Pandora – The World of Avatar is one of the most immersive lands in any theme park and it’s located right at Walt Disney World in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Valley of Mo’ara and the attractions, shops, and restaurants that Guests can visit while on the moon of Pandora set the scene to move Guests into the world of Avatar, but there is much more to this land than meets the eye.
D23 recently shared some little-known details about Pandora – The World of Avatar, and some of them were truly surprising! Let’s see how many of these secrets you know.
Not every waterfall is made of water
Walt Disney Imagineering is extremely talented at taking basic illusions and using them to trick the eye on a grand scale. In Pandora – The World of Avatar, this skill comes into play when it comes to some of the waterfalls high up on the floating mountains.
While they may appear to be real, flowing waterfalls from the ground, Imagineers have actually created this effect by the way the set is painted and by placing textured spinning wheels on the mountain to give the illusion of water.
Conservation is a major theme
Conservation is at the heart of every area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, of course, because of the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and the company’s commitment to caring for the animals in the park. But conservation is also an important component of Animal Kingdom keeping its AZA accreditation (Association of Zoos and Aquariums).
At first glance, the conservation messaging may not be incredibly obvious on Pandora, but it really is the basis for th whole land. Dr. Jackie Ogden from the Avatar Flight of Passage pre-show for instance is inspired by the real-life Dr. Jackie Ogden who during her 19 years at Walt Disney World became known for her work in animal care and conservation.
In the same attraction just before the pre-show, the laboratory portion of the queue features a number of books including Jane Goodall’s Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey. Goodall and her conservation-based research was instrumental in the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and she even awarded Disney the Jane Goodall Global Leadership Award for the company’s conservation efforts in 2011.
Nods to Disney Imagineers and James Cameron
Walt Disney Imagineering loves to place small Easter eggs into the themed lands of Disney Parks and Pandora – The World of Avatar is no different. Hanging from the ceiling of Pongu Pongu, Guests can find RDA (Resources Development Administration) nametags, including one for former-Imagineer Joe Rohde.
As you walk through the queue for Avatar Flight of Passage and you come to the forest scene, you may see a name on the wall for “JC Shoring.” The initials here are a nod to James Cameron, and the numbers next to it, “08.016.54” are the director’s birthday.
While exiting Avatar Flight of Passage, you may come across some handprints and initials on the walls, which were done by Joe Rohde, James Cameron, and Jon Landau, the producer of Avatar (2009).
How many of these secrets did you know? Try to spot these Easter eggs and hidden details during your next trip to Pandora – The World of Avatar, and see what else you can find!