Disney's 'Avatar' -themed land opens to public

By: WFTV.com

Updated:

BAY LAKE, Fla. - Pandora, an "Avatar"-themed land in Disney's Animal Kingdom, opened to the public Saturday, with reported wait times for the two rides inside exceeding three hours.

And that's for the people who have already been able to get in to the park. Disney has issued a warning through their app that as of 10:10 a.m., the wait time to enter the land was more than two hours.

Matt Beiler, a producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, said that although the film is science fiction, he and his colleagues designed the land with a focus on realism.

"When I go to Africa, this is a real place in Africa," he said. "The same thing happens here when guests come here to Pandora. They are going to a real valley."

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The resort's newest attraction brings the film to life with scenery inspired by the movie, including majestic waterfalls, boat rides down the fictional Na’vi River and a bioluminescent rainforest, which illuminates at night.

"From the moment you walk in, it's astonishing," visitor Christian Rivera said.

Park visitors will be made to feel as if they're walking among floating mountains and soaring on the back of a flying "banshee," a dragon-like creature featured in the movie.

Park visitors will also be able to beat on drums at Pandora, and Satu’li Canteen serves a movie-inspired menu.

"Walt said, 'It's kind of fun to do the impossible,'" Beiler said. "And that is what every Imagineer has at their core: They embrace the challenge."

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