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Animal Kingdom’s Pandora-Themed Land Included References to ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ All Along

At the time of this article’s publication, Avatar: The Way of Water will have been in theaters for over a month, showing no signs of leaving theaters anytime soon. The film has passed the $2 billion mark, making it the third James Cameron film to do so.

Avatar

Credit: Disney

READ MORE: James Cameron Hopes to Bring Avatar 2 to Disney World

As the title suggests, Avatar: The Way of Water takes viewers from the forests of Pandora to the reefs and the oceans. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ve probably seen all of the delightful new creatures that make up this underwater world. But you probably didn’t realize you’d seen them before.

James Cameron and Disney

Credit: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

READ MORE: Have You Had These Exotic Animal Kingdom Experiences?

If you’ve visited Walt Disney World Resort’s Animal Kingdom recently, you’ve probably seen Pandora: The World of Avatar. The Disney Park’s newest themed land is home to a world of floating mountains, foliage, woven decor, and two distinct restaurants (Pongu Pongu and Satul’i Canteen) that will truly take Guests into the world of James Cameron’s film.

One look at this themed land, and you’ll be amazed at the work of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Pandora - The World of Avatar

Credit: Disney

READ MORE: A New Animatronic Pandoran Banshee Comes to Life, But Not at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The two attractions, Avatar Flight of Passage and the Na’vi River Journey, are incredible for the immersion they create. However, Flight of Passage includes some references to Avatar: The Way of Water that have been a part of the attraction years before the film hit theaters.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Credit: Disney

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On Avatar Flight of Passage, Guests take a ride on the back of an ikran (or mountain banshee) with the help of a Na’vi guide.

Guests travel all around Pandora on this mountain banshee, taking in the sights and sounds of the forest and the shores, including a closer look at the floating mountains. During the ride, Guests will pass the beach and fly over the water, witnessing playful ilu and majestic tulkun, the two main creatures introduced in the newest Avatar film.

Who would have thought these alien animals seen only at the Disney Resort would have the spotlight in Avatar: The Way of Water? The next time you’re having this Disney experience at the Animal Kingdom Park, be sure to keep an eye out for the water creatures!

About Isabella Reimer

Isabella Reimer grew up visiting Walt Disney World and relocated to Central Florida to be even closer to The Most Magical Place on Earth. She earned her Bachelor’s from Florida State University, where she studied Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Her biggest hobby is bonding with the ikran at Avatar Flight of Passage, and her retirement plan includes becoming the 1,000 Happy Haunt of the Haunted Mansion.