We've Got Hollywood Covered

Disney Opening ‘Avatar Land’ at Theme Park in Florida

Disney teams with James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox for the attraction, which it hopes to open around 2018

Pandora is coming to life.

The Walt Disney Company is opening an "Avatar Land" at its Animal Kingdom theme park in Florida, the company's president and CEO, Bob Iger, said Tuesday.

Iger made the announcement with "Avatar" director James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment co-chairs and co-CEOs Jim Gianopulos and Thomas Rothman. "Avatar" was a Fox movie.

Disney hopes to begin construction in 2013.

During a Glendale press conference, Cameron said that when Disney proposed the project, "I quickly realized that their vision for this thing was far beyond what I'd imagined — and I've got a pretty good imagination."

He said placing the first of several "Avatar Lands" in the Animal Kingdom park works well with his vision for the movie.

"Avatar" was meant to "celebrate our interaction with nature and nature's wonder and diversity," he said. "Putting our 'Avatar' themed land into Animal Kingdom is extremely exciting."

Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said that the "Avatar Lands" will be large and interactive.

"Our lands are going to be complete," he said. "They will include attractions, entertainment, shops, food and beverage, et cetera. They're going to be highly developed and fully themed."

Gianopulos said that he's excited about seeing the movie come to life.

"We can't wait to see where it'll take us next."

Gianopulos and Cameron also gave little peaks into the next two "Avatar" movies, scheduled for 2014 and 2015.

Cameron said that "Avatar" contains "a number of worlds, or what I think of as the biomes of that planet."

Those "biomes," he said, "will be seen in the second and third films."

Gionopulos said that the language of Pandora also will be explored and expanded upon in the next few films.

Disney has a history of bringing movies to its theme parks.

"I know Walt Disney himself loved transforming" moies into "multidimensional physical worlds," Iger said. "It greatly expanded his storytelling ability."

In some cases, rides came before movies — the phenomenally successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies are based on a ride.

The reverse also is true.

Disney is opening "Cars" Land at its Disney California Adventure park next summer.

It has also worked with other studios to build "Indiana Jones" and "Star Wars" attractions to its parks.

Universal Studios, meanwhile, has opened a "Harry Potter" world at its Florida theme park. "Harry Potter" is a Warner Bros. franchise.