You can now actually visit Pandora from the movie Avatar At night, a significant number of Pandora's plants light up.
Photos: TNS When James Cameron's sci fi epic Avatar opened eight years ago, the experience of the film was the biggest selling point Cameron hadn't just created another world, he put the audience in it. We didn't just watch the Na'Vi fly across the screen on their jewelry stores with pandora winged banshees, we flew with them over the vistas of the tropical planet of Pandora. On May 27, Disney hopes to amplify that immersion with its most technically ambitious land to date: Pandora the World of Avatar, situated in Animal Kingdom in the Orlando resort of Walt Disney World. Instead of re creating scenes from the film or simply populating the park with characters seen in the movie, Disney's pandora charm beads Pandora expands on the universe. Set about a generation after the conflict in the film, this Pandora is a post war planet on the road to rehabilitation, emphasising themes of conservation and exploration. The Los Angeles Times was part of a media preview that toured the land over the weekend, and here's just a bit of what we learned: The film and the land feel like two separate entities. While visitors encounter the blue skinned Na'Vi and some of the forest predators seen on the big screen, Avatar isn't required viewing to enjoy Pandora. The bioluminescent forest comes to life as night falls on Pandora. Guests enter Pandora via Alpha Centauri Expeditions, a sort of intergalactic travel agency; there they learn about the work of the Pandora Conservation Initiative. The preservation theme loosely connects the fantasy land to Animal Kingdom, which emphasises environmental restoration and the efforts to save endangered animals from extinction. On Pandora, for instance, the winged, dragon like "Avatar" creatures called banshees are now near extinction a key component of the land's thrill ride, Avatar Flight of Passage. Close to the entrance of the park is a giant, bulbous plant with a fire red top known as the "flaska reclinata", the last of its kind. Joe Rohde, lead imagineer on the project, stressed that even though the sci fi world is far from "edu tainment", all of it works to give Pandora a sense of fragility, attempting to draw parallels between this alien world and our own. Disney had one primary goal for the Na'Vi River Journey: "Just plain beauty," said Rohde. A scene from the water and light show 'Rivers of Light' inside the Animal Kingdom theme park. The boat attraction floats calmly through a bioluminescent forest, culminating in a visit with the Shaman of Songs, a Na'Vi woman who serenades guests as they pass by. It's intimate, with boats seating only about six to eight people at a time and two boats loading at once. Floating jellyfish creatures soar through the sky, wolf like predators trot off in the distance and other four legged animals puff up their feathers as guests roll past. Above, glowing blue plant leaves reveal the footprints of small animals as they run across the fronds. But the star of this show is the Shaman of Songs. cheap pandora beads She is Disney's most life like audio animatronic created to date, with near human like fluidity in her movements. The first time you see her you don't know where to focus. On her singing? Her arm waving? The wagging of her tail? The two attractions in Pandora don't come with typical theme park like signage. The entry to the River Journey queue is a woven monument to the Shaman of Songs, and Avatar Flight of Passage greets guests with a sculpture of a banshee designed to look like an ancient carving. Sightings of Pandora natives, the Na'Vi, are relatively rare. They can be spotted on the two attractions, but throughout the grounds of Pandora their presence is treated as more of a special experience. Disney imagineers explained that it simply wasn't practical or realistic to have the Na'Vi wandering the land or doing meet and greets with guests. Part of that is because of their specific look. The Na'Vi are tall generally towering over humans by 1m to 1.5m. They also have a very sleek bone structure and wildly active tails; it's not as simple as painting someone blue, Rohde explained. Disney has long played up the bioluminescent nature of Pandora, and in the film we see the forest floor react to each step of the Na'Vi. Pandora isn't quite that responsive, but there are multiple ways in which the land reacts to guests. At night, a significant number of the land's plants light up. But the effect is not as simple as, say, turning on Christmas lights. The hope is that the glowing plants will feel natural. To that end, every plant in the land was hand sculpted, and Rohde demanded that they be photo realistic. Outside of the controlled experiences, the bioluminescent plants are mixed in with real plants that thrive in central Florida. When the land opens later this month, the plan is for plants to react to Pandora wildlife. Guests will hear animals rustle beside the path, and the lights will flicker as the unseen animals push them aside. There's even a set of plants that can be played like drums. They weren't turned on for the media preview, but when they're operational the plan is for the lighting of the land to respond to guests playing them. Throughout the day, plant drummers will give performances for guests. Pandora's thrill ride is big really big. To reach it, guests must trek up a Disney constructed mountain. Consider it a light hike, but the queue path wraps around the "natural" Pandoran flora and fauna. The flaska reclinata, one of the many hand made plants, is part of the alien world of Pandora. Once guests reach the top of the mountain, they enter caves that house giant paintings depicting the banshees and colourful, ancient looking murals.
Slowly the queue transitions to what feels like an abandoned military base, with hints of once dangerous experiments conducted by humans on Pandora, only to eventually open up into a full fledged research centre. This is where guests become avatars that is, they go through the process of entering a Na'Vi body to help the natives study and repopulate the endangered banshee species. The transformation is the story pandora nz online line of the attraction, complemented by the famous Na'Vi host body tank from the film and copious sci fi details.
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