Using Na’vi-inspired shovels and assisted by a Na’vi, (left to right) George Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort; Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France; Tom Staggs, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; a Na’vi; Jon Landau, Avatar Producer; Bruce Vaughn, chief creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering; and Joe Rohde, creative executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, pose Jan. 8, 2014 during the ceremonial groundbreaking of an Avatar-inspired land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Although the D23 Expo doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow morning, a private media event was held earlier this evening at the Disney Parks / Walt Disney Imagineering Pavilion. The most notable takeaway from the pavilion, which gives unprecedented looks at how Disney Parks attractions are and have been designed, from concept to realization, is that two hours just wasn’t enough to experience it all.
The second takeaway is that subtle hints at upcoming projects involving Star Wars and Avatar didn’t seem all that subtle — assuming what I saw was what I thought it was.
According to a new article from Disney Insider, the Disney Parks pavilion at the upcoming D23 Expo will offer more than just a look back at Walt Disney Imagineering’s 60 year history.
Speaking with the show producer of the D23 Expo Disney Parks pavilion, Dave Fisher, the article mentions many things the pavilion will offer attendees, which include teasers of brand new attractions coming to Disney Parks based on Disney’s Star Wars property as well as Avatar. In addition, the pavilion will be play testing a new project Imagineering is working on titled ‘Adventure Trading Company.’ The pavilion will also offer two virtual ride-throughs using their pre-vis DISH (Digital Immersive Showroom) technology and a meet and greet with Captain America.
It doesn’t seem to rain much in the rainforest-like environment of Avatar’s Pandora, but we’re pretty sure that if and when it does rain there, it pours. No sooner than a forum thread pop up suggesting James Cameron gave the okay to Disney to proceed with AvatarLand at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, that purported ‘leaked’ blueprints of some sort involving the layout of the new land’s attractions.
What you see here is one of Walt Disney Imagineering’s newest inventions being tested earlier this year at Minter Field Airport in Shafter, California — a flying dragon puppet that even — get this — breathes fire.
The flying fantasy object was recently spotted as reported by the Bakersfield Californian, but this picture here, amongst others, has actually been online since May. It comes via the Facebook page of Tammy Jackson-Zaninovich who reports the sighting as ‘just another day’ at the airport.
At the 109th Annual International Toy Fair in New York City, Tonner Doll Company debuted all new dolls for 2012 including these prototypes for TRON Legacy and Avatar. Tonner had previously released a Kevin Flynn figure based on the original TRON from 1982 and now they take on the sequel. Included in the collection are Quorra (Olivia Wilde), Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) and Gem (Beau Garrett).
Although it’s only loosely connected to Disney by way of the upcoming Avatarland at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, also on display were prototypes were dolls of Jake and Neytiri from James Cameron’s Avatar. The dolls measure approximately an impressive 22″ in height and feature all new sculpts created specifically for these dolls which are expected to be produced at a very low number.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with visionary filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of AVATAR to life at Disney parks. Through an exclusive agreement announced today by Disney, Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox, Disney will partner with Cameron and producing partner Jon Landau to create themed lands that will give theme park guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of AVATAR first hand. Disney plans to build the first AVATAR themed land at Walt Disney World, within the Animal Kingdom park. With its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the AVATAR stories, which share the same philosophy. Construction is expected to begin by 2013.