As a part of the Japanese version of the D23 Expo, Disney released a new rendering and some additional details of the second major attraction for Pandora - The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom. The major ride that was announced earlier is the Avatar Flight Of Passage, a high tech simulator experience of flying through the lands of Avatar.
This new attraction will have guests seated in a canoe for a peaceful trip down an "mysterious, sacred river" and through the bioluminescent forest that is depicted in the art above. Guests will see all the beautiful glowing plants of Pandora, along with several of its inhabitants. The finale of the ride is a meeting with the "Na’vi shaman, who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora and sends positive energy out into the forest through her music."
I must admit I'm quite excited for this attraction, perhaps more so than the Avatar Flight of Passage simply because it is 'old school' in its presentation, featuring what appears to be immersive sets and perhaps even an animatronic character or two. At least on the surface it seems to use no film related special effects, instead taking us through 3-D environments that look pretty gorgeous in the art. I'm all for the use of digital technology in attractions, don't get me wrong, but it is a nice change of pace to see a large caliber ride like this employ more traditional dark ride methods.
We will still have to wait a while for our trip down the river, though, as Pandora - The World of Avatar won't open at Animal Kingdom until 2017.