Disney has pulled back the curtain on the creative process its Imagineers go through to bring theme park attractions to life, as part of an update on how its “Avatar” land is taking shape at its Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando.
“This project is really pushing the boundaries of what is possible,” wrote Bruce Vaughn, Walt Disney Imagineering’s chief creative executive, in a Disney Parks blog post on Thursday.
“Since we first broke ground last year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we’ve been looking forward to welcoming guests into Pandora, the mythical land based on the blockbuster film ‘Avatar,” he said. “We’re having a lot of fun dreaming up ways to bring to life the land’s iconic elements from the magnificent floating mountains to the interactive bioluminescent forest, and even to the soaring banshees.”
A video included with the post provides a glimpse of what’s being built during a recent gathering of executives at Imagineering’s offices in Glendale, Calif. to survey the progress. The sprawling addition to Animal Kingdom is expected to open in 2017.
It is the question that has divided the internet: is this dress white and gold, or blue and black?
The two-toned frock has sparked a fierce online debate, with users taking to social media to argue over what colours they see.
The picture of the dress was first posted on Tumblr by Caitlin McNeill, a 21-year-old aspiring singer from Scotland, after noticing her friends saw different colours in the photograph.
The image has become an online sensation, with posts arguing over the dress's original colours - and science behind the debate - being viewed and shared millions of times.
Even celebrities weighed in on the fashion debate, with Kim Kardashian asking her 29.4million Twitter followers to help settle a disagreement between herself and husband Kanye West.
And #TheDress started trending worldwide on Twitter as the debate when global. At 3.15pm this afternoon, there had been more than 1 million tweets mentioning the hashtag.
The photograph that started the internet storm was taken by Cecilia Bleasdale while she was deciding on what to wear to her daughter's upcoming wedding.
Ms Bleasdale sent the picture of the frock to her daughter, Grace , to ask the bride-to-be what she thought. Grace, in turn, shared it with her then-fiance, Kier Johnston.
The couple disagreed over the colours of the dress, which can be purchased here, and Grace sought more opinions online.
The bride-to-be then posted the picture on Facebook, and her friends continued to debate the colour of the dress.
The debate was forgotten until Caitlin McNeill, a close friend of the newlyweds, posted the picture on Tumblr days after the wedding, which took place on Saturday on the Scottish island of Colonsay.
Ms McNeill, whose folk band played at the ceremony, shared the photograph on a fan page dedicated to talent manager Sarah Weichel.
Weichel, who represents YouTube stars, told Business Insider last night that her phone began blowing up on Thursday after McNeill's post started going viral.'The crazy thing is, I actually have nothing to do with the post,' she said. 'But I have been getting a ton of phone calls and emails tonight.'
The page gave the dress the exposure that sent it into the online stratosphere.
It was quickly picked up by bloggers, news outlets and Twitter users, who have spent the last 24 hours commenting on the dress - and the debate it has spared.
Speaking to Business Insider, Ms McNeill, said she couldn't believe the way the dress has exploded online.
She said: 'I thought my followers on Tumblr would maybe have a good reaction, but I never would have considered that Taylor Swift and Mindy Kaling would be tweeting about it.
Meanwhile, as the newlyweds enjoy their honeymoon in Jamaica, their friends and families have been shocked by the coverage over the dress.
Mr Johnston's mother, Shirley Johnston, 62, said the reaction had been 'really weird' while 26-year-old Lindsay Maden, from Blackpool, who was a bridesmaid at the wedding, described it as 'mental'.
She said: 'I think Grace is going to wake up in Jamaica and think oh my god, what is going on.'
Commenting on how the dress looked on her mother, Miss McPhee said: 'Fabulous. She looked absolutely fabulous on the day.'
Millions have since joined the raging debate - dubbed 'dressgate' - with a number of high-profile celebrities among those who have weighed in on the issue.
Actress Mindy Kaling also joined the discussion, writing on Twitter: 'IT'S A BLUE AND BLACK DRESS! ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME'.
Her friend and fellow actor BJ Novak replied writing, 'white and gold.'
Then recent Oscar winner Julianne Moore jumped in, writing to Novak and Kaling; 'what's the matter with u guys, it's white and gold.'
To that, Novak replied to Moore; 'Thank you!And congratulations on your Oscar, which Mindy thinks is purple and green.'
Taylor Swift wrote; 'I don't understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it's a trick somehow.I'm confused and scared.PS it's OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK.'
And Justin Bieber kept his fans happy by telling them that he sees 'blue and black'.
McNeill said that she never expected the post to prompt such a star-studded debate.
Some celebrities avoided the issue completely, simply declaring that the dress was ugly.
Model Chrissy Teigen told her 655,000 Twitter followers: 'F*** the dress it's heinous. While Oscar-winner Jared Leto branded it 'fugly'.
McNeill said she never expected the picture to spark a star-studded debate, explaining that she just thought her followers on Tumblr would have a 'good reaction'.
She also added that she would love to meet Taylor Swift - one of the stars who weighed in on the dress.
Despite the debate, the body-con dress is in fact royal blue with black lace detailing.
It is made by British clothing company Roman Originals, which offers 'affordable women's clothing and designer ladies fashion,' and can be purchased here.
There are also white, pink and red options, all with black lace - and the company have hinted they might bring out a white and gold version.
Ian Johnson, of Roman Originals said: We were absolutely ecstatic about the reception of our fabulous blue and black dress.
'We see blue and black but some people in the office see white and gold too, so much so we’re thinking of doing a white and gold version!
'We sold out within the first 30 minutes of sale and have since restocked all colours and sizes.
The simple scientific answer behind the debate is that it is an optical illusion.
Objects reflect light at certain wavelengths, or colours, and the human brain determines the colour of an object by taking in its reflected light.
But this perception can be thrown off balance by the colour of nearby objects.
As Wired.com points out, a digital analysis of the dress photo shows that one of the spots of black trim is actually orange in the photo.
Thus, people who perceive the surrounding area as dark are likely to see the blue in the dress as white and the black colours as gold. It all just depends on the manner that the brain perceives and processes colour.
With the photo of the dress, the surrounding colours are so muddled that the brain isn't sure what to make of the dress itself.
Adobe, the colour experts, also wrote on Twitter that, using their software, the dress is black and blue.
McNeill was also happy to settle the debate. She said: 'I got to the wedding and the mother was wearing the dress. Obviously it was blue and black.'
The dress, in black and blue, is also for sale on Amazon, and user comments have been just as amusing.
'This dress made me lose all of my friends and now I am so lonely,' wrote one.
'Where's the white & gold option!? I KNOW IT EXISTS SOMEWHERE IT HAS TO,' said another.