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AVATAR (Pandora - World of Avatar) Archives

May 25, 2017

Disney Dedicates Pandora – The World of Avatar

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 24, 2017) – In grand preview dedication ceremonies for media today, Disney’s Animal Kingdom unveiled a world out of this world — of massive mountains floating in the sky, rainforests pulsing light and breathtaking flights for explorers soaring above an alien moon on the backs of great winged banshees.

When it opens to the public on May 27, Pandora – The World of Avatar will transform, transfix and transport Walt Disney World Resort guests to an all-new Disney land beyond belief – 4.4 light years away from Earth.

Set with artifacts found throughout the Pandoran landscape, the dedication stage was a tapestry of sights and sounds. Drummers pounded out traditional rhythms, colorfully dressed performers led a procession full of pageantry and artful banners fluttered in the morning sky.

Inspired by the blockbuster motion picture AVATAR from filmmaker James Cameron, the new 12-acre land immerses guests in the lush world of Pandora in a time frame a generation after the human-Na’vi conflict in the Oscar-winning film.

In a collaboration of two master storytellers, Disney joined with Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment in a multi-year project to bring to life the mythical world of Pandora.

“Working with Jim and his team was a dream come true for us, as we pushed the limits of creativity and innovation to bring the digital world of Pandora to the real world of Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “Now anyone who has ever dreamed of visiting this extraordinary world can explore the astonishing landscape and ecosystem, soar on the back of a banshee and actually become part of the AVATAR adventure.”

The breathtaking, otherworldly beauty of Pandora that amazes by day will glow at night when bioluminescent flora and special nighttime programming add to the fascination guests will feel.

Na’vi, the indigenous blue people in the film, call Pandora home. Cave paintings give hints of the Na’vi culture, and totems they weaved point guests down pathways threading through the overgrown rainforest, punctuated by bizarre sounds of animals not of this world and alien plants that glow with light. Disney Imagineers created a soundscape meant to evoke an alien jungle.

Some of the most creative sculptors in the world were recruited to help shape the new land, with the overriding message of connecting everything to the value of nature — and the transformative power of adventure and conservation.

“I never thought I’d see the day when the Pandora I imagined could be made physically real,” said Cameron. “Working with Disney to bring this world to life has been an amazing experience, and the result is something I think everyone will love for generations to come. It really feels like you’re stepping into a dream.”

While inspired by Cameron’s film, Pandora – The World of Avatar was not envisioned as an extension of the film.

“It’s not the movie AVATAR that we are portraying,” said Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. “It is the planet Pandora where you can come, you can visit, and have your own unique adventure. Rather than reliving the adventures of characters from the film, you’re going to come to the planet where those things happened — and have your own set of adventures you can own.”

And what an eye-filling, sky-filling planet it is.

Crossing an entry bridge, rusted-over across the years, guests follow a winding forest pathway to where the surreal landscape first comes into view. The exotic Valley of Mo’ara spreads before them.

Other-worldly sights, sounds and scenes abound. Adventurers roam verdant pathways underneath floating mountains laced with waterfalls dropping to quiet ponds. They venture deep inside a bioluminescent rainforest amid the sounds of Pandoran creatures roaming the underbrush.

Two extraordinary attractions anchor the new land:

Avatar Flight of Passage sends explorers swooping and soaring on a simulated flight above the awe-inspiring world of Pandora on the back of awinged banshee. Floating mountains, rushing waterfalls, vast seas and dense jungle pass under-wing. This multi-sensory, wind-in-your-face experience is unlike anything Disney has created before. “You are grounded on a winged predator and flying through these amazing environments with special effects to add to the thrill,” Rohde says.
Aboard the eight-person reed boats of Na’vi River Journey, families follow a sacred river deep into the bioluminescent rainforest under a canopy of exotic glowing plants, passing rock formations and Pandoran creatures on the move. This mystical journey culminates in an encounter with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs, who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora and sends positive energy out into the forest through her music.

After roaming a landscape pulsing with entertainment happening throughout the day and night, adventurers can recharge at Satu’li Canteen, the fast-casual restaurant for Pandora housed in an old Quonset hut. Windtraders stocks Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more. Pongu Pongu, with a design as eclectic as its expat owner, is a specialty-beverage kiosk that serves up cooling refreshments and a treat called Lumpia (loom-pee-ah), a pineapple-cream cheese spring roll.

Pandora – The World of Avatar expands the day-into-nighttime adventures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including new after-dark experiences such as the majestic Rivers of Light show, sunset safaris, live-entertainment street parties and vivid, animated imagery bathing the Tree of Life, centerpiece of the adventure park.

