Banking on the popularity of the soaring winged creatures guests will ride at Pandora – The World of Avatar, Disney will sell what it hopes to be a signature banshee souvenir at Animal Kingdom.

Guests will fly on the back of a mountain banshee at Pandora’s major attraction, Avatar Flight of Passage. Disney’s back story is that soaring on one of these powerful birds represents an important rite of passage for the Na’vi.

The multicolored, interactive banshees circle an entire wall at the faux rookery inside the Windtraders store on Pandora. A Naturalist from Alpha Centauri Expeditions will assist guests in choosing a banshee from among 10 styles. Each banshee can be controlled puppet style by hand in three ranges of motion – mouth, head, and wings. They can perch on a shoulder or a special perch, which can be purchased for an additional cost.

Warning to parents: the plastic birds make authentic banshee sounds.

The banshees’ designs were inspired by the creatures in the 2004 science fiction film, “Avatar.” The Avatar journey will continue with four sequels. The second release was originally scheduled for 2018 but has been bumped to 2020. Critics have questioned whether Disney should base a new land on a 13-year-old movie.

Pandora will also will feature a Na’Vi River Journey ride, which includes a cruise through a Pandora jungle.Disney is putting the finishing touches on its newest themed land, which will include bioluminescent plants and water in an effort to turn Animal Kingdom into a nighttime adventure.

Pandora: The World of Avatar is holding soft openings for Disney passholders and employees before the May 27th grand opening.

 

About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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