LISTEN: ‘Pandora – The World of Avatar’ comes alive through sound design in new Walt Disney World land

in Disney, Movies, Movies & TV, Theater, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Since we first unveiled Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World a couple weeks ago, the focus has largely been on its breathtaking views and awe-inspiring scenic design. The Disney’s Animal Kingdom expansion offers rich detail and stunning sights throughout.

But creating a truly immersive environment requires an appeal to much more than just sight. Pandora appeals to all the senses. Its many textures across elaborately created plant life and rock work offer plenty to touch. On the Flight of Passage ride, there are pleasant smells that surprise. And Satu’li Canteen serves up delightful tastes.

Arguably, though, the most impressive sensory stimuli behind Pandora’s visuals arrive via audio, which we spotlight in the “video” below.

Pandora’s sound design, led by Imagineer Stephen Fortunato, surrounds visitors to the new area, changing and morphing not only as you walk through Pandora, but throughout each day. The native fauna seems to come to life through lifelike sounds seemingly coming from just about everywhere – up high in the trees, deep within the bushes, and overhead in the floating mountains. Not only does the sound change depending on time of day, but Pandora visitors can alter the soundtrack of the area by interacting in a drum circle as well.

Walt Disney Imagineering’s Audio Media Designer Stephen Fortunato demonstrates the interactive Pandora drum circle.

Below, take a 30-minute, audio-only walkthrough of Pandora – The World of Avatar. This “video” has no visuals, allowing you to focus in solely on the endlessly different sounds that play throughout the new land.

The walk begins at the front of the bridge leading into Pandora, crossing into the Valley of Mo’ara, leading you down the river and up to one of its most scenic vistas: the big reveal of the floating mountains. From there, you’ll head over to Satu’li Canteen, hearing Na’vi music playing on an old radio. Passing back by waterfalls and underneath the floating mountains, you’ll head into the Na’vi River Journey for a full ride on that attraction. Lastly, you’ll cross back under the floating mountains and walk the entire queue of Flight of Passage.


When Pandora – The World of Avatar officially opens this week, take the time to pay attention to the impressively detailed audio that surrounds you as you enjoy its many inspiring sights.

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