May 1, 2017

The Culinary Story on Pandora - The World of Avatar

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla – Not only can you explore like a Na’vi and talk like a Na’vi – you can eat like a Na’vi, too, on Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Dining Na’vi-style is at the heart of Satu’li Canteen, the fast-casual restaurant in the new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The canteen calls out the friendship and cultural kinship that exists between the humans on Pandora and the indigenous Na’vi.

“The setting of Pandora – The World of Avatar is long after the Na’vi and the humans have reconciled their conflict, and we are invited as guests to visit Pandora,” said Stefan Hellwig, executive creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering.

Satu’li (Sa-too-lee) Canteen is the land’s restaurant, with a design inspired by bases set up on Pandora by the Resources Development Administration (RDA) in the blockbuster “AVATAR” film. Once the main mess hall of the RDA base in the Valley of Mo’ara, the canteen is now owned and operated by the Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) tour company and has been redesigned into a beautiful museum-like dining room open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The interior has been transformed with colorful Na’vi items filling the walls and hanging from the ceiling – hand-woven tapestries, natural Pandoran elements and cooking tools decorate the interior.

Surprising Twist on Familiar Flavors
Satu’li Canteen combines creativity and approachable flavors in a menu inspired by the healthful bounty on Pandora, with wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and hearty proteins. An on-stage grill is a prominent feature in the colorful dining room, “bringing all five senses into play,” said Ed Wronski, director, culinary development for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

Fast-casual Satu’li Canteen offers bowls that allow diners to customize their meal. Diners start with a base of quinoa and vegetable salad; red and sweet potato hash; mixed whole-grain and rice or romaine and kale salad. Next is either wood-grilled chicken, slow-roasted beef, sustainable fish or chili-spiced fried tofu. And the bowl is finished with charred onion chimichurri, black bean vinaigrette or creamy herb dressing.

Satu'li Canteen bowl

“This is one of our first fast-casual restaurants that gives guests the ability to customize their meal,” said Wronski. “We played with the theme of Avatar, and ended up with the bowl concept that is healthful, lighter and with plant-based ingredients to tie back to the World of Avatar.” The guiding principle, he said, was to “balance creativity with dishes that are approachable.”

The menu also offers steamed “pods” – bao buns with either cheeseburger ingredients or vegetable curry served with root vegetable chips and crunchy vegetable slaw.

For little ones, there’s an option of grilled chicken or beef, fish or tofu with greens or rice; a hot dog wrapped in Parker House dough; cheese quesadilla, or a steamed “pod” (cheeseburger bao bun).

Dessert is Blueberry Cheesecake with Passion Fruit Curd or Chocolate Cake with a Crunchy Cookie Layer, Banana Cream and Goji Berries.

Satu’li Canteen offers draft beers, including Avatar Private Label Green Ale and Avatar Private Label Amber Ale; Pandoran blend sangria; wine on tap, including Banshee Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast); Banshee Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast), and a non-alcoholic blend of tropical juices served in a souvenir cup with a removable, playable pan flute.

Satu’li Canteen is also the first Disney restaurant to offer Mobile Order, a new convenient option to order and pay for meals on-the-go using the My Disney Experience app. The service also enables guests to bypass the queue to order when they arrive at the restaurant. Using the app, guests can select menu items, customize their orders and pre-pay for their meals. When they arrive at the restaurant they will tap an “I’m here” button in the app, which will notify the kitchen to prepare the meal. When their meals are ready, guests will be alerted through the app to pick up them up at a designated window. Additional fast-casual and quick-service restaurants will begin to offer Mobile Order later this year. Disney Dining Plan is accepted but Mobile Order only accepts credit cards.

Satu’li Canteen offers 330 seats with an additional 190 seats outside.

Pongu Pongu Kiosk
Adjacent to Satu’li Canteen is Pongu Pongu, Pandora’s specialty beverage kiosk. “Pongu Pongu” means “party party” and this kiosk, as the story goes, was built by a human who befriended the local Na’vi clan and built a place to gather and socialize. The name came from all the “wild and memorable times” Na’vi and humans had together there.

Pongu Pongu beverages

The signature drink is the Frozen Nectar (frozen limeade with layered flavors of Granny Smith Apple and Desert Pear topped with bursting mango boba balls) that glows with bioluminescent colors reminiscent of Pandora’s flora. There’s also a Screaming Banshee Margarita and Avatar Private Label Ale. Drinks can be purchased in a tiki-inspired mug with an Avatar “juju” light-up cube.

