I was able to visit the new Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom last Saturday for Passholder previews and I am so happy I was able to get into this special event. Here are a couple things I want to make sure you don’t miss and a couple things I think they are missing in the new land. Spoilers ahead, but not many.
Keep in mind this was a Passholder preview so things can change from my experience to what the park is like on opening day. They could also have some things planned for the future that aren’t there yet.
DON’T MISS: The Flight of Passage Queue
Yes, I said the queue. Okay yes, the ride is awesome too. But even if you can’t or don’t want to ride it you should still get in line just to see the decor. The decor in the line is amazing and has lots of details. This is where you are going to see the avatar floating in its tank similar to what you see in the beginning of the movies.
As far as the ride goes, it is beautiful and amazing. I don’t like simulator rides, as the make me dizzy and sick but I really enjoyed this ride and it only made me feel dizzy in some parts. Though because of that, I can’t see myself riding it very often. If you are like me with simulator rides and you are unsure if you should do this. I think you should do it once and then you will know how it affects you. The ride does have some really cool aspects to it that you should experience.
WHAT’S MISSING: A Walking Tour
The Flight of Passage is going to have long lines for quite a while once they open. They must be expecting huge waits as the line itself is really long. I think we experienced maybe five different decorative changes starting outside plus some hallways that transferred you from one room theme to the next. I won’t go into all of the details but it has lots of cool things that everyone should be able to see even if they can’t or don’t want to ride the ride.
An easy way to make this happen would be to add a line through all these atmospheres for a walking tour. The walking tour could exit before it splits off into rows to load the ride, the same way Universal has it set up for the castle. You could take your time exploring the details and enjoy the decor without having to wait in line for a ride you don’t want to take.
DON’T MISS: Seeing Pandora during the Night AND Day
Everyone is talking about seeing the park at night because of the bioluminescence. Word is the this should be fully functioning on opening night, May 27th. But you also need to make sure you are seeing it during the day. The park is so beautiful and you would miss out on those gorgeous floating rocks, waterfalls, and details if you only came at night.
We went from about 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM (sunset wasn’t till after 8:00) and it was a great time to see the changing lighting. The floating rocks look amazing at sunset!
Once it was dark we were able to see the floors light up and a few plants here and there. Also, the sound effects changed at night and we noticed some smoke coming in over the plants so it gave it a creepy lost in the forest feel with animals lurking behind the plants. It really changed the atmosphere of the area. I’m very excited to see it at night once everything is working.
WHAT’S MISSING: More Na’vi
I honestly wasn’t expecting Na’vi to be walking around the park but I feel like multiple people asked us if there are blue people walking around. They do have the Avatar body floating in the pod and Mo’at is in the Na’vi River ride. I think a Na’vi photo opportunity would be cool. Maybe that is something we have to look forward to in the future?
DON’T MISS: The Details
In true Disney fashion; look up, look down. The details are everywhere! See if you can be the first to find those new hidden Mickeys. I can’t wait to go back and notice all the details that I missed on my first trip.
WHAT’S MISSING: Places to Cool Down
The restaurant seems a little small for the summer crowds when you need a place to cool off in the A/C. I was hoping there would be an exploring or play area of some sort, like Tom Sawyer type caves to get a little shade and some alcoves with seating. I mean, imagine an indoor themed area with A/C where you could wander around and explore the environment. Similar to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. They could have interactive items like those plants you can touch that shrink down like in the movie. Sometimes you want to just hang out, grab a drink and enjoy the atmosphere.
DON’T MISS: The Food
Animal Kingdom has always been more vegetarian-friendly food wise and I was excited to see some fun vegetarian options on Pandora’s new menu. There were three of us eating and I asked everyone how it was mid-meal and everyone replied “really good.” I had the Curry Bao Buns and was pleasantly surprised- delicious.
Overall, I loved Pandora and can’t wait to spend my future Disney trips getting to know the land.
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