Disney, James Cameron to build 'Avatar' theme park

Updated: 2011-09-21 09:11


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Disney, James Cameron to build 'Avatar' theme park

Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Co. (R) and director James Cameron attend a media briefing in Glendale, Calfornia September 20, 2011.[Photo/Agencies]

Moviegoers pining for a return to the lush moon of Pandora in James Cameron's "Avatar" will finally get their chance -- first-hand.

Walt Disney, teaming with the Oscar-winning director and Fox Filmed Entertainment, will begin building from 2013 a section at its Orlando theme park that will mimic the thriving green landscape depicted in the highest-grossing movie of all time.

Under their agreement, Disney -- which typically sticks to its own franchises and properties in designing rides -- won exclusive global theme park rights to the Avatar franchise. It will eventually take Avatar "lands" beyond Orlando's Disney World.

"Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park-goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of 'Avatar' with an unprecedented sense of reality," Cameron said in a statement.

"Avatar," which chronicled the struggle of the alien Na'vi against marauding resource-ravenous humans, grossed almost $3 billion worldwide and triggered the current renaissance in 3D-film making.

Cameron is planning sequels to the blockbuster hit, which surpassed his own "Titanic" as the highest-grossing movie in history.