Pandora — The World of Avatar may only be the beginning.
The otherworldly theme park land, which brought the “floating mountains” and Na’vi culture from of James Cameron’s blockbuster movie “Avatar” to life when it opened at Walt Disney World this past spring, may soon arrive at another of Disney’s themed properties worldwide.
New York Times reporter Brooks Barnes tweeted that The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger has publicly hinted at “Avatar” experiences possibly being built elsewhere:
The comment, which came from a conference wherein Iger discussed Disney’s recent decision to build its own streaming services as a Netflix competitor, also sheds light on the company’s hope for future growth with the film series, for which they hold theme park rights. (Four sequels to the top-performing film are on their way, with estimated release dates in 2020, 2021, 2024 and 2025.)
While other high-profile Disney properties, like the forthcoming “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” appear primed for global expansion, Pandora — The World of Avatar, which has been open for just 15 weeks, has already proven itself a swift success. The stirring Avatar Flight of Passage 3D attraction, which takes guests on an exploratory journey through Pandora from atop a banshee, regularly clocks the longest wait times across Disney’s four Florida theme parks. (It even brought our Disney-averse editor to tears.) Similarly, Pandora’s most popular souvenir — a self-controlled toy banshee — continues to sell out so quickly that store shelves often cannot be refilled in time.
With its placement within Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a theme park that exists solely in Florida, it’s tricky to estimate where a new “Avatar” property may eventually land. There is ample room for development at Shanghai Disneyland, The Walt Disney Company’s newest park, but with a multi-year expansion coming to Hong Kong Disneyland, both Chinese parks are a possibility.
The Walt Disney Company also operates Disneyland Resort in California as well as international parks in Paris and, through a licensing agreement with The Oriental Land Company, Tokyo.