This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Fans of Star Wars and James Cameron’s Avatar will have new reasons to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando this year, after its parent company announced launch dates for two new themed areas. Gizmodo reports the attractions will begin opening as soon as May 2017.
During a quarterly earnings call with investors, Disney chief executive Robert Iger revealed Pandora: The World of Avatar would open on May 27 as an addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Directly inspired by the Oscar-nominated film, the new area will feature two rides, as well as shopping and dining experiences for visitors. The addition of the attraction takes advantage of the abundant space at Animal Kingdom, which currently contains a mix of safari-style tours and rides inspired by destinations in Africa and Asia.
The launch of Pandora will be followed by the expansion of both Disneyland in California and Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando with a themed Star Wars world. Both theme parks will feature a 14-acre attraction dedicated to the Star Wars universe, timed to launch in 2019 and coinciding with the debut of the final movie in the sequel trilogy. The extent of the new lands has not yet been revealed, but early concepts for the attractions include a ride featuring the Millennium Falcon.
Disney’s move to open new attractions comes as it’s feeling increased competition for park attendees from Universal Resorts. Skift reports that Disney’s theme park division acknowledged an overall park attendance drop by 5% in 2016 during the call. However, not all of the drop was attributed to increased competition: Iger also cited the weekend winter holiday season and Hurricane Matthew as factors in the reduction.
Executives also noted that as the new attractions open, admission prices would continue to rise. In addition to seasonally adjusted prices, Iger noted the parks generally increase the prices on an annual basis.
Featured image of concept art courtesy of Disney Parks and Resorts.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards