It marks an interesting turning point for Disney’s Animal Kingdom…because it’s the start of researching the feasibility of the massive mini-park that they plan on constructing there. My Bothans told me that the design phase of the project has settled to the point where they have a general idea of what will come of this blue sky period.
Well the land will be Big, very BIG. It’ll be approximately 10-12 acres (Example: Cars Land = 12 acres) and will be filled with distinctive horticultural differences from the surrounding areas of the park to realize that you’ve left the earth for something special.
There will be at least three attractions (rides) in the land with plenty of places to eat exotic, foreign foods and shop for strange, alien merchandise. Of those attractions, at least one will involve a flight simulator technology that will be heavily modified from the ones used for “Soarin’ Over California.”
Cameron has been very helpful in detailing what makes up the planet and how it ecologically can be explained to guests. He’s let them pour over the extensive notes and even given them a peek at what is to come in the sequels. The Imagineers are unsure yet if anything from the sequels will make it into the first phase of this land. That’s right, I said first phase. If it’s successful then they have talked about the ability to expand the area within three to five years for additional attractions, shows and entertainment.
The name of the area will not be “Avatar” as some have mistakenly thought it would be. The three prime names that are being bandied about are: Pandora, The World of Pandora, and Pandora: The World of Avatar. The last one is what most think will be the final name, but nothing is certain yet.
Those of you that are disappointed that the Beastly Kingdom concept wasn’t used will know that there are those at DAK that would like to revive it. Many believe that if this is successful it may pave the way for bringing back a variation of it sometime in the next decade. While it wouldn’t be exactly the same, it would still fill the fantasy requirement that was originally set up by WDI when they pitched the park: A park celebrating animal life – real animals (the zoo part), extinct animals (dinosaurs) and mythical animals (fantasy animals). While some don’t like the Avatar concept, it does fall under the branch of mythical animals, although it’s more of a sci-fi branch than a fantasy one. Nevertheless, Imagineers still feel that someday they’ll be able to bring the fantasy part of this park to life and have the mythical land be split into a fantasy and a sci-fi element.
But either way, this park will look worlds different (and better) right after the middle of this decade…