BURBANK, Calif.–Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of “Avatar” to life at Disney parks, it was announced today.

Disney plans to build the first “Avatar” themed land at Walt Disney World, within the Animal Kingdom park. Construction is expected to begin by 2013.

“James Cameron is a groundbreaking filmmaker and gifted storyteller who shares our passion for creativity, technological innovation and delivering the best experience possible,” said Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Co. “With this agreement, we have the extraordinary opportunity to combine James’ talent and vision with the imagination and expertise of Disney.”

The agreement gives Disney exclusive global theme park rights to the “Avatar” franchise and provides for additional “Avatar” themed lands at other Disney parks. The other locations will be determined by Disney and its international theme park partners.

Cameron and producing partner Jon Landau and their Lightstorm Entertainment group will serve as creative consultants on the projects and will partner with Walt Disney Imagineering on design and development.

“I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our ‘Avatar’ universe to life,” Cameron said. “Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear and touch the world of ‘Avatar’ with an unprecedented sense of reality.”

Noting that two new “Avatar” films are in development, Cameron said “we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore.”