<i>Avatar</i> Coming To Disney Parks

Prepare for a return to Pandora.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide announced today that has inked a deal with James Cameron's Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox to create attractions based on the 2009 blockbuster Avatar. Construction of the first themed "land" is expected to begin by 2013 at the Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando.

"We believe Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a great fit for this project because it was created to give guests the opportunity to experience the worlds of animals and nature – real and mythical – in new ways," Thomas Smith, social media director for Disney Parks, wrote. "Disney’s Animal Kingdom also celebrates adventure, living in harmony with nature and environmental stewardship – themes that are deeply rooted in the story of Avatar."

Cameron and producer John Landau, through Lightstorm, will serve as creative consultants, working with Walt Disney Imagineering on the design and development of the Avatar attractions, which will eventually appear at all Disney parks worldwide.

"Avatar created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we'll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before," Cameron said in a statement. "With two new AVATAR films currently in development, we'll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore. I'm chomping at the bit to start work with Disney's legendary Imagineers to bring our Avatar universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of Avatar with an unprecedented sense of reality."

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