It is an exciting day for theme park enthusiasts as Pandora — The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom officially opens.
- Memorial Day Weekend first weekend for Pandora, Volcano Bay
- Crowds filled Disney's Animal Kingdom on Saturday
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Visitors to the theme park were faced with long lines to get into the new land and onto the new attractions.
At one point, the line to get into Pandora reached a four-hour wait. Once inside, there was a 250-minute wait for Flight of Passage and a 195-minute wait for Na'vi River Journey.
There was also a line to get into Windtraders, Pandora's gift shop.
The new land is based on the James Cameron's 2009 film "Avatar."
Not only is Pandora officially opening, but it is the first weekend that Volcano Bay, Universal’s new water park, is open to the public.
Even if you are not going to brave the massive crowds this Memorial Day Weekend, this is going to have a big impact on the Central Florida economy.
Orlando is the number one destination for tourists in the U.S. Visit Orlando said 68 million people visited the City Beautiful last year, topping 2015's record visitation numbers.
With Pandora opening, Animal Kingdom will stay open later--11 p.m. on some nights. The park usually closes between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., so this now gives visitors more time to explore.
“Guests want to come and see Pandora, they want to fly on the back of a banshee, they want to meet a Na'vi, and want to walk through a bioluminescent forest. Those were the guest experiences that we wanted our guests to have," said Matt Beiler, a Walt Disney World show producer.
Both Universal and Disney World hope these two new attractions bring more visitors to their parks.
With more visitors, hotels and local businesses should see more money too.