From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Steven Miller
Nestled under a thatched roof and covered in Na’vi totems, Windtraders is a one-of-a-kind retail shop located in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This merchandise destination contains more than 200 uniquely developed products that will immerse guests in their in-park experience like never before and connect them to this exotic new land. I recently caught up with Chris Edward, Area Manager for Merchandise Presentation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, to get the inside scoop about this exciting new location.
“[Windtraders] is located in an abandoned building that was once occupied by the Resources Development Administration (RDA) on Pandora,” explained Chris. “We used what was left behind on Pandora by the RDA to set up the location. Guests will not find mannequins displaying apparel as they aren’t something that would have been shipped from Earth by the RDA. We did, however, use RDA equipment cases, wood from Pandora, or, in some instances, woven baskets provided by the Na’vi to display products.”
At the shop, guests can immerse themselves in Na’vi culture and take on characteristics of Pandora’s blue indigenous inhabitants with a Na’vi ear headband, tails, hooded jackets and more. Guests will also discover products that celebrate the bioluminescent world of Pandora at night. Look for apparel that glows, or drums and other handheld toys that light up when shaken, tapped, or activated.
Windtraders has been largely overtaken by roots of Pandora’s exotic plants. Some of these root structures are used to showcase merchandise such as the banshees found in the Rookery. While in the Rookery, look up to see a beautiful handpainted map of Pandora complete with flying banshees.
Natural root structures also creep through the center of the building, offering a dramatic jewelry display called the Bead Bar. Here, guests can design personalized necklaces inspired by Na’vi adornments.
Hand carved animals native to Pandora are found on select displays throughout the shop including a Direhorse, a Viperwolf with her pups, a Thanator, and a Sturmbeest. You may spot many of these exotic creatures while experiencing Avatar Flight of Passage or Na’vi River Journey while on Pandora.
“There are many surprises and little details to discover throughout the shop that it is challenging to pick just one,” continued Chris when asked about his favorite area in Windtraders. “This is very similar to what guests will find when exploring the rest of Pandora – The World of Avatar.”
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