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Six years in the making, Pandora — The Land of Avatar, opened at Walt Disney World Wednesday, May 24.
The new land, featuring two new rides, a restaurant and immersive entertainment, is based on the movie “Avatar,” one of the most successful films ever released.
When Disney announced six years ago it had made a deal to work with the film’s director, James Cameron, to build a land and rides based on his movie, many in the industry were caught by surprise.
Former COO Tom Staggs was reported to be a principal backer of the project — but has since resigned from the company.
• Video: Pandora — The Land of Avatar
Besides immersing visitors in an area created in a way to make them feel as if they are on the planet of Pandora from the movie, there are two rides, attractions in the Disney vernacular.
One is the Na’vi River Journey, where riders can see the bio-luminescence quality of the planet’s fictional plant life.
The second is Avatar Flight of Passage, which places riders on devices to make them feel as if they are flying on the back of a “Banshee,” the flying creatures on the fictional planet.
Disney reportedly spent nearly $1 billion on the new land, which was also meant to have a nighttime experience where the fictional plants in the area will also glow with “bio-luminescence,” too.