Former Imagineering Executive Clears Up Common Animal Kingdom Misconception

Have you ever visited a themed area inside a Disney Park and felt a little…confused? Between Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT, there are many themed lands inspired by our favorite films, but sometimes the continuity can get a little challenging to understand.


Credit: Disney

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Animal Kingdom is the most infamous Disney Park that often leaves Guests a little confused. For years, many Guests were left confused by the DINOSAUR attraction, which displays a sculpture of Aladar, the Iguanodon protagonist from the film Dinosaur (2000). However, the DINOSAUR attraction is not affiliated with the film of the same name.

dinosaur entrance

Credit: Disney

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Over in Animal Kingdom’s newest addition, Pandora – The World of Avatar, many Guests experience a similar confusion. Why are there no characters from Avatar (2009) in this area? Where does Pandora – The World of Avatar take place regarding the films? Most importantly, why are there humans on Pandora at all? Former Walt Disney Imagineering Executive Joe Rohde recently cleared up some of these misconceptions.

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One Twitter user sent the formerImagineer a screenshot from Tumblr, pointing out a possible plot hole between James Cameron’s Avatar and Pandora – The World of Avatar. Joe Rohde is quick to point out that Pandora – The World of Avatar canonically takes place years into the future, which is why no characters are named or spotted in Flight of Passage or the Na’vi River Journey.

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Another Twitter user quickly sent the sign welcoming Guests into the heavily themed area, confirming everything Rohde had to say.

So there you have it! Pandora – The World of Avatar takes place after all Avatar films’ events, even those that haven’t come out yet!

About Isabella Reimer

Isabella Reimer grew up visiting Walt Disney World and relocated to Central Florida to be even closer to The Most Magical Place on Earth. She earned her Bachelor’s from Florida State University, where she studied Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Her biggest hobby is bonding with the ikran at Avatar Flight of Passage, and her retirement plan includes becoming the 1,000 Happy Haunt of the Haunted Mansion.