In May, Disney opened Pandora, the World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. One of our agents, Melissa Kyler, was able to preview Pandora at a special event. This month, we are bringing you her account of this incredible land.
My Visit to Pandora
By Melissa Kyler
Where to start? When you first arrive you are just taken back by the beauty of the land. There is so much to see and take in. I had only watched the movie once and wasn’t sure if I would enjoy Pandora, The World of Avatar when the news was first released, but after waiting for years and learning little bits of information here and there I was slowly coming around.
Even though I was very excited for my first glimpse of the new land in Animal Kingdom, I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see. The flora and fauna were so beautiful and so unlike anything here on earth, since you are transported to the valley of Mo’Ara in the planet of Pandora, thanks to ACE (Alpha Centuri Expeditions).
Then it was on to the main center piece of the land the Floating Mountains. The views are just amazing with the waterfalls cascading down them. Along with the stunning views of the land you will also encounter scientists and people that have been living on Pandora. They are very excited to share this land with you and tell you all kinds of interesting facts, like how the floating mountains are able to float on Pandora. I will not spoil it for you rather you will need to ask one of the scientists to find out or watch the movie.
There are 2 rides in Pandora. The first is The Na’vi River Journey, it is a family boat ride through the bioluminescent forest. You will get to see the Shaman of the village performing a song for you. This is your first glimpse of the bioluminescent properties of the land if you are visiting during the day.
The second is the exciting Flights of Passage. I was hoping that this ride would be everything I heard about it, but was scared as I do get motion sickness and this is a 4D motion simulator. The queue is extremely long. I was told it was made to be able to hold enough people for the 4 hour wait times they are expecting. However, don’t let this dissuade you from riding it, make sure to get a Fastpass or arrive as soon as you can in the morning preferably on an Morning Extra Magic Hour. There is definitely a lot to see during your walk through the queue. Once through the queue you will be matched with an Avatar. This Avatar is linked with a Banshee and you will be able to see and feel everything as the Avatar is riding on the Banshee or (Ikran as the Na’vi call them). The ride is amazing. I can’t believe how much I enjoyed this ride. I rode it 3 times and still can’t believe how real it feels. The ride vehicles are shaped like bikes, but you forget that you are not really on the back of a Banshee from the first second you can see the screen. You can feel the wind in your face as you rush over and through the forest, feel the water as you skim over the rivers and feel your banshee breathing under you (this detail is what I keep talking about). If you love thrill rides, then is a definite must see and I did not get motion sickness, which was a great bonus.
Within the land they also have a restaurant, drink and snack location, gift shop and a place to get your face painted so you can blend in with the Na’vi.
The counter service restaurant is called Santu’li Canteen that offers up some new and colorful items. They serve breakfast lunch and dinner and each have little twist on flavors and styles. The Crunchy Vegetable Slaw is served with Boba Balls that give you a little burst of flavor with every bite. The item not to miss here for me is the Blueberry Cream Cheese Mouse.
The Drink and Snack location is called Pongu Pongu. Here they have nice refreshing drinks. They offer alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic options with various beautiful colors and flavored Boba Balls as well as Pongu Lumpia, which is a pineapple cream cheese spring roll. Amazing!!
Of course no trip to Pandora is complete without souvenirs. They can be purchased at Windtraders. Here you can bring home t-shirts, mugs, a Na’vi translator, your own Banshee or even a Na’vi replicated from your facial scan.
Make sure to see the land both in the day and night as it is 2 totally different experiences.
If you haven’t visited yet what are you waiting for? Contact your Travel On A Dream Agent to help you set up reservations.
Contact Melissa at Melissa@travelonadream.com.