In Spring 2011, James Cameron was approached by the Walt Disney Company's chief executive officer, Bob Iger, regarding the possibility of Avatar-themed attractions in Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. On September 17, 2011, a long-term, exclusivity deal was signed between Disney, James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox Filmed Entertainment. This deal was officially announced to the public on September 20, 2011, on the Disney Parks Blog. The highlight of the announcement was that Disney's Animal Kingdom would receive a new themed area dubbed Avatar Land. The area is set to cost approximately $500 million. Construction is expected to begin in 2013, with a planned opening date between 3 and 5 years later. The deal could see Avatar attractions added to other Disney theme parks in the future, however, there are no immediate plans to do so.
Pandora: The World of Avatar will be designed by Walt Disney Imagineering with Avatar producers James Cameron and Jon Landau also providing creative assistance. The area will be an immersive world based upon the fictional exoplanetary moon, Pandora and will include the planet's floating mountains and bioluminescent plants.Avatar Land is expected to span several acres and will feature multiple rides and attractions, entertainment, audio-animatronics, 3-D holograms as well as retail, food and beverage outlets. Although exact details of the attractions have not yet been announced or even devised, James Cameron confirmed that a flying attraction featuring "3-D projections and creature designs that were cut from the original film" was a concept on the drawing board for the area. Avatar Land will include elements from the original Avatar film as well as its two, yet-to-be-released sequels.
At the 2013 Japan D23 Expo, Disney revealed two major attractions.
Flight of Passage: A flying E-ticket simulator attraction, where guests will learn to fly with a mountain Banshee.
Na'vi River Journey: A Jungle Cruise-like water attraction showcasing the native fauna and flora of Pandora.
Pandora: The World of Avatar will be built in the former location of Camp Minnie-Mickey, which was originally earmarked for the Beastly Kingdom, a never-built themed land which would have been based around mythological creatures.