Not content merely to conquer our existing world, James Cameron figured he’d build one of his own. Next summer, Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando will cut the ribbon on “Pandora — the World of AVATAR,” a new attraction replicating the lush world from Cameron’s immensely profitable 2009 sci-fi film. The director, producer, and heads of construction for the developing theme park all appeared in a new behind-the-scenes  preview that gives prospective viewers an eyeful of what the creator claims to be the most technologically sophisticated amusement at Disney, if not in the world.

The video contains plenty of PR hot air about the unrivaled design and advanced equipment and — oh my god, is that island actually floating? There’s a whole lot to gape at in the video, and not just that weird bead-and-feather earring that Walt Disney’s Imagineering Senior VP Creative Joe Rohde has chosen to wear. They’ve developed some method of transmitting a light pulse from one central point out to the bioluminescent plantlife surrounding it in a nice nod to the Na’vi philosophy of all living things being connected at the center. Animatronic figures of the azure-skinned eight-foot extraterrestrials will appear on the Na’vi River Journey boat ride, freaking out moms and dads around every corner. The coup de grace is “Avatar: Flight of Passage,” a thrill ride that puts visitors on the back of a Banshee, the neon-colored winged lizards that the local Na’vi ride in the film.

Destined to provide countless families and stoned young adults with a memorable experience, the theme park stands as a testament to Cameron’s determination. The people of America will have more Avatar, doggone it, and we’ll like it too. This park is Cameron’s Everest; it was erected not because anyone asked for it, but to prove it could be done.

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