For sweet snacking, Lumpia (loom-pee-ah), a pineapple-cream cheese spring roll, is also on the menu.

Wonderment and Unforgettable Encounters Await at the New Na'vi River Journey in Pandora - The World of Avatar

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Attraction takes guests on a wondrous river adventure through a bioluminescent rainforest

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Set sail on a river journey unlike any other. On a moon that is light years from Earth.

You are not alone, either. This riverscape pulses with sensational sights and sounds that fill your senses. And, at journey’s end, a very special surprise.

Aboard the reed boats of the family-friendly Na’vi River Journey, adventurers float through an alien world beyond their imagination. That wonderment begins in the very heart of Pandora – The World of Avatar, the all-new land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

As guests approach the iconic floating mountains and waterfalls on Pandora, a towering totem beckons. Paying homage to the mystical Shaman of Songs, the massive totem was delicately woven by the Na’vi, the indigenous people of Pandora, and celebrates the shaman’s deep connection to the life force of Pandora.

The totem also invites guests to venture further into grottos that lead to the mystical river – and an eventual encounter with the shaman.

At the water’s edge, guests board those reed boats. Barely have the boats cut the first ripples of water when a Na’vi warrior appears. With a nod, he grants passage to the human voyagers, and soon an amazing scene unfolds. A spectacular bioluminescent rainforest surrounds guests. By day or night, boats pass through this darkened world, pushing deep into a jungle alive with exotic glowing plants and traversed by Pandoran creatures.

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Keen observers will notice that the animals and Na’vi are moving in the same direction as they make their way to see the shaman. Music is heard, which means the shaman is not far off.

“Na’vi River Journey is a very sweet, lyrical adventure through a spectacular visual environment that just becomes more and more spectacular as you go on,” explains Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. The bioluminescent activity of the plants around you unfolds in richer and richer scenes in really just a very uplifting, wonderful kind of journey.”

The journey builds to an encounter with the remarkable Shaman of Songs. Like most Na’vi, she is nearly 10 feet tall.

Music is central in Na’vi culture. Guests observe the shaman in the midst of a musical ceremony, playing an instrument and singing. Through her music, the shaman sends positive energy into the rainforest, telling of the sacred bond with nature that Na’vi and humans share.

Disney technology put fluid energy into every movement and gesture, Rohde said.

“The shaman is even more extraordinary than we expected,” said Rohde. “Her facial expressions, little movements in the cheek, tiny movements in the eyelid – each one of these carries an emotion she’s capable of conveying.”

It is part of Disney’s attention to detail that makes Pandora a world of adventure, he added.

“There is a real edge to our Pandora,” he said, “just like the rest of Animal Kingdom. When guests get here and really look around, they will see there’s this edge, this little adventurous edge on the land. Na’vi River Journey helps complement that edge.”

FAST FACTS: Na’vi River Journey
Background: A family-friendly expedition, Na’vi River Journey takes guests on an adventure down a gentle, mysterious river hidden within the sacred bioluminescent rainforest in search of the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. Among guest experiences on Pandora – The World of Avatar, all-new land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Method of transportation: 8-person reed boats; accessible to guests with disabilities

Experience time: 4.5 minutes

FastPass+: Yes

Queueing: Managed by Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), the eco-tour company that brings humans to Pandora. ACE created the pathway and load station at the queue structure. ACE assemblers also built the rafts using Na’vi techniques.

Awe-Inspiring Adventure! Avatar Flight of Passage is Thrilling Centerpiece in Pandora - The World of Avatar

Avatar Flight of Passage

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Imagine straddling the back of a wing-flapping banshee, darting and swirling through the canyon updrafts, free as the wind. Below you: the otherworldly planet of Pandora – grand in its vastness, surreal in its bioluminescence.

Hold on tight! You can ride this beast. You can sense its banshee breath. That’s because you’re high-flying in an immersive new adventure, Avatar Flight of Passage, set to open May 27 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

A shining star of the theme park’s all-new land, Pandora – The World of Avatar, this 3-D expedition transports travelers on a sweeping, simulated flight over Pandora’s colorful landscape. Guests soar around floating mountains, plunge through ancient caverns and skim across roaring oceans, culminating in a realistic encounter with the fiercest king of the air, the Great Leonopteryx that boasts a 45-foot wingspan.

“In Flight of Passage, the sensation of flying is really visceral, really believable,” said Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. “Not only do you have the more obvious aspects of flying – the swooping and curving – but we’ve put in crosswind, air density and banking.”

