On Friday, Disney Parks Blog shared photos of the ground breaking of AVATAR land at Animal Kingdom. I am probably one of the few people who is actually excited about this project. Sadly, there has been a lot of nay-saying about the Animal Kingdom expansion.  But knowing Disney and the films that James Cameron releases I have a sneaky feeling it will be stunning!! Plus, an Imagineer at D23 Expo promised it would make all the naysayers hush right up when they see the land.

An Imagineer's desk on display at D23 Expo this past year.
Another shot of the Imagineer's desk - SOO cool!

I believe Animal Kingdom will benefit immensely from the addition of AVATAR, adding more to the park during the day but also extending the parks hours into the evening. Although I may be a bit biased....

 I happen to have a family connection, which is why I may be biased.  My uncle works for an amazing Hollywood effects company - Legacy Effects. They have worked on such films as Iron Man, Breaking Dawn (Bella's pregnancy), Hunger Games, Avengers, John Carter of Mars, and AVATAR.  Cool right?

Here's where the AVATAR family connection comes in. My uncle was a lead character designer for the film - meaning he met with the main AVATAR directing/producing team on a regular basis, to discuss the look of the characters. He had a hand in the designing the looks of Neytiri, Grace in Avatar form, and Colonel Miles Quaritch. 
You can see some of his work on his website
Picture from his website - demonstrating some facial expressions of Neytiri
As you can imagine my excitement when AVATAR land was announced. The chance to see the land and characters a family member helped create is a little insane. (This must be how family members of Imagineers feel on a regular basis!!) 

Side note: During the D23 Expo I asked one of the Imagineers working at the display how much the new land was influenced by the original art and ideas from the film. She responded we were so influenced by our visit to Pandora we can't wait to share! Perfect PR answer... I just wanted to know if Imagineers had been looking at some of my uncle's original art.  Ah well.

What do you think about the new addition to Animal Kingdom? Have you seen the AVATAR film? If so, what did you think?

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