‘Avatar’ Director James Cameron Says Disney World Could Get a New Ride

A new ride based on the upcoming Avatar sequel could be coming to Pandora at the Walt Disney World Resort soon according to the film’s director, James Cameron.

Ever since the Walt Disney Company acquired Fox Studios, fans have anticipated more use of the former Fox intellectual property, Avatar, within Disney Parks. Of course, when Pandora: the World of Avatar opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park in 2017, it was a huge success.


Credit: Disney

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Disney Guests loved the complex and immersive theming, with attractions like Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage that allowed visitors to the fictional exoplanet to truly step inside the bio-luminescent world and experience the culture of the Na’vi.

Specifically, many view Flight of Passage, the land’s “E-Ticket” ride, as revolutionary for its groundbreaking technology and detailed experience. The attraction allows Guests to simulate the feeling of bonding with the banshee, a flying creature sacred to the Na’vi, in a symbolic ritual and experiencing Pandora from the skies.

Avatar Flight of Passage Honored with Industry Award for Outstanding Visual  Effects | Disney Parks Blog

Credit: Disney Parks

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Now, could the Pandora area receive a new attraction inspired by the upcoming 2022 film, Avatar: The Way of Water? Director James Cameron told Variety that he and newly restored Disney CEO Bob Iger have been discussing it:

When Bob Iger came back a couple weeks ago, I did send him an email and say, ‘You know, we can do Avatar 2 and 3 motifs and put them into the physical hardware of Avatar Flight of Passage.

However, while the 2009 film focuses on the Na’vi’s relationship with banshees, the sequel will introduce a new mythical animal: the sea creature “ilu” which the coastal people ride. In fact, because Flight of Passage uses motion simulation and 3D screen technology, Disney could easily replace the banshee flight sequence with an underwater portion on ilus, similar to the way the Star Tours attraction follows multiple, unique storylines on each ride.

Credit: Photo by Twentieth Century-Fox Film

Credit: Fox Studios

What’s more, Cameron reported that Iger “liked that idea.”  While the creative pair have reached no conclusions about making changes to Flight of Passage or introducing a third attraction to the Disney Park, the director feels “there’s a good synergy between the physical base,” aka the Disney Parks’ Pandora, and “how the movies progress the story and bring in new imagery.”

Have you visited Pandora: the World of Avatar yet? Next time you do, you may just find yourself on an ilu, soaring under the sea!

About Spencer Beck

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the halls of the Walt Disney Family Museum, and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @pinknpurble everywhere.