Three Experiences Folded Into One

The journey begins in the queue as guests begin an uphill trek around a massive root structure, over a land bridge above waterfalls to an authentic totem garden. Meandering passageways lead to a cave-like structure where the great–winged banshees, or Ikran as the Na’vis call them, are celebrated in paintings and majestic totems. Next, guests enter an old, once abandoned RDA facility with a laboratory partially restored. Here, there are scientific experiments in progress with references to habitat restoration, the ecosystem, water purification and the connection of all living things.

Next stop is the genetic matching room where explorers are scanned and genetic material is sampled to connect them to personal avatars in preparation for a flight experience. Once matched, adventurers board link chairs, don flight visors and prepare for the flight.

Next stop: a mystical world like no other.

Flying on the back of a banshee represents an important rite of passage for the Na’vi and as visitors to the alien world, guests will have a chance to be tested and guided through the wondrous journey. After entering a state-of-the-art theater, each guest straddles a single-seat simulator (like a motorcycle) that delivers a realistic sensation of riding a living creature. Guests will experience the swift and graceful movements of flight and even feel the banshee breathing beneath them. The multi-sensory experience uses cutting-edge technology and intricate special effects like never before.

This heart-pounding adventure transports explorers through the alien world of Pandora, offering lifelike encounters – splashing whale-like creatures, blowing wind, roaring banshees, and a threatening encounter with a flying predator. The exhilarating 4-minute flight through the sci-fi world of bioluminescence and floating mountains is orchestrated to a complex musical score recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra.

“All of the mechanics behind it, all of the engineering, all the stuff that goes into the imagery is amazing,” said James Cameron, whose blockbuster film AVATAR inspired Disney’s new land. “You know, riding the Ikran is a thrill. You’re going to plunge. You’re going to dive. You’re going to swoop. It’s like dreaming with your eyes open.”

Avatar Flight of Passage will be a FastPass excursion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Only explorers 44 inches or taller can fly on the back of these flying creatures.

The 12-acre Pandora – The World of Avatar will dazzle guests with its bioluminescent forests, floating mountains and glowing alien-like flora. Its May 27 opening comes in time for the summer vacation season at Walt Disney World Resort.

Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom: Explore the Magic of Nature in a Distant World Unlike Any Other

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Pandora – The World of Avatar immerses guests in a mystical world of massive floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences. Fun and adventure await in this entirely new land found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. Here guests explore an awesome alien landscape, encounter a larger-than-life Na’vi shaman and soar over Pandora on the back of a fearsome mountain banshee.

The largest addition in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora carries on the park’s tradition of celebrating the intrinsic value of nature, transformation through adventure and a personal call to action.

Based on Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron’s record-breaking box-office hit, AVATAR, the new land welcomes guests to the lush world of Pandora long after the human conflict with the Na’vi has ended. The dramatic daytime beauty of the land transforms to glow by night when bioluminescent flora and intricate nighttime experiences add a dreamlike quality to Pandora.

Pandora – The World of Avatar is a creative collaboration of Walt Disney Imagineering, Cameron and Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.

“We are taking our guests on a journey to this world in an experience that’s as realistic and immersive as possible,” says Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. “In the movie, the world of Pandora is a setting for the action and characters whose story we follow. Here, guests are the primary characters immersed in an extremely vivid, authentic experience.”

Guests to Disney’s Animal Kingdom cross the park’s Discovery River onto Pandora – The World of Avatar and continue along a winding rainforest path for their first glimpse of the land’s iconic “floating mountains.”

“When guests come across the bridge, they are transferred light-years away, to the Alpha-Centauri solar system and Pandora,” says Jon Landau, AVATAR producer, Lightstorm Entertainment. “It’s an otherworldly, fully-themed experience.”

As guests explore the verdant terrain sprawling beneath mountains that appear to float in the sky, they see waterfalls cascading down the mountainside into meandering streams and pools, and they discover two thrilling new expeditions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey.

Avatar Flight of Passage launches each guest on an exhilarating, wind-in-your-face experience on a winged mountain banshee over the awe-inspiring world of Pandora. Guests will actually feel the banshee breathe beneath them as they soar through the forest and past floating mountains. What was a rite of passage for Na’vi in Cameron’s film becomes a multisensory experience for guests seeking the ultimate adventure – an encounter with the most feared predator of Pandora, the Great Leonopteryx.

On the family-friendly Na’vi River Journey, guests travel down a sacred river deep into a bioluminescent rainforest. Aboard reed boats, they float past exotic glowing plants and Pandoran creatures into the midst of a musical Na’vi ceremony. The mystical journey culminates in an encounter with the breathtakingly realistic Na’vi Shaman of Songs who is deeply connected with Pandora’s life force and sends positive energy into the forest through her music.

