AVATAR 2009 TCF film with Zoe Saldana as Neyiri

Two years ago, Disney announced that it was partnering with James Cameron to bring the world of his record-breaking sci-fi smash "Avatar" to three-dimensional life at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Florida. Details were sketchy at the time, but it was known that the rides and attractions would only feature the peaceful environment of Pandora and not play up the battle-for-natural-resources element of the movie(s). Well, over the weekend at the first-ever Japan-held edition of the D23 Expo, concept art and further details of the theme park were revealed -- and they are certifiably mind-blowing.

What's initially quite striking is how open everything is. Originally Disney's intent was to house the entire "Avatar" experience indoors, so that they could better control all of the elements of the planet in a more contained way (things like the bioluminescent plants and whatnot). But the photo of Animal Kingdom guru and Imagineering godhead Joe Rohde lording over a scale model of the new "land" (below) shows how open everything is -- the floating mountains from the movie serve as a kind of "castle" for that land, rising up above the other attractions and pavilions.

The concept art features a look at the land itself, alongside individual art for some kind of boat ride that takes you through the glowing nighttime waterways of Pandora. (Other rides and attractions have yet to be revealed, including what the walk around characters will look like.) It's also worth noting that by the time "Avatar" land unveils itself to the public, at least one of the proposed three sequels will have hit theaters, and it's entirely possible that the land will borrow elements from these new movies as well.

Too bad we'll have to wait until at least 2017 before we can ride or experience any of this stuff. You can check out a few of the concept art photos below. Head to the Disney Parks Blog for more.

[via Disney Parks Blog]

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categories Movies