Renderings of 'Avatar' at Animal Kingdom released

Published: Monday, October 14, 2013 @ 8:45 AM
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

            Renderings of 'Avatar' at Animal Kingdom released

Walt Disney World is bringing the movie "Avatar" to life.

WFTV-Orlando obtained renderings of what the mythical world Pandora will look like.

The Disney Imagineers are working with "Avatar" director James Cameron to design the "park within a park," which will be at Animal Kingdom.

>> Read more trending stories  

Guests will be able to see the floating mountains and glowing forests, as well as fly through the sky on one a banshee, which is a flying predator from the movie.

The "Avatar" section of the park is slated for 2017.

Walt Disney World announced in September that it will build a new attraction area at Animal Kingdom based on the blockbuster movie, "Avatar."

Disney CEO Bob Iger said at that time the company will build an entire "Pandora" themed area that will bring the fantasy of the film to the amusement park.

"We think we've got an opportunity to do just that with the characters and the land that inhabit Pandora," said Iger.

The new attraction will include multiple rides and shows. Disney will spend $500 million on the project.

"The scope and the scale of this thing are pretty incredible," said James Cameron, director of Avatar.

Cameron's film generated almost $3 billion worldwide.

Disney's announcement comes one year after Universal Orlando opened its popular, Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  When it opened, ticket sales at Universal went up nearly 50 percent.

"I think it's new. It could be the greatest hit for Disney," said Disney tourist Timo Immermann. "So, let's see what the people think about it."

Construction on the new attraction is scheduled to start next year.  It is slated to open to guests in about five years.

DWI suspected in New Orleans parade crash

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 1:41 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 1:03 PM

Authorities on Sunday identified the man who allegedly plowed into a crowd enjoying a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans while intoxicated.

The New Orleans Police Department issued a statement identifying the man as 25-year-old Neilson Rizzuto. Online jail records showed Rizzuto was arrested on a number of charges and was being held at the city's jail.

The accident came Saturday during one of the busiest nights of Mardi Gras when thousands of people throng the streets of Mid-City to watch the elaborate floats and clamor to catch beads and trinkets tossed from riders.

"We suspect that that subject was highly intoxicated," Police Chief Michael Harrison had said on Saturday evening.

Harrison was asked by the media if terrorism was suspected. While he didn't say "No," he did say it looks like a case of DWI.

Twenty-one people were hospitalized after the crash with five victims taken to the trauma center in guarded condition. However, their conditions did not seem to be life-threatening, said Dr. Jeff Elder, city emergency services director.

Seven others declined to be hospitalized, he said.

The victims range in age from as young as 3 or 4 to adults in their 30s and 40s, Elder said.

Among the injured was one New Orleans police officer. Harrison said the officer, who was on duty, was undergoing tests to determine the extent of her injuries. She was in "good spirits," he said.

As police and city officials assessed the accident scene, people streamed home as plastic bags that used to hold trinkets and discarded beads littered the ground.

Saturday night's parade was put on by the Krewe of Endymion, which is known for its long, elaborate floats and the big party it hosts at the Superdome after the parade.

One woman at the scene told The New Orleans Advocate ( that a silver truck whisked closely by her as she was walking through the intersection.

Carrie Kinsella said, "I felt a rush it was so fast."

Kourtney McKinnis, 20, told the Advocate that the driver of the truck seemed almost unaware of what he had just done.

"He was just kind of out of it," she said.


Associated Press writer Kevin McGill contributed to this story.

WATCH: April the giraffe to give birth at Animal Adventure Park in New York

Published: Thursday, February 23, 2017 @ 5:28 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017 @ 8:33 AM

            WATCH: April the giraffe to give birth at Animal Adventure Park in New York

UPDATE, Feb. 25: Officials at the Animal Adventure Park in New York are still eagerly awaiting the birth of April the Giraffe's calf. 

Increased belly movement has been noted, according to an update posted on Facebook Saturday morning.

Related: 14 fast facts about giraffes

2/25 Morning Update:
 #GiraffeWatch2017 continues
Keepers have reported the continued shedding of the wax caps on...

Posted by Animal Adventure Park on Saturday, February 25, 2017

See the live steam of April below:

UPDATE, Feb. 23, 5:42 p.m. EST: The Animal Adventure Park provided an update from a veterinarian in a Facebook post.

"Progression continues," animal park officials said. "We cannot confirm active labor at this time, however giraffes hide their signs as a natural instinct, that is why until we see hooves we will not announce active labor ... We are just waiting for the calf!"

Animal Adventure Park on Thursday, February 23, 2017

UPDATE, Feb. 23, 9:42 a.m. EST: A live stream video of April that was posted on YouTube and pulled from the site early Thursday due to "nudity and sexual content" has been reactivated.