“This is an attraction that the entire family can enjoy,” Rohde says. “We put you into a magical experience that comes to life through the bioluminescence, the plant and animal activity and the shaman’s music. There’s a wonderful harmony in the entire glowing scene during this lyrical, uplifting journey that builds to a really beautiful crescendo.”

In addition to the bioluminescent plants of Pandora, with species names like Spiny Whip, Dapophet and Vein Pod, other wonders of the land include the creatures that guests encounter and, in some cases, interact with.

“The landscape will be alive with creatures,” Rohde says. “We’re bringing to life everything from the largest creature you might encounter to the most microscopic. Animals will appear out of the underbrush – big Pandoran animals will appear at the edge of the forest, and you’ll hear the very complicated calls they issue back and forth.”

The thriving Pandoran landscape reinforces messages intrinsic to Disney’s Animal Kingdom such as transformation through adventure and conservation and stewardship. A similar value system underlies the AVATAR film, Landau says, and he’s hopeful guests are inspired to find meaning in their expedition through Pandora.

The artful storytelling on Pandora continues as guests stop for sustenance at the land’s Satu’li Canteen (pronounced “Sa-too-lee”), a Quonset-hut-style building with a spacious dining area that pays tribute to the Na’vi and their culture with special décor. The menu at this fast-casual restaurant is inspired by the healthful bounty of Pandora – wholesome grains, fresh vegetables, and hearty proteins. Guests can also grab a drink at nearby Pongu Pongu, where a friendly expat serves out-of-this-world beverages including a bioluminescent frozen cocktail and indigenous beers. There’s even a sweet snack that guests won’t find elsewhere.

Windtraders is a shopper’s delight where guests can choose from Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more.

The creative team employed exhaustive research to develop the realistic appearance of Pandora, a fictional exoplanetary moon mined by humans in Cameron’s movie. Set a generation after a great conflict, the Na’vi and humans are at peace, and the land is experiencing a rebirth. Pandora now welcomes Disney guests as eco-tourists.

Since 2012, Walt Disney Imagineering and Lightstorm Entertainment have collaborated to imagine and create Pandora through the talents of a team of designers, artists, sculptors, structural engineers, robotic technicians and a host of other professionals. The team traveled to rainforests and tribal areas and worked with artisans, weavers and carvers, including Bali artisans who contributed works to Discovery Island when it opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998.

Authenticity and realism were drivers in the creation of Pandora, and the result truly is a world beyond belief.

“The attractions have very deliberate emotional moments crafted into them, the way a good story does, the way a good film does.” Rohde says. “It’s not as simple as just coming to a place that looks realistic. It’s a place that’s been deliberately imbued with the emotions of awe, of wonder, of respect, of harmony.”

March 24, 2017

Fast Pass+ Reservations for Pandora Now Online

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IMPORTANT: You will not be able to book a FastPass+ for both Pandora attractions on the same day.

Great news for those of you anxiously counting the days until the opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27 – FastPass+ reservations are now open to experience the land’s never-before-seen attractions for guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

As you may know, Pandora – The World of Avatar will transport guests to a visually stunning world with floating mountains, bioluminescent plants and more. It’ll also feature two one-of-a-kind attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage, which will allow guests to fly on a banshee over the world of Pandora and the family friendly Na’vi River Journey, which will send guests down a mystical river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest.

Guests at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can reserve FastPass+ selections for the two attractions up to 60 days prior to check in, beginning today. For all other guests who have pre-purchased valid park admission, reservations will be available starting 30 days prior to their visit, beginning May 27, 2017. You may select one of these two attractions in your first set of Disney FastPass+ selections, depending on availability.

And beginning May 27 (through July 4), guests staying in select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will have the opportunity to experience Pandora — The World of Avatar with special nighttime Extra Magic Hours. Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels with a valid theme park admission can fly on the back of a banshee, navigate a mystical river and walk under floating mountains beyond regular park hours – from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m. This benefit is in addition to the Extra Magic Hours already available to you at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

DIsney Parks Blog

Pandora --Early Previews for AP and DVC

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Today, March 24th, Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members are receiving email invites to previews for Pandora beginning on May 13th.

Two hour windows are available for booking. Since this is an early access event, not all areas of Pandora may be open at the time of your visit.

Disney Vacation Club Members must be staying on points at a Walt Disney World resort to qualify and may only reserve slots for the number of guests in the reservation.

