×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Avatar’ Ride Coming to Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There are many perks to running the Walt Disney Co. It turns out one of them is getting to be the first to ride the winged beasts that will be one of Animal Kingdom’s signature rides when “Avatar” land opens inside the Walt Disney World theme park in 2017.

Bob Iger said he was recently given the chance to try out the ride, which will enable guests to fly through “Avatar’s” Pandora on the back of a flying banshee.

“It felt so real, so lifelike,” Iger said of the prototype vehicle guests will board to travel through the fictional land. “There’s never been anything like it.”

The vessels that guests will ride upon will essentially be the banshees themselves, with bodies that move to mimic a breathing beast. The flying sequences will be brought to life through large video screens — similar to “Soarin'” — with vehicles moving with the 3D action inside a massive theater.

While Disney and “Avatar” franchise creator and director James Cameron and producer Jon Landau already had announced that “Avatar” land would include the flying attraction, Iger excitedly provided a better glimpse of the experience, describing how he had to scale scaffolding in order to try out the ride for the first time.

Iger discussed the new theme park shortly after discussing plans for “Star Wars” at the company’s resorts during a Q&A with Variety co-editor-in-chief Claudia Eller at a Dealmakers Breakfast Wednesday morning, presented by Bank of America and sponsored by Delta.

Disney broke ground on the “Avatar” park in January. The themed addition, designed with Cameron, represents the largest expansion to Animal Kingdom since the park opened in 1998.

Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, the land will include Pandora’s floating mountains and bioluminescent plants across several acres that will house attractions, including a boat-based attraction, and eateries.

The addition of “Avatar” land is clearly Disney’s answer to Universal’s pair-up with Warner Bros. to build the wildly successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter park and Diagon Alley expansion inside Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios in Orlando.

The themed land will open as Cameron releases the first of three new “Avatar” sequels, starting in December 2016.

More Biz

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • promenade Cannes Croisette Cannes Placeholder

    Cannes Market Claims Record Visitor Numbers

    The Cannes Market, the Cannes Film Festival’s commercial wing, says that its 2019 edition welcomed a record number of participants. It reported 12,527 attendees. The largest group by nationality was from the U.S. with 2,264 participants, followed by France with 1,943 participants, and the U.K. 1,145. Comparable figures for 2018 were not available. The number [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Some Weinstein Accusers Balk at $30 Million Settlement

    Updated: Some of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers are balking at a proposed $30 million settlement of their harassment claims, which could scuttle the deal, Variety has learned. Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case told Judge Mary Walrath on Thursday that they are close to a global resolution of the civil litigation. The accusers, their lawyers [...]

  • Director Dean DeBlois and online game

    'Dragon' Director Dean DeBlois and PUBG's CH Kim to Keynote 2019 VIEW Conference

    Dean DeBlois, director and executive producer of DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” and PUBG Corporation CEO CH Kim are the first keynote speakers announced for the 2019 VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy, in October. Since it began 12 years ago, VIEW, which stands for Virtual Interactive Emerging World, has continually [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Accusers Near Settlement in Bankruptcy Case

    Attorneys in the Weinstein Co. bankruptcy case say they are getting close to reaching a settlement that would compensate Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct accusers. The company went bankrupt last year, as it faced hundreds of millions of dollars in debt and numerous civil suits on behalf of Weinstein’s alleged victims. The company sold to Lantern [...]

  • Ari Emanuel Endeavor

    Endeavor IPO Filing Offers Details of Company's Financials, Leadership Pay Packages

    Endeavor’s IPO filing Thursday offers a hard look at the company’s financial performance during the past three years during a period of rapid growth for the company that’s home to UFC, WME, Professional Bull Riders and a clutch of other assets. Endeavor is generating solid free cash flow from operations and healthy adjusted earnings for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content