LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., April 24, 2017 — When Pandora – The World of Avatar opens May 27, it will cap the largest expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, creating 1,500 jobs with 800 construction roles and 700 operational positions including engineering, attraction hosts, food and beverage and leadership positions.
This is the latest in a steady stream of growth at Walt Disney World, with previous expansions adding to the vitality of the local economy by adding jobs and drawing even more visitors to Central Florida.
Representing the most recent example of creativity and innovation at Walt Disney World Resort, Pandora – The World of Avatar is an epic new land where guests arrive on a world filled with unbelievable sights and experiences. The land becomes an attraction itself as guests walk through the awe-inspiring world of Pandora. Only here can guests soar through the skies on the back of a banshee in the attraction Avatar Flight of Passage, sail through a bioluminescent rainforest in the family-friendly attraction Na’vi River Journey and walk beneath towering floating mountains. New and unique merchandise and food and beverage locations will also complement the fun of Pandora, immersing guests in their in-park experience like never before.
The new land is one of many other recent additions, including the new Rivers of Light nighttime show, sunset safaris, other after-dark experiences and the opening of Tiffins, the first signature restaurant inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
“While guests will enjoy Pandora’s amazing expeditions and stunning floating mountains,” said Jim MacPhee, senior vice president of Walt Disney World Parks, “one of the many things they will long remember when they return home are the Cast Members who helped create magical memories during their Disney vacation.”
In addition to wearing costumes with a specialized name tag specifically for Pandora, Cast Members will be immersed in the Na’vi culture by learning about their language, environment and way of life. One example is the way Cast Members throughout the valley of Mo’ara will be able to welcome guests to this awe-inspiring land with the common Na’vi word for hello – Kaltxi (kahl-T’IH).
“Anticipation is building among our Cast Members as we get closer to the unveiling of Pandora – The World of Avatar, which is the most mesmerizing land Disney Parks has created to date,” said Djuan Rivers, vice president of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. “The attention to detail extends to the Cast Member experience, which includes Pandora-specific training in addition to specially designed costumes to fully engage our Cast Members in the story, which ultimately leads to a richer experience for our guests.”
Walt Disney World Resort is a significant contributor to the economic well-being and vitality of Central Florida. Disney is the largest single-site employer in the United States, employing more than 73,000 Cast Members in Central Florida, in more than 3,000 different job classifications with total 2016 annual payroll of over $2 billion. Walt Disney World Resort is the largest single taxpayer in Central Florida, contributing $621 million in total state and local taxes paid and collected for 2016.