So, this is what I’ve been reading in every Pandora review so far. The attention to detail is Amazing, the plants are cool, waterfalls are my favorite, the banshee ride is the BEST ride I have ever experienced, EVER, and oh, that Night Blossom drink is so yummy.
But this is what you really gotta know and why you should definitely make the trip but probably after the 6 hour wait time dies down a bit.
While all these things are essentially true, here are some things that you will absolutely love when you visit this new world and can check off your Pandora Bucket List.
You don’t have to love, or have even seen, Avatar the movie to appreciate Pandora
We cannot agree with this more! We didn’t actually love the movie at all and will not be standing in the midnight line when the second one comes out. We did however understand that Pandora is a different world on a moon 4.4 light years away, looks totally different than our world and could really appreciate it just the same. I mean it’s not like I need to watch Cinderella to still really want to live in Cinderella’s Castle.
The Wait Queue for the Avatar Flight of Passage
I can’t even begin to explain how awesome this wait queue is. We were definitely those people stopping every 15 seconds to take a picture of something. As the ride is an inside ride you get a glimpse of a bioluminescent land, a walk through of the Pandora conservation “lab” where they keep life-size avatar, and a debriefing on how the ride will connect to your body as an Avatar is assigned to you.
Avatar Flight of Passage Ride
So. Disney is still trying to work out some kinks here but our experience on this ride was AMAZING! One of our friends mentioned its like Soarin on Steroids. Yes, absolutely. It’s essentially a virtual reality ride where you sit ona stationary bike-like chair and dive into the land of Pandora on the back of a Banshee. The Flight of Passage is supposed to be a right of passage between you and your banshee… so as you sit in the bike chair there are little pulses that come from your banshee/ avatar body. Sounds weird but so cool. And really- we can’t explain how magical the whole thing feels. If you’ve been on Soarin you’ll know there are breezes, splashes of water and wonderful smells. You will find those same elements on this ride as well. Ya gotta get there and try it out. It’s sooooo amazing.
The Na’vi River Journey Ride
You will have this song from the ride stuck in your head all day. At the end of this ride you realize the music has been coming from the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. The ride itself is tranquil and calm and a perfect retreat from the hot Florida sun. The purpose of this ride, like all of Pandora, is to remind you how we are all connected to the earth. This message mirrors Walt Disney’s own strong beliefs on conservation and supports his vision for Animal Kingdom.
The Pandora Drum Circle
While you can go beat on the drums hidden in the rock formations of the Drum Circle, its easier to enjoy when the drums actually ” turn on” . We sort of accidentally discovered this while tacking pictures, and then watched as everyone went crazy running over to see how loud they could make the drums sound.
Pandora Glows in the Dark
Look Down. The concrete covered ground is laced with glow in the dark elements, apparently these are at their strongest around midnight so be there on a day when there are Extra Magic Hours. The plants glow, the floating mountains glow. Purples, Blues and Fluorescent lights cover everything. If you want to get a glimpse of this in the daytime there’s an area inside the Flight of Passage that is part of the bio luminescent world.
Listen. At night especially, not only are things glowing but you can hear “animals” push aside plants to get through. Apparently the plants actually interact with the unseen wildlife.
The Valley of Mo’ara
This place is Sooooo Relaxing!!! Ok, Ok. I’ll admit we were there during a Passholder Preview so we weren’t battling crowds, but even up against crowds, you should still notice the peacefulness. In fact you almost want to be a little quieter when you enter Pandora. The sounds of waterfalls run in the background, the sun peeks through the floating mountains, the plants are lush and and colorful, and there are plenty of places to lounge. There’s a moss wall with a bench, a large outdoor eating area at Satuli Canteen, rocks to sit on near the waterfalls, and tree-lined paths that offer shade.
Pandora Photo Op Locations
It did seem that Disney was aware that people now photo op everywhere! Even the stroller parking has some nice backdrops.
Moss Wall: You’ll find this one because even the Photo Guy knows its a cool spot. It’s green and pink moss on a wall across from the Large robot standing outside Pongu Pongu
Arched Bridge by Drum Circle: This is to the right of the Drum Circle and has a gorgeous backdrop of the floating mountains behind you.
Food at Pandora World of Avatar
Satu’li Canteen offers out of this world food. A TIP: We liked the Chocolate cake better. We also asked them to hold the boba balls on some of the offerings, mainly because we can only take so much tapioca. But go to town if you love them! They are on everything. What I loved most about this food is it’s “bowl” food. So a nice combo of greens and cabbage and just freshness all around. We got the chimmichuri sauce as an add on, and it was awesome. G got the cheeseburger pods, which were interesting to say the least. Don’t be fooled; the pod is actually made up pf bread dough, so it will still taste like a bun. Both myself and the people sitting next to us thought it would more like a potsticker, but its not. Its actually a little weird.
Pongu Pongu: Night Blossom Drinks all around.
The Future of Pandora
While die-hard Walt Disney World Lifers have said this new land won’t last, I don’t know that I can agree with that at this point. With 4 new Avatar movies on the horizon there must be some momentum here fueling the awesomeness. The rides alone will make you want to connect with the planet more and as the environment has some strong activism behind it chances are Pandora is here to stay.
That said, if 6 hour wait times aren’t your idea of the best time, wait it out a little. Crowds will die down as Disney figures out how to handle the masses. By Fall 2017 you’ll probably still see lines, but they won’t be anywhere near as bad as they are now… besides, you’ll actually want to be able to see that glowing floor beneath your feet- it will be easier seen if you’re not battling the crowds.
Whatever happens we can’t recommend this place enough. Do whatever you gotta do to get there. Get your fast passes and hop on a plane. Let us know what you love!
And check out our Pandora World of Avatar Collection before you go!
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