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James Cameron

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Director James Cameron has taken actress Whoopi Goldberg on a tour of the new Avatar-themed zone at Disney Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida. He showed her around the park, created to look like the magical planet of Pandora from Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar, revealing details of what guests can expect when the park opens on 27 May.

Pandora — the World of Avatar features a number of sites unique to the world of the movie, including its floating mountain ranges and glowing bioluminescent rainforests, plus a number of rides and attractions, such as the family-friendly Na’vi River Journey and the Avatar Flight of Passage over the alien planet of Pandora.

“We have a mixture of Earth plants and exotic Pandoran foliage that’s been sculpted by sculptors. It gives the illusion of a real ecosystem,” Cameron says during his talk with Goldberg for ABC programme The View.

“It’s fine to see something in a movie where you know it’s a visual effect, but when you’re standing in it and you’re looking around in every direction, you’re on Pandora everywhere you look,” he says.

Cameron has worked closely with Joe Rohde and his team of Disney Imagineers on the realisation of the area. He says the setting for Pandora — the World of Avatar is in the future, long after the existing film and its four sequels – which do not have release dates yet – take place, in a time when Pandora’s Na’vi inhabitants and humans are at peace. “The Na’vi have welcomed us to Pandora to help us understand nature and ourselves better.”

Cameron says: “This whole land will light up at night. All these plants will glow purple and cyan and these beautiful colours. I think it’s even more magical at night.”

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