Pandora – The World of Avatar opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park at Walt Disney World Resort on May 27, 2017. For the last five years, visitors from all over the world have been able to experience life on another planet. From the wonder of the floating mountains to the glow of the moon’s bioluminescence, the land of Pandora has been the setting for Park visitors to experience the magic of nature. To celebrate the 5th anniversary, take a look at these five facts about the land.
1. Disney’s Imagineers traveled to Bali and Jakarta to learn weaving and crafting techniques from the region’s indigenous people.
Every detail of Avatar is brought to life with immense care, research, and precision. When creating Pandora – The World of Avatar, James Cameron, Jon Landau, and Disney’s Imagineers worked together to approach the land the same way. The team’s mission was to bring authenticity to the experience by embedding indigenous influences like those that inspired the Na’vi culture into the land. This mission took the Imagineers across the world for hands-on training to learn how to weave — a valued Na’vi practice.
2. The Imagineers used these weaving techniques to design Pandora’s totems, which each represent a different attraction or area of the land.
When visitors set foot on Pandora, they’re arriving hundreds of years after the end of the conflict between the Na’vi and the Resources Development Administration, or RDA. A new eco-tourism organization, Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), now works with the Na’vi to help bring balance back to the moon and restore what was harmed by the RDA.
The Imagineers wanted to bring their research and this backstory together in the land in a significant way. So, as guests explore Pandora, they are met with 20-foot woven sculptures that do just that. These colorful and intricate woven totems stand tall as they represent the beauty of the Na’vi civilization.
3. Some of the plant species on Pandora are interactive.
In Avatar, viewers see an awestruck Jake Sully interact with nature in a new way. Although the flora and fauna on Pandora breathe, move, and respond much like the plants and animals on Earth, Jake learns that on this alien moon there’s a deep connection among all living things. This discovery introduces the idea that there can be a symbiotic relationship between people and their planet. When guests visit Pandora – The World of Avatar, they get to experience exactly what that relationship is like. As guests walk throughout the park, they are invited to touch and connect with nature to learn more about the environment that surrounds them.
4. Pandora’s bioluminescence becomes visible when the sun goes down, causing the pathways and some plants in the Valley of Mo’ara to glow!
As captivating as Pandora is during the day, the moon becomes even more vibrant at night. Exploring the land when the sun goes down allows guests to see the beauty that surrounds them in a whole new light — a bioluminescent one. Certain plants and flowers light up in a rainbow of vibrant hues, further brightening the glowing path that leads guests through the land.
5. Each seat on Avatar Flight of Passage has a different point of view, making the ride a unique experience for every rider.
Everyone who’s seen Avatar has wondered what it would be like to bond with a banshee and soar through the Hallelujah Mountains. Thankfully, Avatar Flight of Passage puts that dream to rest, replacing it with an unforgettable, sky-high adventure. To give each guest a flight to remember, the team didn’t stop at just making a cutting-edge immersive ride. When a rider flies on their banshee, they’re taken on a journey that has a slightly different point of view depending on where their “link chair” is located in the attraction.
(Bonus) Riders on the bottom level of Avatar Flight of Passage should keep their eyes peeled for this little guy at the end of the journey.
There are hidden details all around the land. Some might be easier to spot than others, and some might be found unexpectedly. This was done so that no matter how many times a guest visited, there could always be a unique discovery. While Avatar Flight of Passage is filled with unforgettable moments, riders on the bottom level won’t want to miss this one. Be sure to look for him next time!
Avatar challenges viewers to reevaluate their relationship with nature and the way they interact with the world. Pandora – The World of Avatar makes an explorer out of each of its guests, giving them the opportunity to experience nature in a unique way. There have been countless memorable adventures on Pandora over the last five years, and there’s still so much more to explore.
Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Pandora – The World of Avatar with exclusive commemorative merchandise and by following @OfficialAvatar on Twitter and @Avatar on Instagram and Facebook.