Disneyland Avatar

Back in 2023, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that more Avatar was on its way to Disney Parks, with Disneyland constructing a new Avatar "experience" in the near future. At the time, no details were made available about what this could be, but some wondered if the word "experience" pointed to something small, like a character meet and greet or photo op, and not a full land. 

However, now we know that Disney's plans for a West Coast Avatar Land are actually pretty massive, with Disney finally confirming some key details about this new land a few days ago. 

Concept art shows an outdoor water ride and plenty of awe-inspiring water features

Image: Disney

When the new Avatar land was discussed earlier this month, the above concept art was released to showcase the “creative inspiration” for this new Avatar experience, which Walt Disney Imagineering is designing. Disney’s confirmed that its creative team will once again be working with Avatar filmmaker James Cameron on the new land, and they are currently fleshing out details about what this land will eventually look like. 

However, based on the art above there are a few things that we can infer already. First off, this land looks almost nothing like the current Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and seems to be more inspired by the second movie, Avatar: The Way of Water. This makes sense of course, as the first Pandora land at Disney's Animal Kingdom is massive, and the land necessary to clone it at Disneyland simply isn't available, even with the proposed Disneyland Forward expansion plan (more on that in a second). 

And speaking of new experiences, while the concept art above is only an "idea" for this new land, it looks like a new indoor-outdoor river ride may be part of the attraction lineup in this new area. While there is a River ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom, this existing ride is a completely enclosed dark ride, while the attraction pictured above looks more like a hybrid attraction, perhaps closer to the Jungle Cruise, which also uses indoor and outdoor sets. 

We still have no idea where this new land will go at Disneyland

Image: Disney

Though it looks like this Avatar land will be moving forward at some point at Disneyland, its exact location is still shrouded in mystery. One popular theory about its location is that this land will take over the part of Disney California Adventure where Grizzly River Run and the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail area now sit. However, opponents of this theory point out that since those areas were recently refurbished, Disney might not want to bulldoze them quite yet. 

Another option would be for Disney to put it in the Hollywood Land area, which has needed refurbishment for quite some time, and is also near the bus and tram loading/unloading zone, which could be used as an expansion area for the land, if it turns into a West Coast Pandora. 

There is also of course the aforementioned Disneyland Forward expansion plan, which could, in theory, free up space for new theme park attractions to be built alongside hotels on the west side of Disneyland Drive, and where the current Toy Story Parking Area is. This project still needs approval from the city of Anaheim, but if it is does get the green light, Disney could have a massive expansion area at its disposal which would allow it to build this new Avatar land pretty easily, without replacing any existing attractions at all. 

Though it seems like details are still being hammered out about this new Avatar land, we now know for sure that this new "experience" will indeed be a full land, with its own unique identity and attractions. While we probably won't get more information in the near future, we'd guess that if progress is made on this developing land between now and mid-August, it will be announced at the upcoming D23 Expo. 


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