March 20, 2017

More Details On Satu'li Canteen in Pandora - The World of Avatar

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Beginning May 27, when Pandora - The World of Avatar opens at Disney's Animal Kingdom, guests will be able to dine at Satu’li Canteen, where an on-stage grill is a prominent feature in the colorful dining room.

The back story is that the Satu’li Canteen was once the main mess hall of the Resources Development Administration (RDA) base located in the Valley of Mo’ara. Now the canteen is owned and operated by Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) tour company and has been redesigned into a beautiful museum-like dining room.

The interior has been transformed with colorful Na’vi items filling the walls and hanging from the ceiling -- hand-woven tapestries, natural Pandoran elements and even cooking tools decorate the restaurant.

Look for familiar dishes with a twist in the fast-casual restaurant, with bowls that allow diners to customize their lunch or dinner. Diners start with a base of quinoa and vegetable salad; red and sweet potato hash; mixed whole-grain and rice or romaine and kale salad. Next is either with wood-grilled chicken, slow-roasted beef, sustainable fish or chili-spiced fried tofu. And the bowl is finished with charred onion chimichurri, black bean vinaigrette or creamy herb dressing.

The menu also offers steamed “pods”- bao buns with either cheeseburger or vegetable curry and served with root vegetable chips and crunchy vegetable slaw.

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For little ones, there’s an option of grilled chicken or beef, fish or tofu with greens or rice; a hot dog wrapped in Parker House dough; cheese quesadilla, or a steamed “pod” (cheeseburger bao bun).

The fast-casual restaurant will also be the first to offer Mobile Order, a new convenient option to order and pay for meals on-the-go within the My Disney Experience app, allowing guests to bypass the queue to order when they arrive at the restaurant. Using the app, guests can select menu items, customize their order and pre-pay for their meal. When they arrive at the restaurant they will tap an “I’m here” button in the app, which will notify the kitchen to prepare the meal. When ready, guests will be alerted through the app to pick up their meal at a designated window. Additional fast-casual and quick-service restaurants will begin to offer Mobile Order later this year.

Disney Dining Plan is accepted at Satu’li Canteen but, at this time, Mobile Order only accepts credit cards.

Source: Disney Parks Blog

February 7, 2017

Disney Announces May 27 as Opening Date for Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Feb. 7, 2017) — Pandora - The World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Saturday, May 27, it was announced today by Disney CEO Bob Iger during The Walt Disney Company Shareholders meeting.

Inspired by Academy-award winning filmmaker James Cameron’s box-office hit, “AVATAR,” the new 12-acre land will immerse guests in the lush world of Pandora about a generation after the film’s human-Na’vi conflict.

The magical new land will transport guests to a mystical world of bioluminescent rainforests, floating mountains and soaring Banshees. Two main adventures will beckon Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests:

Riding a magnificent Mountain Banshee, guests will soar across Pandora on Avatar Flight of Passage. This high-tech adventure will offer a thrilling flight through the jungles and floating mountains, and over the majestic oceans of this colorful world. On the family-friendly Na’vi River Journey guests will sail down a sacred river hidden within a glowing rainforest. The expedition will end in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora.

Guests will also be able to dine at Satu’li Canteen, grab a drink at Pongu Pongu or shop for Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits, and more at Windtraders.

The expansion completes the transformation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom from a day into nighttime theme park with captivating offerings and extended entertainment.

Pandora – The World of Avatar is a creative collaboration by Walt Disney Imagineering, Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment to bring to life the mythical world of Pandora.

November 19, 2016

Pandora - The World of Avatar Set To Open Summer 2017

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Saturday, Nov. 19, 2017) – Bob Chapek, Chairman, Disney Parks and Resorts, gave a look into the future of the newest addition to the Walt Disney World Resort today, unveiling some exciting new updates coming soon to Disney’s Animal Kingdom expansion -- Pandora -The World of Avatar.

As part of Chapek’s conversation with D23 host Jeffrey Epstein, he revealed the new entry bridge to Pandora - The World of Avatar. According to the storyline developed by Walt Disney Imagineering and Lightstorm Entertainment, this bridge was built during a time when a destructive company called the RDA - Resources Development Administration came to Pandora. Now that they are long gone, nature is breaking down evidence of their presence. This bridge will soon serve as an entry into the base camp of Alpha Centauri Expeditions, the eco-tour group that will host explorers on their Pandora adventure.

Entry Bridge to Pandora

“I think the thing I’m most excited about right now to experience would be everything in Pandora.” Chapek said. “From the place-making to the two extraordinary attractions that will be in the land -- both the Na’vi River Journey as well as Avatar Flight of Passage, these promise to set new high-watermarks for our experiential magic we give our guests.”

