Disney to build 'Avatar' attractions

GLENDALE, Calif. — The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday that it has agreed on an exclusive deal to build attractions based on James Cameron's "Avatar" at its theme parks, starting with Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Fla.

The first "Avatar" land, which begins construction in 2013 and is expected to open about three years later, is to be an immersive experience in a land spanning several acres. It will cost around $400 million.

Cameron said the attractions based on the top-grossing film of all time would bring the lush, bioluminescent planet of Pandora to life and would include animatronics, and 3-D and holographic technology.

Fans of the film have said they wanted to visit Pandora, he said. "The scenes that people liked best were not the obvious things like the big battle scenes," Cameron said. "It was the creatures, it was learning to fly, it was being in the forest at night.

"So here's an opportunity ... to bring this world to life and get you to wander in it and see things you didn't see in either the first film or the subsequent two."

Cameron is working on the second and third installments of "Avatar," to be released in December 2014 and December 2015. The park will include elements of the second and third films and elements that aren't included in any of the films.

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