VIDEO: “Pandora – The World of AVATAR” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have living, interactive foliage!

in Artwork, Disney, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Movies, Movies & TV, Technology, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Pandora Ð The World of AVATAR will bring a variety of new experiences to Disney's Animal Kingdom, including a family-friendly attraction called NaÕvi River Journey. The adventure begins as guests set out in canoes and venture down a mysterious, sacred river hidden within the bioluminescent rainforest. The full beauty of Pandora reveals itself as the canoes pass by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures. The journey culminates in an encounter with a NaÕvi shaman, who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora and sends positive energy out into the forest through her music. NaÕvi River Journey will open with Pandora Ð The World of AVATAR in 2017. Disney's Animal Kingdom is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Disney)

Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is really coming along.

Between the massive rock structures being constructed and big plans for many different attractions, it seems Imagineer Joe Rohde and his team (in collaboration with James Cameron) are ready to revolutionize the way guests interact with the world around them. So much so, in fact, that even the plants around you will be interactive!

Check out Patent Yogi‘s video with never-before-seen footage of the project:

You see, these living plants are actually Cyborgs — yes, that is the word being used — that have the distinct ability to detect and respond to user interaction. Patent Yogi reports:

A new patent granted to Disney discloses details of the technology behind these cyborg plants. The patent is titled User Interactive Living Organisms. The patent describes capacitive sensing to detect human interaction with living plants. The sensing system connects to the plant via an electrode. The sensing system utilizes the natural conductive paths (such as water-carrying veins) found in an organic plant to transmit an electrical signal to the plant. The sensing system gets activated when a user directly touches the plant or even comes near the plant. In response, an audio-video effect is played.

What does this mean? Basically, when a user touches a plant, the plant will illuminate. Now, if the stem is touched, a stimulated earthquake will be activated. Lastly, if leaves are touched, a cool breeze will be released. The system will also have the ability detect a user near a plant as user approaches a tree, a hidden shower will be activated. And when user touches a leaf, smoke generator will then be activated. Pretty neat, right?

What do all of you think of this new technical innovation being used to bring the world of Avatar to life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, stick with ITM for all things Disney!


  1. EricJ

    I remember when the Sharper Image used to have those futuristic-looking desk lamp/planters where you turned the light on or off by making a bio-electric connection with touching the plant leaves.
    Disney just patented a way to reroute the electronics….Okay, it’s worth not saying “Avatar is so over” yet enough to try it.

  2. Dave

    a new era of theme park design is beginning
    Avatar is a perfect example of a movie translating well to a theme park

  3. Kim

    Definitely a new era of theme park design for sure. Finally someone thinks outside the box and escapes how theme parks are usually designed nowadays! Different is good… But this different is incredible. Impressed.

  4. Garaan

    I just hope you don’t have people ripping leaves completely off or otherwise damaging/killing the plants once they realize they react. The ‘yanking rope’ in Indiana Jones is broken more often than not and that was -intended- to be yanked on and isn’t a living thing.

    That said, you don’t have to have been all that into (or even seen) Avatar to be really into this area and all its innovations, which means it’s a great translation, I’d say probably better than Universal’s Harry Potter. If you’re not into the books, HP’s areas will leave you pretty cold- who are these kids, what is even going on, what’s the deal with this butterbeer thing, if I wanted to go to London I’d’ve gone to London, sort of thing.

    But Pandora is entirely experiential, meaning that even if you don’t know what the hell a banshee is, just ‘riding some dragon thing through an awesome landscape’ is enough to engage and thrill.

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