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Chapek shared details of the two, new signature attractions of Avatar Flight of Passage, where guests will fly over the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee and Na’vi River Journey, a family-friendly boat ride through the bioluminescent forests. He also gave a first look at the new Satu’li Canteen, which is the main dining establishment for Pandora, featuring Na’vi art and cultural items; Windtraders, where travelers can purchase Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits, and more; and the Pongu Pongu, a drink location with a design that is as eclectic as its Expat owner.

windtraders rendering

Coming in summer of 2017, Pandora – The World of Avatar will complete the transformation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney in collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment is bringing to life the mythical world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s AVATAR, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. The awe-inspiring land of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and soaring Banshees will give guests a transformational experience they will never forget.

Chapek gave the sneak peek at the updates to an enthusiastic crowd of Disney fans at the “Destination D: Amazing Adventures” conference for D23, the official fan club for The Walt Disney Company. The “Destination D” Convention, held this year at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, also features a panel by the creative team behind Pandora – The World of Avatar including filmmaker James Cameron, producer Jon Landau and Joe Rohde, Creative Director for Disney’s Animal Kingdom from Walt Disney Imagineering.

August 15, 2015

Star Wars, Toy Story Land, Pandora - the World of AVATAR, Soarin' and Iron Man among new experiences coming for guests

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2015) – Today, Disney announced a line-up of new attractions and entertainment coming to its theme parks around the world during the D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim, Calif.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek gave 7,500 lucky fans a behind-the-scenes look at what's to come. He was joined by Imagineers working on these projects as well as legendary filmmakers James Cameron and Jon Landau who shared new details about Pandora – The World of AVATAR including the names of the land and E-ticket attraction – AVATAR Flight of Passage. Fans also got a chance to see Marvel legend Stan Lee in a cameo appearance where he posed as an unsuspecting fan during Iron Man's dramatic entrance.

Among the many announcements Chapek shared were new and enhanced Star Wars experiences coming later this year to the Florida and California theme parks, plans for a new Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and more details on Pandora-The World of AVATAR, which is already under construction at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Chapek also shared that Soarin' Around the World will make its U.S. film debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure taking guests to new places around the world. Additionally, fans got a preview of exclusive video of the first Marvel attraction planned for Disney parks, coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016.

"From Disneyland's 60th anniversary celebration to the anticipation of Shanghai Disney Resort, we're in the midst of unprecedented growth and expansion around the globe," said Chapek. "With these new announcements, we continue our legacy in creating innovative attractions, worldwide entertainment, and magical lands that take our guests into the worlds of stories they love."

In addition to these announcements, Chapek talked about the exciting news announced earlier in the day by Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger for plans to bring Star Wars-themed lands to Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland park in Anaheim. Each 14-acre land will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet with two signature attractions, including a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle.

Details on each of the projects include:

Star Wars Enhancements & New Experiences

From a new Star Tours adventure to Star Wars Launch Bay, from a new Jedi Training Academy to "Season of the Force," soon guests will be part of both new and enhanced experiences at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – Later this year, Star Tours will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, giving guests a new adventure in the Star Wars galaxy.

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• Star Wars Launch Bay – This interactive experience will take guests into the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including opportunities to visit with new and favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star Wars Launch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney's Hollywood Studios and in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. Also at Disneyland park, Star Wars Launch Bay will share the space with the reimagined Super Hero HQ, featuring opportunities to meet and take photos with super heroes like Captain America and Thor, as well as experience the returning Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries. Both experiences will be available for guests later this year.

Jedi Training Academy - A favorite of younger fans is reimagined with a new experience that includes new characters and a new villain to battle from the popular Disney XD series "Star Wars Rebels."

Season of the Force – This new seasonal event, beginning early 2016, brings new experiences to both coasts. In Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, guests will explore the Star Wars galaxy with special entertainment throughout the land, themed food locations and more.

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Guests also will be thrilled to climb aboard Hyperspace Mountain, a reimagining of the classic Space Mountain attraction, in which guests will join an X-wing Starfighter battle. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests will close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida

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The reimagining of Disney's Hollywood Studios will take guests to infinity and beyond, allowing them to step into the worlds of their favorite films, starting with Toy Story Land. This new 11-acre land will transport guests into the adventurous outdoors of Andy's backyard. Guests will think they've been shrunk to the size of Woody and Buzz as they are surrounded by oversized toys that Andy has assembled using his vivid imagination. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels, and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land, which will include two new attractions for any Disney park and one expanded favorite.

