Disney Park To Receive Major Refurb, Updates Given

in Disney, Disneyland Resort

Two Na'vi (Neytiri and Jake Sulley) interacting with bioluminescent organisms and plants

Credit: 20th Century Studios

Recently, the Walt Disney Company has confirmed that James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar franchise will be making its way to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

Two guests watch the fireworks nighttime spectacular at Disneyland Park.
Credit: Disney

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While some Disney Parks may have more modern thrills, like Walt Disney World Resort or Tokyo DisneySea, there is nothing quite like going to Disneyland Resort in California. Not only is it home to many classic attractions like the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, but it is also home to the only park touched by Walt himself.

Still, there are moments when guests want Disneyland Resort to become more modern with the other parks. While Galaxy’s Edge and Avenger’s Campus are good starts, there needs to be something even bigger down the line. Fortunately, it looks like Disneyland Resort will be getting a completely new experience based on one of Disney’s most popular IPs that could change its fate forever.

Pandora is Coming To Disneyland Resort (UPDATED)

Kiri (Sigourney Weaver) in 'Avatar: The Way of Water' (2022). Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

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With only two movies under its belt, Avatar has become one of the most successful franchises of all time, with the first film grossing almost $3 billion at the global box office and Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) earning $2.32 billion. The series features Sam Worthington as Jake Sulley, Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri, Sigourney Weaver as Dr. Grace Augustine/Kiri, and Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch.

While it has been known for a while that Avatar will make its way to Disneyland Resort, the question was always where exactly it would go. Avatar is somewhere between science fiction and fantasy, meaning it doesn’t fit Tomorrowland or Fantasyland too well. Fortunately, Disney California Adventure is right there across the way.

A view of Pixar Pier at night, overlooking the lake. You can see Pixar Pal-A-Round and Incredicoaster.
Credit: Disney

During the Walt Disney Imagineering Lunch & Learn at the IAAPA Expo, it was revealed that a new Avatar “experience” will be making its home at California Adventure. While there is no confirmation regarding when it will open or where it will be within the park, it’s safe to assume that it will be part of the massive expansion planned near Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.

What’s especially exciting is anticipating what this “experience” will be! Are DCA guests going to receive new versions of the rides already featured in Disney World, or will they be getting something completely new? Given the amount of time it takes to develop any attraction, there is a high likelihood that this new experience will be based on The Way of Water or a film that hasn’t been released yet. No matter what it is, it will be a welcome addition to the park.

UPDATE: A Disneyland official has stated that Disneyland Resort has made no official statement regarding the location of the Avatar experience. More details can be found here.

Disney’s Relationship With ‘Avatar’

Family in pandora at Disney's animal kingdom in walt disney world resort
Credit: Disney

With the massive success of the franchise, it shocked everyone when the Walt Disney Company purchased the rights to Avatar from Lightstorm Entertainment and 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios) in 2011. Now, the Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort is home to Pandora – The World of Avatar.

Not only did this successfully turn Animal Kingdom into a nighttime experience, but it also introduced guests to two of the best rides in Dinsey Parks history: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. The latter is particularly popular for its impressive shaman animatronic.

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Pandora is such an imaginative and beautiful setting that it will be easy for any kind of attraction or expansion based on Avatar to do well in DCA. There’s plenty to explore, as well as new creatures to discover with three more movies set to release through 2031.

This franchise isn’t going anywhere for a long time, so it is actually an incredible investment for the Walt Disney Company and Disney California Adventure. If they pull it off, it could easily become the best ride in the entire park.

What would you like to see in the Avatar expansion at Disney California Adventure? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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