Director James Cameron announced this week that he will make four “Avatar” sequels, with the first hitting theaters in 2018.
That’s good news for Disney and specifically Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, which is constructing an “Avatar”-based land called “Pandora – The World of Avatar.” Disney has not released an official opening date, but the land is expected to open sometime in 2017 or possibly 2018.
There’s no word if the date of the first sequel and the land’s opening date will correspond.
The “floating mountains” — one of the iconic pieces of the Pandora landscape in Cameron’s 2009 film — has already begun to take shape at the park and is visible towering above construction walls.
The land is part of the largest expansion in Animal Kingdom’s history and will include at least two attractions — a ride based on the banshee characters called “Flight of Passage” and a gentler boat ride that will take visitors through a bioluminescent forest.
This year, Animal Kingdom will add “Rivers of Light,” a new nighttime spectacular, and extend the popular Kilimanjaro Safaris to run after dark.
“Rivers of Light” was suppose to debut on Earth Day on April 22, but that has been delayed. April 22 is Animal Kingdom’s birthday.
An amphitheater, seating 5,000 visitors, is under construction on the park’s Discovery River. The show will feature four floats called “Animal Spirit Guides,” along with around 100 floating lanterns, water screens and “swirling animal imagery.”
At least two sequels were expected for “Avatar,” but four comes as a surprise to many. Cameron said that his vision for a followup has expanded over time.
The fantasy epic remains the all-time worldwide box office champion.