Avatar is Coming to Disneyland? What We Know and What We Predict

In today’s earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger mentioned that an Avatar experience will be coming to Disneyland Resort. Later on, there was also intrigue about parts of Pandora – World of Avatar (currently existing in Animal Kingdom) being brought to Disneyland Resort. In this post, we’ll answer some questions around this while also making a few predictions of our own.

Pandora night AK Mountains

Is Avatar coming to Disneyland Resort in some way?

Yes! We don’t know many details beyond this though. During the earnings call, Iger said an “Avatar experience” was coming to Disneyland Resort. That could literally mean anything involving Avatar and I was a little dubious that it’d be anything of substance. For all we know, it could have just been a VR experience in Downtown Disney as the Resort has done those in the past. Honestly, it still could be that.

That said, Iger was in a Q&A later on and was talking about Pandora – World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom. He then said a version of that will be brought to Disneyland Resort. Outside of that, he said that details will be coming soon.

Are we going to stretch those few nuggets into a full blog post?

Oooooh yeah!

Fuzzy blue Pandora AK

Why is this coming to Disneyland Resort?

There are two big reasons here. The first is that Avatar is a gigantic franchise, probably the biggest movie franchise in the world right now. Expanding the reach of that IP after the smashing success of Avatar: The Way of Water makes sense regardless of how anybody feels about the movie. Clearly, there is a market for it after ruling the box office for seven straight weeks.

The second reason, is a little more intricate and what I came away from the earnings call most excited about. Iger mentioned on several occasions the need to raise capacity in the theme parks, as attendance is capped roughly 20% less than what it was pre-pandemic during peak times of the year. Naturally, raising capacity is a good business plan as it will bring more money to the parks but it’s something that fans can celebrate too.

Frankly, this is a concept that Iger’s predecessor (and successor), Chapek, either didn’t care about or just didn’t bring up. We, along with every other theme park blogger, podcaster, nerd and fan in the world, constantly hope that more capacity is added to a theme park. With how crowded lines and wait times are, adding capacity only lightens the load.

Crazy plant Pandora AK

Is it feasible to dramatically raise capacity at Disneyland Resort?

Well, this is where it gets tricky. There’s only so much room inside of Disneyland and California Adventure and a lack of expansion pads. Frankly, I don’t see an Avatar land or attraction being put inside of Disneyland unless it’s just an exhibit (or VR experience) in what is currently the closed down Star Wars Launch Bay. If it is something like that, then this blog post is big overreaction and we don’t really need to address the news any more than we’ve already done. A temporary exhibit isn’t going to raise capacity.

I’m hoping it’s more than that. There are a few more temporary spots in California Adventure, as well as existing lands this could take over. Hollywood Land is primed to go away, at least the back corner of it. That’s not much room but it is some space to work with. A temporary overlay of Grizzly Peak makes sense due to the aesthetic. I hope that’s not the case though, as that land is one of the best in the park.

Signs at night Grizzly Peak DCA

Finally, there’s the elusive third gate idea. Pandora would be a headliner in a new park at Disneyland Resort. I put the chances of this at next to zero and do not think there’s any reason to get your hopes up about that. It’s fun to dream though!

Where should Pandora – World of Avatar go in Disneyland Resort?

If I’m choosing between the two parks, the answer is definitely California Adventure. That park’s cohesion is already blown to bits, adding an alien planet near that awful alien tower (sorry Guardians fans. The ride is fun, just not the facade) wouldn’t phase me at this point. In fact, the park could use another green and beautiful area to go along with Grizzly Peak. There may not be cohesion in the park’s theme but at least it’d be far more inviting.

Pandora through trees AK

Could this be something else entirely and not some floating mountains?

Of course! I’d actually put that as the early favorite in betting odds. Disney Parks betting odds seems like an untapped market. While the idea of one of Disney World’s most successful lands coming to the west coast is exciting, there are many reasons why it doesn’t make sense – space for expansion being the biggest.

With more sequels coming out in the future, the Avatar train (whales? banshees?) will likely keep rolling. Disney’s acquisition of Fox and having the theme park rights to the IP does mean that more expansion into the world is likely. Knowing how attentive James Cameron was with the first Pandora – World of Avatar, I think there’s some expectation that whatever is coming to Disneyland might be grand. There’s a chance at that and I’m hoping it comes true!

Pandora flower and mountain AK

What do you think of this Avatar in Disneyland news? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below. Interested in a trip to Disneyland? Check out our Planning Guide to help you along the way! If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!

2 replies »

    • I could understand that. The theme of the park has changed so much in the last few years. That’s why at this point I’d just like to see the best possible stuff in that park, but I certainly understand where you’re coming from.

      Liked by 1 person

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