Yesterday, Disney surprised fans with an inside look at some of the technology being developed for Pandora: The World of Avatar. No matter what your feelings on this new themed land at Disney's Animal Kingdom, things look like they're going full steam ahead, as the video (posted below in case you missed it) walks viewers through a few new setpieces that will be featured in the area, and also features fleeting glances at models and replicas.
This un-narrated video may have plenty of teases and hints for guests eagerly anticipating this new area, but we came away with more questions than answers from this short (and almost purposefully vague) first-look video.
1. There’s going to be a lot of glow…but where’s it all going?
More than half of the video above showcases new, glowing elements that will be incorporated in Pandora: The World of Avatar. However, what remains a mystery is where exactly these glowing elements are going to fit into this area. Are these impressive looking glowing plants going to be stationary objects on walkways that will light up at night? Will they be part of an interactive queue for one of the two new rides coming to this area? Or will they be a part of the as-yet-untitled boat ride attraction?
During the video, James Cameron can be seen touching some of the glowing plants, but then the camera quickly cuts away before the viewer can see what (if anything) happens when these structures are touched. Though this could just be a weird editng choice, it seems more likely to us that there's an interactive element to the plants which Disney isn't quite ready to show us yet. If this is indeed the case, it could mean that the structures will be in an area that is guest accessible. Although we're sure that Pandora: The World of Avatar will look spectacular at night, it would almost seem a waste to use these structures outside, which leaves us with the indoor, interactive queue idea being the most likely place where guests will find these glowing structures. And speaking of...
2. What's the deal with the glowing walkway?
One thing that is always fun to see at Epcot is how guests react to the walkway glowing underneath their feet behind Spaceship Earth. It looks like this concept will be built upon at Pandora: The World of Avatar, as the video above showcases a glowing walkway that not only lights up beneath guests' feet, but also allows them to leave glowing footprints behind them.
This looks like another really cool feature, and if we had to guess, this is probably another element of the queue for the Avatar boat ride. The effect would be too much of a waste to use outside, and considering its proximity to other "glowing" elements, it only seems natural that this element would be in the same area.
3. Will the floating rocks move?
OK, so this is actually a question we've had since the first concept art was released ages ago, but this newest concept art brings up the animatronic question again. The way that the rocks are staged in this new art looks like there's a possibility for animatronic movement (it looks like there could be robotic arms reaching out from the first and fourth rocks to the second and third). However, considering the size of the structure, it's hard not to have flashbacks to a certain giant mountain resident at Disney's Animal Kingdom who famously stopped moving reportedly due to size several years ago.
Though we would certainly like to see these floating rocks move on opening day, it seems like a long shot. Perhaps they'll move on opening day, break down, and then everyone will forget they ever moved at all? At this point anything is possible, as this new concept art provides no answers whatsoever.