We wanted to start this post screaming how amazing Pandora – The World of Avatar is…but it wouldn’t do it justice. It’s easily the best land Disney has added onto their parks and is superior in Imagineering than anything else they’ve done.
From the moment you walk into the land till you leave and everything in between you’ll be wowed. The detail put into this land is incredible.
Upon entering the land Cast Members will bid you farewell and a safe journey as you head to Pandora, leaving earth behind to experience one of the most unique worlds. You’ll first notice that there are lots of plants and trees (fitting for Animal Kingdom), many that you don’t recognize (or maybe you do from the film). Some look friendly and some look like they want to eat you. 😉
In the background of Pandora are the floating mountains and waterfalls which you will walk under as you explore the land. They really set the tone of your exploration by keeping you in your place as a somewhat lowly human being (remember the Na’vi are much bigger than us humans). On our tour with Joe Rohde, the Imagineer who designed Pandora, he pointed out the waterfalls at the very back of the mountain, the ones way up by the peaks and how they move slower than the rest of the water falls further down. While this is how it would really look to the human eye, the waterfalls are fake. He told us it’s an illusion that was created a long time ago and still used today. It’s cloth with a painted design on it to look like a waterfall and then ran on a rotating wheel.
The water falls around Pandora along with the plants and small lakes and streams are breathtaking. You could spend hours just walking around enjoying these (but don’t because there are other things to do). Once you’ve experienced the entire land then come back and look more into the vegetation!
As you walk around you’ll notice a lot of symbolism including images weaved from rattan and other materials. Instead of marking rides with marquees on Pandora they are marked by these symbols. Look for them as you explore around and if you see one you’ve come to a one of a kind experience.
One area of the land even features some native drums that when played will make some amazing and unique Na’vi sounds. Played together and you’ll get one great, unique musical experience.
The first attraction we tried was the Na’vi River Journey where you’ll get to experience the amazing bioluminescent forest of Pandora. We won’t ruin your experience by telling you what to expect other than it’s an amazing visual journey accompanied by the music of the Na’vi. This boat ride down the river can be enjoyed by all ages. Check-out our 4K ride-through if you just can’t wait! The ride queue was built to hold a 90 minute line so get your Fastpass+ reservations early!
The next attraction on Pandora is Avatar Flight of Passage where you’ll get to experience an incredible ride on the back of a Banshee. The technology for this attraction is incredible and cutting edge. The ride queue alone is amazing in its design and features as it tells a story of what happened and what’s to come as humans and Na’vi clean up the mess made by RDA. As you walk through the queue you may notice different color hand prints, red and blue. Red hand prints are those of humans and blue hand prints are those of the Na’vi. Blue hand prints with red inside of them are Avatars. Avatar Flight of Passage does have a height requirement of 44″. The ride queue was built to hold a line 6 hours long….and we think it will typically have a wait time of about 2 hours even after the opening rush cools off. Make your Fastpass+ reservations!
Trust us, this attraction is breathtaking and amazing. You’ll want to come back again and again to experience it. If the lines are long it’s completely worth the wait. Disney is onto something with this attraction which we believe will lead the way into better and more unique experiences and attractions.
For your Pandora dining there is a quick service dining location called Satu’li Canteen that offers some incredible dishes featuring wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and hearty proteins. It sounds really healthy (and for the most part it is) but it’s also really, really good. Healthy can taste good! They also have some desserts that will have you back in line for another round like their Blueberry Mousse.
And don’t miss the Pongu Pongu drink stand that serves up some of the most unique and photogenic drinks we’ve ever seen. Be sure to try the Night Blossom frozen drink featuring limeade and apple/pear flavors topped with boba balls. They are intense!
We could write all day about Pandora – The World of Avatar but what you really need to do is experience it for yourself. The new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom officially opens May 27th, 2017.
To see a walkthrough of the new land check out the video below!