Avatar is a massive franchise. Though some were initially unsure about the series' longevity following the first film's release in 2009, when Avatar: The Way of Water was released in 2022, it went on to become the third highest-grossing film of all time at the US box office, only bested by Avengers: Endgame, and the original Avatar film.
Given this series' astounding success, it's no wonder that Disney wants more of this blockbuster series in its theme parks. In fact, earlier this year, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed at an event that more Avatar is indeed on the way for Disney parks. However, instead of expanding Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Iger said that Disney will instead be creating a whole new "experience" for fans of Avatar at the Disneyland Resort in the near future.
In the months since this announcement Disney has kept quiet about what exactly this new experience might be. However, over the last few days, whispers began popping up about this experience potentially heading to Disney California Adventure with some reporting that an Imagineer confirmed at theme park convention IAAPA that this was indeed the case. However, Disney has since responded to these rumors directly, saying they have nothing to actually announce right now about the Avatar experience, and no location details were currently available.
Though this may have been a little disappointing for those wanting news on this development, we're not completely in the dark when it comes to this upcoming experience. Here's what we know so far:
1. It will be just as immersive as Pandora -– The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom
A blog post published earlier this year on Disney's D23 site says that this new experience will "be as amazing as those found at Walt Disney World Resort," and specifically included a quote from Bob Iger, who said, “If you’ve had a chance to experience Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, you have a pretty good idea of what Imagineers are capable of.”
Though this sounds like this new experience could be a copy of what currently exists at Disney's Animal Kingdom, it is important to note that Disney's official channels are saying it will only be on the same level as Pandora – The World of Avatar in terms of immersion, not scale. And given the space constraints at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, building an exact copy of the massive land at Disneyland Resort likely isn't possible, which means some things will have to be either scaled down drastically or reimagined to fit in whatever park they decide to stick it in.
2. An announcement will likely come soon to capitalize on the upcoming third Avatar film
If there's one thing Disney fans hate, it is being told that more information is coming soon. However, with Disney currently working hard to figure out how to implement Bob Iger's $60 billion plan to “turbocharge” growth for the theme parks, it is likely that a lot of projects are in flux, as final decisions about budgets, timelines, and more are nailed down. However, with a third Avatar movie set to be released in 2025, it seems likely that this upcoming project will be a priority for Disney as it continues to capitalize on the overwhelming popularity of the Avatar franchise, which means an official announcement will probably come in 2024.