Family-friendly roller coaster – All on the back of Slinky Dog, this coaster will zip and zoom, plunge and coast as it takes guests on a fun, toy-filled adventure throughout the new land.

Alien saucers attraction – The famous little green aliens from the movie will take guests around for a spin in their very own flying saucers. The music, lighting and sound effects add to the flurry of action, while "The Claw" looms over.

Toy Story Mania! – Guests glide into the Toy Story Midway Games Play Set and take aim at 3D objects in a variety of fast-paced games, with an expansion that adds a third track to this popular attraction.

After Dark at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Pandora – The World of AVATAR

As part of the largest expansion in the park's history, Disney's Animal Kingdom will immerse guests into the world of Pandora, and the entire park will transform after dark with new nighttime entertainment experiences, offering guests longer days than ever before to experience this one-of-a-kind theme park.

"Rivers of Light" – Expected to open next spring, "Rivers of Light" will be an innovative experience unlike anything ever seen in a Disney park, combining live music, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery. "Rivers of Light" will magically come to life on the natural stage of Discovery River, delighting guests and truly capping off a full day of adventures at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Kilimanjaro Safaris – This popular attraction will be extended for a new nighttime adventure next spring, where guests will travel through the African savanna amid the magically extended orange glow of the setting sun and discover two species new to the attraction: African wild dogs and hyenas.

Pandora – The World of AVATAR – Disney's Animal Kingdom guests will journey into the magnificent world of Pandora at this new AVATAR-themed land – a world that includes floating mountains, a bioluminescent forest and the winged creatures known as Banshees, giving guests a transformational experience they will never forget.

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AVATAR Flight of Passage – This E-ticket attraction, the centerpiece of Pandora, allows guests to soar on a Banshee over a vast alien world. The spectacular flying experience will give guests a birds-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of the world of Pandora on an aerial rite of passage.

Soarin' Around the World in Florida and California

Next year, guests at Epcot in Florida and Disney California Adventure in California will journey to far-flung lands and fly above some of the world's most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders when the new Soarin' Around the World makes its U.S. debut.

Iron Man Unveiled for Hong Kong Disneyland

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Iron Man landed at D23 EXPO today for a special appearance, and soon Hong Kong Disneyland guests will have the opportunity to meet and take photos with the Super Hero himself. Set to open in 2016, Iron Man Experience will be the first Marvel attraction at any Disney park, taking guests on an epic adventure over the streets and in the sky above Hong Kong. The adventure will begin at the new Stark Expo where guests board the Iron Wing to take flight and battle Hydra alongside fan-favorite Avenger, Iron Man.

February 26, 2015

Bringing Avatar to Life at Animal Kingdom

Bringing the World of AVATAR to Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom By Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

Press Release from the Disney Company
Since we first broke ground last year at Disney's Animal Kingdom, we've been looking forward to welcoming guests into Pandora, the mythical land based on the blockbuster film AVATAR. We're having a lot of fun dreaming up ways to bring to life the land's iconic elements from the magnificent floating mountains to the interactive bioluminescent forest, and even to the soaring banshees.

This creative process has been one of the most dynamic and collaborative ones we've ever undertaken. It began when our then-Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts proposed to James Cameron that together we might recreate the world of Pandora at Disney. Since that time, our creative development team, led by Joe Rohde, has been working hand-in-hand with Jim, Jon Landau and their team of artists and designers at Lightstorm on every aspect of this project-from overall design to the smallest-yet crucially important-details. And along each step of this process, Tom, as well as Disney CEO Bob Iger have been actively involved in helping guide the creative vision that is shaping the extraordinary world we're building.

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We all recently got together at our offices in Glendale, California and walked through the fantastic progress on the whole land-including the awesome experience of seeing Pandora while riding on a banshee.

When he was with us, Jim said, "I think one of the things that people loved about the movie is that they felt as if they had visited Pandora" now, thanks to Disney's amazing Imagineers, people are going to truly experience Pandora firsthand. From the details in the plants to the production and design, extraordinary thought and care has gone into this entire world. The teams have really created something special, and it's not going to be like anything else."

This project is really pushing the boundaries of what is possible. But one of the things that makes Disney Parks so special is that it takes all of our Cast-across the segment-to really bring these experiences to life. We were glad to be able to share our work with the creative teams and thought you might want to see it, too.

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About AVATAR (Pandora - World of Avatar)

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in the AVATAR (Pandora - World of Avatar) category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Rivers of Light is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.