Disney’s ‘Pandora: World of Avatar’ to officially open this weekend

Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (May 24) | Credit: Ryan Pastorino/Tribune Broadcasting

ORLANDO — After more than six years of development, Walt Disney World will officially open “Pandora: World of Avatar” on Saturday.

Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (May 24) | Credit: Ryan Pastorino/Tribune Broadcasting

The Disney storyline suggests visitors are “transferred light-years away” to the “Alpha-Centauri solar system” and Pandora.

“It’s an otherworldly, fully-themed experience,” says Jon Landau, AVATAR producer, Lightstorm Entertainment.

Pandora has two attractions: Na’vi River Journey, a family-friendly boat ride through a “bioluminescent” rainforest, and Avatar Flight of Passage, the land’s premiere attraction that allows guests to fly on the back of a banshee.

“The land transforms and glows at night thanks to bioluminescent flora,” Disney said in its official press release.

While the land is not truly bioluminescent (glow in the dark is probably a more accurate description), the land will impress guests with its dreamlike feel after the sun goes down.

“The landscape will be alive with creatures,” says Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. “We’re bringing to life everything from the largest creature you might encounter to the most microscopic. Animals will appear out of the underbrush – big Pandoran animals will appear at the edge of the forest, and you’ll hear the very complicated calls they issue back and forth.”

“Pandora: World of Avatar” officially opens to guests on May 27.

Editor’s note: The Tribune Media Wire editorial team will be sharing additional stories and videos about “Pandora: World of Avatar” over the next several days, including detailed reviews of the attractions and more photos of the “bioluminescent” land.

Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (May 24) | Credit: Ryan Pastorino/Tribune Broadcasting