Avatar Land in Disney World

Avatar Land in Disney World

If there is something that impressed everyone about Avatar was James Cameron's use of special effects of bring Pandora - the beautiful home of the blue-skinned Na'vi - to the big screen. Now Disney has taken it to the next level and is set to offer park-goers a real-life version of Pandora; an Avatar-themed attraction at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom will take visitors to the heart of this bewildering bioluminescent world in 2017.

Ever since Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger first announced plans to build an Avatar-themed area at Disney World's Animal Kingdom park in 2011, fans have been eagerly waiting to see what the project would look like.

Two years down the line, Walt Disney has recently revealed the design of the Florida-based attraction: a world of floating mountains and bioliminiscent plants. On a boat ride, guests will experience this extraordinary attraction, which will come alive with light and sounds at nighttime.

Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Tom Staggs recently unveiled the first images of what the attraction will look like during the D23 Expo at Tokyo Disney Resort in October 2013.

"All these concept renderings show in epic scale, in the world of Avatar guests will encounter awe-inspiring floating mountains and wander through a nighttime jungle of bioluminescent plants that are alive with light and sound," said Staggs in a blog post.

He added: "Guests will also discover what it feels like to soar into the sky riding a banshee."

Walt Disney Imagineering is developing the Avatar-themed attraction alongside filmmaker Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment.

"As a I walked through the park, I kept imagining Pandora coming to life all around me and found my mind racing with all the possibilities of what we will be able to create in the years ahead," said Cameron in 2012.

"Disney's Animal Kingdom is truly a remarkably place and I can't think of a better home for our fist Avatar experience."

Weird Events in the USA

Weird Events in the USA

Everyone parties their own way, but these events take it to another level. They are plain weird. You might think that these strange celebrations take place in cities like Los Angeles and New York, but it is small towns the ones that sometimes approach festivities in a peculiar way.

Barkus Mardi Gras Parade

Just like there is a Mardi Gras parade for humans, there is one for dogs in the town of Lousiana. That is where the name "barkus" comes from, the barks of the dogs. This is not a conventional dog parade, if there is such a thing, but an actual Mardi Gras: each year a Queen is crowned in the event. Then you see dogs running around with colouful clowns. You might even spot these pets dressed up as jesters, also part of the royal paraphernalia. The event takes place annually on Sunday around Mardi Gras in Armstrong Park from 2 to 5pm. This is a great parade to watch, take pictures and have a laugh.

Langley Mystery Weekend

The entire town of Langley on the island of Whidbey take part in this event. Participants pick up a special newspaper which outlines a murder with photos of suspects plus a map showing the crime scene. Then they turn into Sherlock Holmes and set out to solve the murder mystery. The clues are all in this island of the state of Washington and participants must conduct an investigation and solve the mystery before the denouement on Sunday evening. The event takes place during a weekend in late February.

Roswell UFO Festival

UFO nuts from around the world meet in Roswell for five days in July to expand their knowledge on aliens and extra-terrestrials. Festival-goers have the geeky time of their lives by joining the alien parade or grooving to the sounds of the world's only alien drummer in the famous and remote Area 51.

Top US Summer Music Festivals

Top US Summer Music Festivals

The sun shines, and the music takes over. During the summertime, music festivals of all shapes and sizes take place all over the United States. Indie music, grindcore, folk or hard techno fill the hearts of festival-goers with bliss and excitement. Apart from music, these events also offer other attractions like comedy and food festivals. Check out our list of top summer music festivals in the USA:

1) Bonnarco (Tennessee)

One of the largest summer festivals in the United States, Nonnarco is a four-day event that will sweep you off your feet. The main attractions of the festival are the multiple stages of live music. The festival is also very diverse and features a large diversity of music styles ranging from indie rock to world music, hip hop, jazz, americana, bluegrass, country music, folk, gospel, reggae, electronica and other alternative music. The name of this party translates as "real good time". Apart from the music, you can don your don your tie-die and try carousels, slippery wet slides and silent discos. Past headliners include Paul McCartney, Kings of Leon, The Police, Radiohead, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

2) Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance (New York in photo)

Four days of music, art and evolution, the GrassRoots Festival is a laid-back event that attracts enthusiastic music lovers to rural New York to have the hippy time of their lives. Here you will find hundreds of aficionados of bluegrass, rockabilly, Irish music, rock ‘n‘ roll, country and Native American music, plus a load of other hippy stuff from stripy clown pants stalls to an art barn and healing tent (with herbal highs and remedies). A percentage of the money obtained from the event goes to good causes such as Doctors Without Borders and Musicians for World Harmony.

3) Pitchfork (Chicago)

Named after the hipster publication "Pitchfork", this small festival is a three-day event with exciting headliners that have included Björk, Belle & Sebastian and R. Kelly. Even though Pitchfork festival mainly focuses on artists and bands from alternative rock, rap, hip hop, electronica and dance music, it has also included acts from hardcore punk, experimental/avant-garde rock and jazz in its lineups.

Summerfest Music Festival

Summerfest Music Festival

Stretching alongside 75-acre lake, Summerfest is the world's largest music festival according to Guinness World Records. Also known as "The Big Gig", this 45-year-old festival takes place in the American state of Wisconsin and attracts over 900,000 people every year. 

During 11 glorious days of summer, over 800 acts and more than 1,000 performances take place on 11 different stages in Henry Maier Festival Park, Milwaukee. The music industry's hottest stars, emerging talent and local favourites come together in this world-class festival setting to create unforgettable live music experiences.

Summerfest's nature is eclectic and features music in different genres, from alternative to Zydeco. Since its foundation in 1968, legendary musicians such as Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan, plus popular stars such as Britney Spears, Tina Turner and Maroon 5 have graced the Summerfest stages.

Festival-goers around the world are eagerly looking forward to the next Summerfest, which last took place from Jun 26 – Jul 7, 2019.

Although the music performances are the main attraction of the event, festival-goers can take some time out with activities like paddleboating. The event also provides the opportunity to sample a wide variety of food from many Milwaukee-area restaurants. Other attractions include shopping vendors, fireworks - especially "The Big Bang" on opening night - family events and comedy acts. All shows are free with an admission ticket, except for some special acts that take place at the Marcus Amphitheater.

Even before a regular ‘Comedy Showcase' was established in 1975, live comedy acts have also been part of Summerfest's history. Comedians such as Jay Leno and Jon Stewart have made their appearances in their event and filled with the air of Milwaukee with laughs.

Admission is between US$8 and US$17, depending on the time of the day.