VIDEO - Imagineer Joe Rohde talks Animal Kingdom and Pandora - The World of Avatar

Feb 21, 2017 in "Pandora - The World of Avatar"

Walt Disney Imagineering has shared the first in a new series of videos, giving a first look inside Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Portfolio Creative Executive Joe Rohde also explains how Avatar fits within the original concept of Disney's Animal Kingdom. 

Pandora - The World of Avatar will officially open on May 27 2017.

Discuss on the Forums
Article Posted: Feb 21, 2017 / 2:34pm EST
View all comments →

Figments FriendFeb 28, 2017

:D -

GoofGoofFeb 27, 2017

This is Disney. They always have a backstory and a theme for everything and they usually have imagineers explain the story at some point before things open. They had videos with people explaining the theme to Disney Springs. It's a shopping mall. I think people are looking way too into it in thinking that this video is some kind of smoking gun proving that Avatar doesn't fit. Remember that the general public and more casual fans don't debate the merits of everything Disney does like we do. It's perfectly rational to explain to regular people how Avatar fits with the AK theme or the core ideas or whatever you want to call it. Once you hear the story it makes perfect sense. It's really not a stretch at all. There are far more convoluted backstories used to tie things into theme at various parks.

FigmentJediFeb 26, 2017

Dinoland itself is self explanatory. It's Dino Rama that gets people questioning why it's there

IncomudroFeb 26, 2017

Just because Joe is explaining Pandora's fit into AK, doesn't mean that most people need the explanation. I believe most people get it. There are videos of Joe explaining just about any part of AK. He explains the Jambo House for instance. Is this because people don't understand it? I don't need an explanation of Dinoland in AK either. I got it immediately, and as a dinosaur fan since before dinosaurs were cool (born in '63) I liked it immediately. Especially when my sons were smaller and they ran around the boneyard.

Bill CipherFeb 26, 2017

Wonderful idea! I love Pokémon and think it has great theme park potential (Pokémon snap safari, anyone?) and could work well in DAK. But one small problem.... Universal has the Nintendo theme park rights now. I'm hoping they end up including Pokémon in their 4th gate, but we'll just have to wait and see.

flynnibusFeb 25, 2017

When you have to make a video to convince people that it works.... it's probably a sign it is a tough fit

FigmentJediFeb 25, 2017

Or if you want to be less sarcastic about it, let's go through these guidelines with my preferred "If they had to shoehorn an outsider IP into Animal Kingdom, I'd pick this one" choice, Pokemon. Pokemon is all about man's relationship with animals and the natural world, albeit a somewhat dysfunctional one depending on how cynical you are about the Pokemon League's existence. Each mainline game is structured as a transformational coming of age tale of a child journeying throughout the natural wonders of their home region and building their relationship with their Pokemon and in turn transforming them. Throughout the franchise's history, they've addressed issues of poaching, animal lab testing, and the importance of conservation which fits well into Animal Kingdom's lesson plans.

SirenFeb 25, 2017

Hi @wm49rs! As always, I totally agree with you. They are irritating. Wow! @danlb_2000, I saw your name all over the news, rock star. I never got a chance to tell you how proud I am of you and all the others on the whole gondola discovery. I told you that 2017 was going to bring in a lot of exciting permits. I told you. Anyway, I totally agree with you -- for some strange reason this discussion has taken a delightful turn. I really enjoyed reading all of the different perspectives here. This is not geared towards you at all, just generally speaking.... I don't know what it is -- maybe, it's because I am so passionate for the arts. But, for me -- the theme parks are, in a sense -- a form of tangible art, that affords one the opportunity to actually live, breathe, taste, touch, hear and experience a unique perspective, a story. It's like jumping inside of a Monet or Van Gogh or something like that. As such, art is open to interpretation -- so, we don't have to like everything or even understand everything, in order to just appreciate it. Why can't this level of sophistication extend itself to the theme park world? There is just so much time, thought and effort put forth by people whose names we will never know, who are working so hard -- tirelessly, day and night to create and transport us to this exotic, beautiful and amazing world of escapism -- that everyone can indulge in and create lasting memories. So like, respect that. Hi @MrHappy! Every chance I get. Unfortunately, I've said this more times than I care to mention. It's become my official theory of Avatarland, I guess. LOL.

nolatronFeb 24, 2017

Excellent info. I've never heard of the core ideas talked about before prior to this video so was just curious if they had a history with the park or not. Thank you!

RandySavageFeb 24, 2017

^Oooh yeeeaaah. I'm very keen on coherent, well-thought-out, sophisticated theme parks, and get really irritated by IP-related weakening & plasticizing, such as Frozstrom in Norway, Nemo in Living Seas or Monsters Inc in Tomorrowlands. But Avatar in DAK has never bothered me. I think of it as the Tomorrowland equivalent for DAK, featuring xeno-biota: Plants and animals from a distant planet where space explorers discovered a natural eden 100 years in the future. If Star Wars Land had been tacked on here (featuring a tauntaun and bantha), I'd be much more critical, as animals are only ancillary in Star Wars. As Gaia Theory and the Noble Savage are the focal points of the Avatar story, it works for me as an AK IP land.

GeorgeFeb 24, 2017

I concur Mr. Savage. It has always been a fine fit and will be quite a fantastic addition.

FigmentJediFeb 24, 2017

I know for sure that they've been talking Intrinsic Value of Nature since day one. Personal Call to Action is also pretty damn visible in all the early years attractions between the poaching conflict that was part of the Safari, Kali's deforestation aesop, and Tough to be a Bug's "Respect the insects plz" message.

RSoxNo1Feb 24, 2017

Stop trolling please.

Gabe1Feb 24, 2017

And yet they still find themselves in a position to trot Joe out yet again to defend and explain why they stuck it in Animal Kingdom. At least Disney stopped trying to explain Frozen in the World Showcase and just gave it a rest already.