James Cameron Goes Inside Walt Disney World's Avatar Attractions
Fans will soon be able to step into Avatar.
ABC's Good Morning America and The View shared sneak peeks of the new attractions opening at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. this summer, with James Cameron himself leading a tour of Pandora in Animal Kingdom.
Heat Vision breakdown
The Valley of Mo'ara is filled with lush forests, exotic plants and floating mountains, plus signs that translate phrases from the film's unique language. The landscape becomes bioluminescent at night, and food offerings are vibrantly colorful.
"This is the first time I feel like I'm walking in the movie," said producer Jon Landau, "because when we made the movie, it was a virtual world. We didn't build any of the Pandora sets."
Good Morning America also sampled the ride Flight of Passage, for which each rider is scanned to create a custom avatar. The virtual reality ride — which is also an experience in smell, touch and taste — then has the ticket holder soaring atop a banshee.
Additionally, the Cameron-directed films are the basis for the Na'vi River Journey, also located in the new land.
The View visited the attractions with the filmmaker, where co-host Whoopi Goldberg exclaimed she had never seen anything like the re-created Avatar world.
While touring Pandora, which opens May 27, Cameron helped to put the timeline in perspective while showing off some of the designs that came to fruition as a result of dreams he had when he was younger.
"It's Avatar the first movie," he explained. "Then there are the four sequels that we're working on now, then a whole generation after that when all the conflict, all the struggle, all the warfare between the Na'vi and the humans is over and the Na'vi have welcomed us to Pandora to help us understand nature and ourselves better."
Last year, Cameron shared his plans for the Avatar sequels, explaining how each of the four films will be able to stand alone but together will create a saga. Avatar 2 has no set date but is expected in late 2018, with follow-up films projected for 2020, 2022 and 2023.
"As a filmmaker, you think, 'Well, I'm going to put something up on the screen, and that's a two-hour, two-and-a-half hour experience," Cameron said of Disney's Pandora land. "This is a place. And you can go there and walk around and see creatures and see a Na'vi and fly on a banshee. It is a bit of a trip that this was just an idea in 1995, and then it became a movie, and now it's a land."
He further clarified, "It's not a ride; it's a land. You know you've arrived when you've done a land."
During his View visit, the co-hosts also revisited some of Cameron's other biggest hits, including Titianic, which just celebrated its 20-year anniversary.
"That was just me wanting to work with Bill again," he said of directing his friend in the classic. "Every single person that met Bill — you meet Bill and you think in 30 seconds you've been friends for life."
He also squashed several Titanic conspiracy theories, including the debate about whether Rose (Kate Winslet) could have fit Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) on the door raft and prevented his death.
"It says in the script on page 147, 'Jack dies,'" Cameron explained. "So maybe we made the door a little too big when we made the movie, but Jack's always going to die, folks. There's no other version of reality."
On Thursday's Nightline, Cameron confirmed that he has completed the script to all of the Avatar sequels, and has "most of the cast" already planned.
He and ABC's Paula Faris toured the attractions in the park as well. “I think I knew it was gonna be a pretty amazing world, but I was still thinking movie,” Cameron told her, “but now I walk around with a sense of wonder.”
"Animal Kingdom is founded on this idea that we’re going to be fascinated by and curious about nature. It really just reminds you how amazing our own world is,” Cameron said. "So Pandora nested within Animal Kingdom, I think is genius.”
Cameron had offered a first look at the attractions in December, saying in a video, "I don't know if I can express how it feels to see something that I imagined in 1995 suddenly made physically real. They are using the absolute cutting-edge technology. Stuff that has never been applied before."
by Kyle Kizu
by Richard Newby
by Graeme McMillan