has that extra bit of magic sprinkled in as has come to be expected from Disney!

In reply to by BigDragon (not verified)

I'm betting that Disney will do this in a similar fashion to the Gringott's Coaster that Universal is doing.

I think the first ride should be a roller coaster, I would like to see a Vekoma Booster Bike style coaster, with the trains themed to the creatures the Na'vis connect to.

I think this could be plausible as a Tron Lightcycle coaster has been around for a while now.

Thank you,


I think Disney will have to take advantage of the beauty of Pandora. It would be amazing to be submerged in the world of the Na'vi people riding a brilliantly themed rollercoaster.

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