LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Nestled under a thatched roof and covered in Na’vi totems, Windtraders is the place for a truly out-of-this-world shopping experience. The one-of-a-kind retail location is located in Pandora – The World of Avatar, a new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Here, shopping becomes an experience, one that’s every bit as special and unique as the Windtraders merchandise available.
The story of Pandora is one of a planet recovering from the destructive forces of the Resources Development Administration (RDA), a mining company that sowed the conflict in James Cameron’s AVATAR film. That recovery is evident in Windtraders, where an abandoned structure has been largely overtaken by sprawling roots from some of Pandora’s exotic plants. Many of these imposing root structures also happen to showcase Pandora merchandise, creating a truly nature-inspired experience.
The connection to the land is evident with a variety of items celebrating all things that make the bioluminescent world of Pandora special and celebrate the indigenous Na’vi. Look for animal plush, apparel that glows, or drums and other handheld toys that light up when shaken, tapped or activated. Guests can even bring home their own collectible glowing vein pod or helicoradian plant.
A very special feature of Windtraders is the Banshee Rookery. As the name implies, it’s home to some of the winged creatures made famous in Cameron’s epic film. The rookery sits beneath a brightly colored hand-painted map depicting banshees soaring over Pandora. The rookery is also where guests can select their own banshees to care for. The experience begins with a naturalist who helps each guest find the banshee that’s just right for them. Guests are then asked to take the Banshee Pledge, which teaches the importance of the banshee as a symbol of their commitment to the environment.
Continuing their immersion into Na’vi culture, guests can purchase items that let them take on characteristics of Pandora’s blue indigenous inhabitants; Na’vi ears, tails, hooded jackets and cultural items are among the many accessories available.
Guests can also design personalized necklaces reminiscent of Na’vi culture using beads and feathers at the store’s Bead Bar. Here again, those natural root structures creep through the building, offering a dramatic display for various jewels, stones and more.
Those wanting to speak like a Na’vi will find language translators available. These pocket-sized devices use a series of cards to translate common English words into their Na’vi counterparts. Each translator kit comes with 15 cards, and more are available for purchase. With more than 90 cards available, guests will be speaking Na’vi in no time.
Guests will truly feel one with Pandora through the many captivating merchandise offerings. In fact, guests can even become avatars themselves through the ACE Avatar Maker. This immersive experience lets guests take home replica avatar figures of themselves. ACE refers to Alpha Centauri Expeditions, the tourism company working with the Na’vi to present Pandora as a new destination for ecotourism and scientific research.
In this experience, the natural feel of Windtraders gives way as guests step into a futuristic transformation booth. Using a digital process, a custom action figure is created that features a facial likeness of the guest. The 10-inch figures are also revealed in a fun, only-on-Pandora way. Male, female and child avatars are available, as are accessory kits for customizing the figures.
A stop inside Windtraders is the perfect way for guests to feel connected to Pandora and take some of the other-worldly land home with them.