Early in the year we saw James Cameron, Meg Crofton, Tom Staggs and Joe Rohde take a stroll through the Animal Kingdom on an obvious scouting mission for the new Avatar land in Walt Disney World.

It is rare for Disney to announce such a large project and then there be no visible signs of construction. In fact, everything on the Avatar land front went very quiet. Only this week we were asked if it was still going ahead due to how quiet the rumour and construction mill were. Well, we are pleased to say that not only is it still well underway but there seems to be some signs of some ‘secret’ testing going on. And when we say secret we mean ‘of course Disney fans are going to find out’. But, on this occasion, it seems to be happening well away from any Disney park but in an airfield hangar 150 miles away.

Before moving in to the large hangar, it is believed that Disney made airport officials sign non-disclosure agreements before they were to hire out the space. What Disney clearly didn’t bank on was the other users and local residents nearby that hadn’t signed anything. That included restaurant manager Tammy Zaninovich who snapped some images and put them up on her Facebook page

Not only does this vehicle seems to be able to fly independently Tammy was quoted as saying “It breathes fire and the mouth opens and closes, it’s pretty cool.”

Of course, this could be a hoax and not even Disney at all but a Disney spokesman did confirm Disney presence on site and in March 2010, Disney d submit a patent application for a “flying entertainment vehicle”

You can see the full patent application here

Everything seems to point towards this being part of Avatar Land for the simple reason that these machines resemble the creatures from the movie. Also, this is the only expansion currently announced that might use these vehicles. What we are less sure of is there use. They could be part of the rides theme, an attraction or even a show. The patent does talk about guests being able to view the vehicle from a show venue so we hold out hope for something very exciting.

What do you think?