Even eight years after its release, Avatar still stands out as one of the most visually immersive movies in recent history. The sci-fi epic transported viewers to the fantastical, fictional world of Pandora, a far-off moon land brought to life by James Cameron's high-tech cinematography. It was so ambitious that it took nearly a decade to make it to screen, and Cameron has spent the years since teasing its four sequels.
Much of the delay seems to stem from Cameron's continued quest to push the technological limits of filmmaking, but for now the first follow-up is slated to hit theaters in 2018. In the meantime, he and Disney have teamed up to bring fans an interactive version of the alien planet via an attraction titled Pandora: The World of Avatar. The destination is slated to open on May 27 in Disney World's Animal Kingdom.
Following a first look last April and a behind-the-scenes video from December, Disney has now shared official promos for the destination. The clips don't offer much in the way of concrete details — they mostly just stitch together what look like scenes from the Avatar movie — but promise chances to "fly on a banshee," "walk under floating mountains," and "navigate a mystical river."
The World of Avatar website shares more in-depth information, with descriptions of each ride. For example, the Valley of Mo'ara is billed as "the start of a jaw-dropping, 'I’ll-be-talking-about-it-for-years' type of adventure," while Flight of Passage grants an aerial view of Pandora. The Na’vi River Journey will find guests boarding a vessel that floats down a Pandora river and through its bioluminescent rainforest. An animatronic Na’vi – a Shaman of Songs character – will sing songs as they travel. It sounds like the latest iteration of classics rides like It's A Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean, but knowing Cameron, it will have some sort of extra punch.
Joe Rohde, the Senior VP Creative of Walt Disney Imagineering, previously said that The World of Avatar will employ state-of-the-art technology "that’s never been applied before." What exactly that means remains to be seen, but it seems like World of Avatar is aiming to follow in the footsteps of the original Avatar movie before it. For now, fans will just have to use their imaginations and hope that the theme park attraction is compelling enough to tide them over until Avatar 2 finally reaches the big screen.