James Cameron’s 2009 science fiction epic Avatar has been described in a lot of different ways. It is one of the highest grossing films in history. It changed the cinematic landscape by popularizing the spectacle-focused 3D element.
It was also the subject of some debate surrounding its originality, or lack thereof. It’s been accused of cribbing story elements from a long list of properties, including Pocahontas and Dances With Wolves.
But the story isn’t why Avatar was successful. Cameron took cutting-edge movie-making technology and created an immersive science fiction world for the audience. And soon, real people will be able to visit that world.
Variety reported today that Disney’s newest park, Pandora: The World of Avatar, will be open for business on May 27. It’s a part of Disney World’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida.
Although it’s been eight years since the release of Avatar, the new park is a part of an ongoing effort to update the Disney parks with new attractions. Now that Disney is a gigantic mega-super-conglomerate that owns about 90% of the movie industry (don’t check my math on that one), it will be creating parks based on all of its intellectual properties, including Marvel (a Guardians of the Galaxy ride debuts this summer) and Star Wars, which will get its own entire theme park in 2019.
The new Avatar park will reportedly feature a water ride through the bioluminescent forest, called “Na’vi River Journey,” as well as a motion-simulator in the vein of “Soarin’” where audiences will fly on a Banshee around Pandora.
When it comes to the Avatar film franchise, the news keeps getting more and more ridiculous. When all this is over and the world is ash, there will be a total of five Avatar films. Cameron is working on all four sequels simultaneously, and once declared that the movies will “make you shit yourself with your mouth wide open.”
The upcoming Avatar films are all planned to be released in Decembers: 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023. At least the first sequel will most likely be a huge movie event, regardless of how good it ends up being.
But what honestly sounds more attractive is the ability to take a boat down a realistic, science fiction river surrounded by glowing trees. You’ll be able to, starting this May.