Originally, discussions were held about creating an Avatar-themed attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios, perhaps at the park's then-functioning Studio Backlot Tour. Instead, Tom Staggs suggested to incorporate the film into a newly designed "land" at Disney's Animal Kingdom to improve the park's attraction roster. On September 17, 2011, a long-term exclusivity deal was signed between Disney, 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 entirely devoted to Avatar.
The Na'Vi Shaman animatronic seen towards the end of the ride is the most advanced animatronic ever created by Walt Disney Imagineering, boasting disturbingly-realistic movement.