5 Tips to Help Make Your Pandora Visit Excellent
Excitement is building as the long-awaited new land at Disney's Animal Kingdom opens next week. I was lucky to visit Pandora - World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom last Sunday at the end of my Walt Disney World Resort® vacation and wanted to share some of the information that I found in this amazing new land. This new land does not open officially to the public until May 27, 2017 but it will be very popular so a plan is necessary.
After entering Animal Kingdom and walking across the bridge on to Discovery Island, I entered Pandora via a bridge (this entrance is right by Tiffins Restaurant in Animal Kingdom). Eventually there will be an additional exit in to Africa which will make exiting this new land easy.
As soon as I crossed the bridge in to Pandora, I felt like I was in another world. The attention to detail is phenomenal, the waterfalls are all around and those floating mountains are a marvel (and a testament to the genius engineers that work for Disney). I was in the land for about 3 hours and discovered these tips:
Get a FastPass for Flight of Passage
There are two new attractions inside of Pandora - World of Avatar. The Na'vi River Journey (a slow moving dark ride through a bioflouresent forest) and Flight of Passage (a simulator ride the simulates riding a Banshee (the Na'vi creatures that each has and rides). For those of you who are fans of Soarin' (raise your hand high) you will LOVE this attraction. It is 4D (complete with wind, smells and mists of water spray). This will be very popular so you will want to get a FastPass for this ride if you can. If you can not then plan on getting to Animal Kingdom at opening so you can head straight to the attraction for the shortest wait. I was able to ride both attractions and loved both for different reasons. The Na'vi River Journey is a beautiful, relaxing ride while the Flight of Passage is definitely more thrilling. All of my clients will receive a detailed tips and tricks for these attractions.
There is a Single Rider line which will save a lot of time if you are willing to ride alone (the seats are all single anyway so this would mean you wouldn't necessarily be in the same room as your party.
Guests must be 44-inches (112 centimeters) or taller to ride. Specific body types will be difficult to accommodate because of the way the ride locks you in to the simulator (behind the calves and behind your back). There have been reports that those with large calf muscles are unable to ride. It will be a case-by-case situation.
Try the unique food at Satu'Li Canteen and Pongu Pongu stand
There are two unique food and drink locations inside of Pandora which are as equally themed as the rest of the land.
Pongu Pongu is a drink and snack stand next to the Santu'Li Canteen and offers specialty drinks and snacks. The Satu'Li Canteen offers quick service options include build your own bowls as well as Cheeseburger Pods. Everyone seemed to be enjoying all of the delicious food options which offered.
Tip: this location has self-service drinks so you can grab a refill before leaving. There is plenty of inside and outdoor seating.
Check out the special merchandise at the two specialty locations in Pandora
There are two merchandise locations inside Pandora. Each has unique merchandise that is made especially for the land. The most popular item was the Adopt a Banshee experience which allows you to adopt a Banshee of your own.
Other items include specialty Na'vi merchandise and Avatar purchases.
Take time to look around and take in the sights and appreciate the attention to detail
This new land is amazingly themed and immersive. From the floating mountains to the flora it is possible to forget that you are in a theme park and not in another world. In the day the plants and specially designed creatures are beautiful against the sound of the waterfalls and at night the entire land glows with the bioluminescent flora light making the land so unique. Take a moment to find a quiet spot and really appreciate the time and imageenering that went in to this world. This new land and its attractions took nearly 3.5 years to construct.
If you haven't watched the movie Avatar - watch it before OR after your visit
Pandora - World of Avatar is based on the record-breaking, box-office hit film "AVATAR". I personally was not a fan of Avatar the first time I watched it, however, as a Disney fan I knew I wanted to give the land a chance with an open mind. I was blown away! While it it is not imperative to first see the movie before you can enjoy the new land, it is nice to have a little background to really appreciate the attention to detail. So grab some popcorn and find the movie on Netflix and enjoy. Plans are in the works for 4 more Avatar movies so be ready for more fun!
In order to accommodate the popularity of the land Animal Kingdom will have extended park hours:
EXTENDED THEME PARK HOURS: From May 27 to July 4, 2017, Disney's Animal Kingdom will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
"EXTRA" EXTRA MAGIC HOURS: Resort hotel guests can enjoy Pandora-exclusive extra magic hours from 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.; May 27 to July 4, 2017.
Until next time - have a magical day and remember what Walt Disney said
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
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