FilmMagic

From a teen boy's bedroom to a mega hit movie and brand new Disney World theme park.

Erika Owen
May 24, 2017

When James Cameron isn't frolicking through New Zealand's most epic scenery, he's making incredible movies (this we all know). Cameron is the brains behind "Avatar,"  the second most grossing movie of all time (right behind "Gone with the Wind").

And now, Orlando travelers can experience his mastery in person as Disney's newest theme park, Pandora — the World of Avatar, opens to the public on May 27. Travel + Leisure got a sneak peek, and there are some amazing things to see and do, right down to chatting about the flora with on-site "locals."

Seeing Pandora in person is surreal — at night, the entire park lights up in a bioluminescent show, and during the day you can stand next to the waterfall roaring off of the floating Hallelujah mountains. If you close your eyes you'll completely forget where you are. That's not an easy thing to achieve in an area with so many crowds, but the ambient noise of birds, insects, and other Pandora-esque sounds is truly transportive.

It's hard to believe this came from one creative's mind, but the way Cameron came up with the idea for the movie and the new park is motivating, to say the least.

"I think back to when I was 19 years old, I had a dream — a literal dream — of bioluminescent forests and glowing trees," Cameron said at the dedication of the new Pandora theme park on May 24. "I woke up very excited about it. I sketched it and I painted it. I remembered those images years later when I started writing the script for 'Avatar.' We made the movie and here we are, years later, literally in a dream come true."

So the next time you wake up remembering bits and pieces of a particularly captivating dream, take a page from a world-renowned filmmaker's book and write it down — or pull out those colored pencils and settle into your next art project.

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