UPDATE, Feb. 23, 8:02 a.m. EST: Officials from the Animal Adventure Park took to Facebook Live to address YouTube's removal of the April the giraffe live stream.

Posted by Animal Adventure Park on Thursday, February 23, 2017

UPDATE, Feb. 23, 7:37 a.m. EST: The live stream of April the giraffe was removed from YouTube early Thursday.

"Upset Youtube has suspended the LIVE FEED for nudity & sexual content? LET THEM KNOW," Animal Adventure Park wrote on Facebook. "You can thank Animal Rights Extremists for this issue."

We will be FACEBOOK LIVE from the Giraffe Barn at 8:00 AM EST

Posted by Animal Adventure Park on Thursday, February 23, 2017

ORIGINAL STORY: The impending birth of a baby giraffe has the internet waiting with bated breath.

April the giraffe is getting ready to welcome a calf with her mate, Oliver, at Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York.

>> Read more trending news

Animal Adventure Park has a webcam in April's quarters, capturing all the moments leading up to the birth. It is updated with a new link every few hours.

April is 15 years old, and this will be her fourth calf. Oliver is 5 years old, and this is his first calf. 

For more information, visit Animal Adventure Park's YouTube stream.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Zach Braff, 'SNL' fans say Alec Baldwin should play Trump at White House Correspondents' Dinner

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 7:10 AM
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 7:10 AM

If you can't get the real president to attend your event, why not get the fake one?

>> Trump tweets he won't attend White House correspondents' dinner

That's what actor Zach Braff and "Saturday Night Live" fans are saying on Twitter after President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he won't be going to the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner on April 29.

"I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year," Trump tweeted Saturday afternoon. "Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!"

>> See the tweet here

Minutes later, Braff called for actor Alec Baldwin, who plays Trump on "SNL," to stand in for the president.

".@AlecBaldwin time to suit up," he tweeted.

>> See the tweet here

Braff was not alone.

No word yet on whether Baldwin is interested in attending the event, which raises money for college scholarships and usually involves roasts of both the current president and the media.

>> Read more trending news

According to Poynter, the last time a president missed the dinner was 1981, when then-President Ronald Reagan was recovering from a gunshot wound. But Reagan still called in to the event, addressing guests by phone.

7 things to know now: Gov. collapses during speech; SNL writer suspended; Oscar nominations

Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 @ 5:50 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 @ 6:27 AM

            7 things to know now: Gov. collapses during speech; SNL writer suspended; Oscar nominations

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Out of TPP: On his first full day in office, President Donald Trump signed three presidential memoranda, one of which takes the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. "Great thing for the American worker, what we just did," Trump said after signing the document in the Oval Office. Trump also ok’d a hiring freeze on all federal workers with the exception of the military, and reaffirmed an existing law that bans federal funding for foreign nongovernmental organizations that pay for or promote abortions.

2. Cabinet nominees: More hearings on Trump’s cabinet nominees are set for Tuesday in Washington. Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s pick for health secretary, will be testifying Tuesday as will Ben Carson (Housing and Urban Development) and Mike Mulvaney (Office of Management and Budget). Sen. Diane Feinstein, (D-Calif.), says she will request a delay in the confirmation vote for Sen. Jeff Sessions, (R-Ala.), as attorney general. A vote on Betsy DeVos for secretary of Education was delayed until next week to give her time to answer questions in writing from senators.

3. Collapses during speech: Gov. Mark Dayton collapsed Monday while delivering the State of the State speech to the Minnesota legislature. Dayton, 69, was on the floor for several minutes before being helped to a room in the capitol. According to his son, who was in the audience when Dayton collapsed, he walked out of the Capitol under his own power, and was resting after being checked out by emergency medical technicians at his home. Dayton appeared to hit his head on the lectern when he fainted.

4. Aid to Palestine: Former President Barack Obama released $221 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority before leaving office on Friday, a State Department official told The Associated Press. Former Secretary of State John Kerry informed some legislators on Thursday that the money was being sent to the Palestinians. Written notification dated Jan. 20 was sent to Congress hours before Trump was sworn in as president.

5. Nominations for Oscar: It’s Oscar nomination day and the announcements of who is up for Academy Awards this year will be made around 8:18 a.m. ET. Jennifer Hudson, Brie Larson, Emmanuel Lubezki, Jason Reitman, Ken Watanabe and Academy officials will announce contenders in several categories including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Actor. The Academy Awards ceremony is set for Feb. 26.

And one more

A writer for “Saturday Night Live” has been suspended indefinitely for a remark she tweeted about Barron Trump. Katie Rich tweeted during Friday’s inauguration that Barron, 10, would be the “country’s first homeschool shooter.” Rich apologized and deleted the tweet from her account saying, "I sincerely apologize for the insensitive tweet. I deeply regret my actions & offensive words. It was inexcusable & I'm so sorry.”

In case you missed it

You have to applaud their effort.