Disney shares first look at Disneyland's Avatar project

April 3, 2024, 12:50 PM · Disney CEO Bob Iger this morning shared first-look concept art of the proposed new Avatar land at the Disneyland Resort.

Iger presented the image during Disney's annual shareholder meeting, during which Disney's shareholders apparently rejected attempts by investor Nelson Peltz to take over two seats on the company's board.

After the vote results were announced, Iger highlighted several initiatives throughout the company, including at the theme parks. During the time focused on the Disney Experiences segment, Iger shared a first look at the "creative inspiration" for what Imagineers are designing for the potential Avatar experience at the Disneyland Resort.

Avatar at Disneyland
Concept image courtesy The Walt Disney Company

Iger also mentioned the DisneylandForward proposal, which goes up for final approval from the Anaheim City Council later this month. That Disneyland has not officially announced the Avatar project suggests that Imagineers might be planning to build Avatar in the expansion zones that would be opened for attraction use by DisneylandForward.

Disney also has suggested that lands based on Frozen, Zootopia and Black Panther could be included as the Disneyland Resort expands, should the proposal be approved.

* * *
To keep up to date with more theme park news, please sign up for Theme Park Insider's weekly newsletter.

For ticket deals, as well as our reader rankings and advice on visiting Disneyland and other top theme parks around the world, please visit our Theme Park visitors guides.

Replies (17)

April 3, 2024 at 1:31 PM

Peltz defeated? @TH: where we drinking tonight? ;)

April 3, 2024 at 1:53 PM

That's a pretty uninspiring concept drawing. It looks more like the La Brea Tar Pits than PtWoA at DAK or most of the settings from the movies. I know the floating mountains in Florida were a complex engineering feat, but Disney should be trying to outdo themselves instead of building Dollar Tree versions of their best creations. With the strong rumors that Autopia is going electric, my guess is that Avatar could only be earmarked for the rezoned Toy Story Parking property and not within the existing park boundaries. With the clean slate provided with virgin ground, you'd think Disney would be pulling out all the stops, not doing a minimalistic version of Pandora.

April 3, 2024 at 2:16 PM

@Russell - And yet, they will manage to limbo under the mediocre expectations. (It almost looks like Moana: Journey of Water from this generic concept art.)

April 3, 2024 at 2:30 PM

Just uploaded a higher res version of the image. Definitely see a boat ride in there, as well as the walking paths through the land.

April 3, 2024 at 2:31 PM

I just noticed the raft ride in the middle of the lagoon

April 3, 2024 at 2:40 PM

Now that I look at that, and the raft that's visible in the drawing, maybe this concept is showing a retheme of Grizzly River Run and the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail area at DCA. The top of the distant mountain looks like a reworked Grizzly Peak.

April 3, 2024 at 2:44 PM

The concept art looks remarkably similar to the first concept art for the land at AK, sub water for islands. Best case they bring over the Shanghai POTC ride system and theme it to Avatar.

April 3, 2024 at 3:00 PM

From Deadline: Iger extolled the parks as a key strategic area of focus and offered a brief first look at images of the “possible” new Avatar-themed area at the Anaheim park. Pandora – The World of Avatar, has been up and running at Disney World in Florida for years and Iger said it is the company’s “intention” to make it a new feature of Disneyland. “We’re thrilled about many potential new stories that our guests could experience in Walt’s original theme park, including the opportunity to embark on all-new Avatar adventures with a visit to the world of Pandora,” he said.

Man, that's a lot of qualifying language for something that has been teased by the CEO on multiple occasions.

April 3, 2024 at 3:05 PM

Mr. Peltz got smoked! Sources say Mr. Iger and the current BOD won 75% of the shareholder vote. As for drinks, I'll see you at The Whisky on Sand Lake Road. A great bar. Good burgers and a short, bicycle ride away from the Orangewood subdivision. Come on out. Nelson is buying ... or more likely "selling" at this point.

April 3, 2024 at 3:07 PM

Small wonder Mr. Iger is high on Avatar as an IP. Seven years after they opened, the current attractions at DAK are still wildly popular. Which is why when they first opened that guy referred to them as the themed entertainment industry's answer to Broadway's 'Hamilton'.

April 3, 2024 at 3:39 PM

I was hoping they'd look to the sequel for a fresh new ride, great potential there. Rather than carbon copy, Disneyland gets its own unique version which can be more exciting so looking forward to more.

April 3, 2024 at 4:20 PM

In the Disneyland Forward concept image, there's an area directly attached to DCA depicting mountains surrounded by water. Now that this concept art is released, I highly suspect that's where this Avatar attraction is going, and given the amount of publicity it's getting as well as its location, wouldn't be surprised if it's the first new area to open. My guess is we're looking at an E-ticket using the same technology as Shanghai's Pirates ride, which would be a fantastic addition to compliment DCA's current offerings and would allow for two very different headliners on both coasts based on the same popular IP.

April 3, 2024 at 4:28 PM

Looks fine

April 3, 2024 at 6:29 PM

A Shanghai Pirates clone would be great. And I find Disneyland to beat WDW in many categories (however I love them both). Also, all the new attractions at WDW are amazing: Remy, Guardians, Tron, Rise, etc. Then fast track Indiana Jones to replace Dinosaur. I do think they should add another E ticket Indiana Jones. How about a Shanghai Pirates clone for that?

April 3, 2024 at 9:31 PM

Great write up as usual Robert. Should we be expecting a standalone article (or mention)about Disney’s “settlement” with CFTOD? I recall at least five articles written on your website detailing just how Disney out-maneuvered and checkmated DeSantis (whom you derisively called “Leeroy Jenkins”) and the CFTOD board. Looks like all those last minute RCID agreements won’t outlast the last heir of King Charles after all!

April 3, 2024 at 9:45 PM

If they're doing a Pirates Shanghai Avatar ride, I do not care if it is in a parking lot, I am all the way in.

April 4, 2024 at 11:35 AM

I am still left wondering why there was so much back and forth about whether Disneyland's Avatar additions are a land or an experience. Hopefully the boat ride will exceed the length and quality of the extremely short and disappointing Navi River Journey. Why did they bother with the expensive thematic overhaul of California Adventure ($1 billion) when so many of the new additions (Avengers Campus, Avatar?) seem to clash with that theme?

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive