As one of the most iconic parts of the Avatar film, naturally the winged banshee will play a major role in Pandora – The World of AVATAR; if only guests could spend time with the beloved creatures outside of the park. Now, it looks like they can. The Rookery inside Windtraders will be offering what will be every fan’s most sought after souvenir: their own pet banshee. The Disney Parks Blog released some information on the creatures for purchase, and we have some must-see coverage of our own.
First off, The Disney Parks Blog spoke with Cody Hampton from Disney Parks Merchandise, who explained a bit about how this merchandise came to be. Cody said, “We love bringing to life stories from our attractions through creative and innovative product designs. Banshees are an important animal on Pandora, both as an animal in the ecosystem and as a cultural symbol to the Na’vi. Disney’s Animal Kingdom will also feature a Na’vi River Journey ride, where guests get a chance to cruise through a Pandora jungle. They are also part of one of the signature attractions, so it felt natural to feature them as a must-have souvenir from a visit to Pandora. These banshees are fun, interactive, and continue the excitement guests will feel when experiencing Avatar Flight of Passage.”
Exactly what do the banshees do? The hand-controlled creatures have three ranges of movement: their head, mouth, and wings; they also emit sounds created by Lightstorm Entertainment. To help guests decide which banshee fits their personality (out of 10 distinct styles), a Naturalist from Alpha Centauri Expeditions will be on hand.
Cody says of their design, “We worked closely with Lightstorm Entertainment when designing the banshees. Their colors were inspired by banshees seen in the Avatar motion picture. Their sounds make them feel as though they flew directly into Windtraders from the attraction. Guests will determine each banshee’s personality through a combination of hand movements and sounds.”
In keeping with Animal Kingdom‘s very prevalent environmental message, Cody says, “The mountain banshee has come to symbolize our continued commitment to the environment. Before guests depart Windtraders, Naturalists will encourage them to make a pledge to respect and protect the natural world on Pandora and back home on Earth.”
As banshee-bearing guests notice each other throughout the parks, the Na’vi greeting of “Oel Ngati Kameie” (“I see you”) is the polite way to acknowledge your mutual affinity for the comforting creatures.
Want to get a preview of what Windtraders Rookery has in store? Below is our coverage of what will undoubtedly be a must-do for all who venture into the wilds of Pandora.
If that video has you wondering what other merchandise options will be available in Pandora, here is our full overview of all possible “purchasables” to be found when the land opens on May 27th.
Source: Disney Parks Blog