He’s back! At least that’s what that rumors are saying about a potential Pandora expansion. Word on the Disney street is James Cameron is itching to add more to the land he helped develop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The big question is whether or not Disney is ready for a Pandora expansion. Looks like we’re plugging into our Avatar and taking a trip to Pandora. No better way to travel than on the back of a banshee!
What Do The Numbers Say?
Success! On May 27, 2107, Walt Disney World opened the gates to Pandora, The World of Avatar. The 12-acre land consisted of two attractions in the Navi River Journey and Flight of Passage. Rounding out the land is the quick-serve location known as Satu’li Canteen and the Pongu Pongu beverage stand. Since the land’s opening, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has scene guest attendance increase by ~26% to 13,7500,00 guests per year. The park now ranks as the second most popular park in total guests per year, only behind the Magic Kingdom.
Flight of Passage continues to be one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World with an average wait time surpassing 2 hours.
Passholder Insights: One of the best ways to experience Flight of Passage without a FastPass is to rope drop the Animal Kingdom.
Plans always change and the same holds true when it comes to Walt Disney World. The original plan for Pandora The World of Avatar included three attractions. Flight of Passage was slated to be the mid-level attraction with the attraction that was removed from the plans being the headliner. It’s unknown what the third attraction entailed.
Passholder Insights: By the main entrance of Pandora you’ll find the spot for the iconic picture of the floating mountains. Usually, there is a PhotoPass photographer in the area.
Yeah, we’re on that level with Mr. Cameron. As the rumor around a Pandora expansion goes, James Cameron approached Disney about Disney Imagineering and Lightstorm working together on an expansion. His idea would be to have the new area opening in conjunction with Avatar 2 in theaters.
The potential landing spot for a Pandora expansion would be in the cast member parking adjacent to the land. To the left of the Navi River Journey (when facing the entrance), there’s a plot of land that was originally slated for the third attraction. What’s Jim thinking about for a new attraction?
It’s still very early and at the moment it is what Disney would call “Blue Sky”, or still at the concept level. There are two options that are rumored to be on the table – one is a more thrilling attraction and the other a walk-through attraction. A thrilling attraction could be a variety of things, and at the moment everything would be sheer speculation. Whereas, the walk-through attraction is a little more fleshed out. According to Jack from DSNY Newscast, the experience would be Pandora’s version of an animal encounter where the animals are animatronics. The centerpiece would be a massive banshee.
Passholder Insights: Just outside Pandora The World of Avatar you’ll one of our favorite lounges, the Nomad Lounge.
We’re always up for new experiences. A Pandora expansion would definitely make a lot of sense. As we spoke about in our Zootopia Land article, Disney World is looking at updates for the Animal Kingdom post-50th Anniversary in 2021. Connecting the dots, this could fit. The one piece we’re unsure about is Disney moving forward with a Pandora expansion prior to the release of Avatar 2. We’ll have to wait and see if Jim nailed his pitch!