Just a few days ago Disney confirmed that Pandora - The World of Avatar will welcome its first guests in summer 2017, meaning we are only about 6 months or so from being able to walk on another planet via Disney’s Animal Kingdom. However, though we’ve heard a lot about both of the new rides that will be a part of this brand new land, Disney recently released a bunch of new information about Pandora - The World of Avatar, that has us more excited than ever to check out this new land when it officially debuts next year!
1. The Na'Vi River Journey animatronics will be spectacular
Disney has really been raising the bar for animatronic technology in recent years, as evidenced by the truly stunning recreations of Frozen characters Elsa, Anna and Olaf on display in Frozen Ever After. However, even though we were truly wowed by these projection-based animatronics, it looks like Pandora - The World of Avatar will have even more impressive technology on display.
During a presentation this past weekend, filmmaker James Cameron and Imagineer Joe Rohde showed off a video with footage of an animatronic of the Shaman of Songs character, who is a revered member of the Na’vi people of Pandora, and will be a big part of the Na’vi River Journey attraction. You can check out the video below:
This intricate animatronic is different from others that we’ve seen in the recent past, as it doesn’t rely on the projection technology that was used to great effect in Frozen Ever After and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to convey precise facial movements. Instead, this cutting edge animatronic uses intricate physical machinery to achieve the truly stunning and lifelike effect you see above.
2. Dining will be an experience like nothing else at Walt Disney World
While there have been plenty of rumors flying around about what kind of dining experience guests might find inside Pandora - The World of Avatar, Disney finally released the first real details about the two new dining locations that will open alongside this new land next year.
First up is the Satu’li Canteen, which will be the main restaurant in Pandora – The World of Avatar. Based on the concept art above, it looks like this location will be serving food quick-service style, catering to guests on the go. However, if guests want another option, there will also be Pongu Pongu, which will be a lounge-style dining location serving drinks in a setting that is described as “as eclectic as its Expat owner”.
Beyond the physical locations, Disney has confirmed that the cuisine served between these two locations will be completely unique, "alien cuisine" unlike anything else offered at the resort. Now whether this means you’ll have a blue hamburger or something really challenging remains to be seen, but we’re hopeful that Disney will be taking full advantage of the opportunity to create something truly distinctive for hungry guests in this new land.