A brand-new animatronic banshee has come to life, but Guests won’t find this Avatar animal at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
James Cameron’s Avatar was a ground-breaking work in cinematography and screenwriting. The Titanic director has a long list of credits to his name, but Avatar stands out among them all. The epic sci-fi fantasy film brought a whole new vocabulary to fans, who began to talk about things like a place called Pandora, the Na’vi people, riding bareback on a banshee, also known as an Ikran, and more.
The story sees planet Earth a century into the future as inhabitants try to solve an “energy security issue” by mining a mineral called unobtanium from a planet far away. The mineral can only be found in a tropical forest where blue inhabitants live. These are the Na’vi.
The Guardian tells it like this:
Humanity has a plan to create remote-controlled Na’vi bodies, or “avatars”, which can be piloted into the jungle to entreat with the Na’vi peoples and ask what it might take to get them to withdraw voluntarily. Disabled, wheelchair-using war veteran Jake Sully, played by Sam Worthington, is thrilled to be given the existentially liberating chance to inhabit one of these avatars: and winds up going native and falling in love with one of the Na’vi: Neytiri, played by Zoe Saldana.
The sequel to the 2009 film, called Avatar: The Way of Water, is set to debut at the box office on December 16, and fans are excited about the upcoming flick, which is reportedly more than three hours in duration.
Pandora: The World of Avatar first came to the Walt Disney World Resort in May 2017, and the new land inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom was an instant hit. The land’s centerpiece attraction, Avatar: Flight of Passage, routinely saw stand-by queues with waits of more than 3 hours, and the coveted FastPass+ for the attraction was ultra-elusive.
At the attraction, Guests can “ride” on the back of a mountain banshee and soar through the skies over Pandora.
There is also a slow-moving boat ride at the Na’vi River Journey attraction, during which Guests can see the largest audio-animatronic at Disney World, the Shaman of Songs.
Now, a brand-new Avatar-inspired audio-animatronic banshee, also called an Ikran, has been built, but you won’t find it at Disney’s World of Avatar land. In fact, you won’t find it in the United States. That’s because the massive animatronic banshee is located in Singapore, at Gardens by the Bay, as part of the Avatar: The Experience attraction.
— Discovering Pandora (@discoverpandor4) October 29, 2022
The website for the attraction invites guests to connect with Pandora:
Set at Cloud Forest with its iconic vision of waterfalls, spiraling walkways, and a unique architectural glass greenhouse, Avatar: The Experience invites guests to connect with the alien world of Pandora, its bioluminescent environments, mystical creatures, flora, and the captivating culture of its indigenous people, the Na’vi.
While the banshee would certainly be a welcomed addition to Animal Kingdom’s Pandora: The World of Avatar, there’s no word on whether Disney Parks has any plans to bring such an offering to the Florida parks.