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The Avatar Ride At Walt Disney World Contained The Way Of Water Easter Eggs All Along

James Cameron has been planning his "Avatar" universe for quite some time, so it's probably not surprising to learn that some of the "Avatar" spin-offs already in existence have easter eggs that hint about the franchise's future.

One of those places? "Avatar: Flight of Passage," a ride that opened in Walt Disney World in 2017. The 3D immersion flight simulator bobs and weaves as it allows you to jump into the body of a Navi and ride on the back of a Banshee through the beautiful world of Pandora. Canonically, so to speak, the entire experience takes place before the events of "Avatar." That surely means that it's not hiding any spoilers — right?

So one would think. But James Cameron is a crafty guy — the GOAT, if you will — and as we mentioned, he's a master of preplanning. The four-year gap between the ride opening and the release of "Avatar: the Way of Water" didn't stop Disney Imagineers from slipping various references to future Avatar films into the ride. A recent interview with Cameron confirms which creatures managed to make their way to the ride proper.

Look a little closer -- you'll spy an Ilu!

Via an interview with James Cameron published by The Wrap in January 2023, Cameron admits that there are some intentional references to future creatures from the "Avatar" universe in the "Avatar: Flight of Passage" ride.

When interviewer Drew Taylor noted that those who ride the ride now that they've seen "Avatar: The Way of Water" might recognize some of the creatures they've seen in the movie, Cameron does not deny the notion. In fact, look a little closer next time you ride the ride. "We even stuck a couple of Ilu in there, the long-neck creatures," Cameron confirmed. "If you look as you're flying out over the ocean, before you go through the big wave, there's a couple of Ilu jumping over on the left." He went on to explain that the Imagineering team and his own creatives at his company, Lightstorm, worked together on the ride.

The fast-paced ride does not allow for much lollygagging, so it might take a couple of times for "Avatar" fans to recognize the creatures. Either way, it's a fun little bit of cross-marketing that'll last for years to come. As always, the future is what matters for this franchise.