I was recently invited to a media preview of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It seems like we have been waiting for this new land to open for the longest time and now the opening is right around the corner – May 27!
If you want to fly on the back of a banshee, set sail through a bioluminescent jungle or walk through a floating mountain, you will get to do all of it when you visit Pandora! From the minute you cross the bridge into this new land, you are completely engulfed and immersed into the experience. The creative Disney minds have worked their magic once again to make you feel as if you in the middle of the experience. The scenery – in all directions – is stunning.
Depending on your location or where you stand, the massive floating mountains seem to change in appearance. Seem to take you to a totally different locale.
Before heading to experience the new attractions, Na’vi River Journey and Avatar-Flights of Passive, you can spend quite a bit of time just walking around, taking in the scenery, the details and immersing yourself into Pandora – The World of Avatar.
The Attractions (without spoilers)
Avatar – Flight of Passage: Think the new Soarin’ TIMES TEN! Virtual reality at its best. A wind in your face experience on the back of a banshee flying over the world of Pandora, through the forest. An experience like no other.
The queue is lengthy which lets us believe that Disney is expecting long lines. The pre-shows explain enough so that those that have never watched the movie will have an understanding of what is going on. During one of the pre-shows is also where you will link to your Avatar.
The ride itself resembles a row of motorcycles. You are given a pair of 3D goggles to wear before straddling your unit (large enough to fit comfortably over glasses). Each rider is clamped from behind and around the legs. Without a doubt an adventure like no other when it comes to attractions at Walt Disney World. A must ride for all – even if you aren’t an Avatar fan.
The ride offers FastPass+, has a single rider line, and a 44” minimum height. Disney resort guests will be able to enjoy nightly evening Extra Magic Hours inside Pandora from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. from May 27th through July 4th.
Na’vi River Journey: This stunningly beautiful family attraction will have you boarding small reed boats to float past glowing plants and Pandoran creatures. Animatronics so real that you have to remind yourself they aren’t alive. Although a short ride, I was in awe of the beauty, the sounds and the Na’vi Shaman of Songs.
I rode twice and both times noticed something different and more fascinating.
Satu’li Canteen: A hut style building that offers lots of dining space and interesting decor. The menu is healthy and very allergy friendly offering wholesome grains and fresh vegetables. Every item I sampled was delicious and the prices are in-line with other Disney quick service dining locations.
Pongu Pongu: A quick cold drink (both alcoholic and alcohol free) or an egg-roll type snack filled with pineapple cheese cake can be found here. I can definitely see these rolls becoming a new Disney fan obsession! It’s a small limited menu but the offerings are fabulous!
Windtraders is full of everything Avatar! Toys, dolls, tee-shirts, hats, create your own Avatar, adopt a Banshee and more.
Overall, I think Avatar fans will be WOW’d. Non-Avatar fans will be impressed. Those with no opinion at all will be mesmerized! The entire experience is amazing. The Cast Members contribute to your experience by never breaking character.
I know I can’t wait to go back with my family to see it all again!
Pandora – The World of Avatar will be opening to the public on May 27, 2017.