Six years ago, before Disney purchased Lucasfilm, the company struck a deal with 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm to build an “Avatar Land” expansion in Florida. Based on pass black out dates, it’s looking like the twelve-acre land could be opening in one way or another around Memorial Day weekend in May.
Another piece of evidence pointing to an opening in May is that Disney-owned ABC’s The View will be broadcasting live from Animal Kingdom in March. If a May opening is in the cards, March would be a good time to preview the new expansion and officially reveal the opening date.
The plan to build Pandora: The World of Avatar was hatched back in 2011 after Universal secured the theme park rights to Harry Potter. Desperately wanting to compete with their major competitor in Florida, Disney secured the rights to Avatar and begin working on the expansion that is said to have cost upwards of $400 million.
Located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Pandora area is twelve acres and takes the place of the “mythical” land that the theme park originally hinted at when it opened. The expansion features two rides; a major E-Ticket where you fly on the back of of a Banshee in “Avatar: Flight of Passage”, and a slower river ride titled “Na’vi River Journey”.
Of course in 2012 Disney purchased Lucasfilm and two years ago they announced at the D23 Expo that they’ll be building a “Star Wars Land” in both Florida (at Hollywood Studios) and California in Disneyland. The expansion in Disneyland is a little larger than Pandora, fourteen acres, and will open with two major rides with available expansion space for a third in the future.
The Star Wars Land is due to open in 2019, the same year the Sequel Trilogy will end with Episode IX.