As many of you know, we are major Disney fans.
We love the movies, we love the merchandise, and we definitely love the parks.
After our whirlwind trip this past week, we also got to fall in love with their athletic events.
We will chat through all of that in a future post, because the most exciting element of our most recent excursion has to be our adventure to Disney’s Pandora –The World of Avatar, Disney’s newest, Avatar inspired land within the Animal Kingdom Park.
They’ve done an amazing job bringing The World of Avatar to life. The photos and videos I took can’t even do it justice –in fact, my own eyes could barely believe it as I stood in the center of Disney’s Pandora and took it all in.
The scenery is beautiful, vibrant and colorful. The rides are amazing. The characters are believable. Everything about it makes you feel like you’ve stepped into this fascinating other world that you don’t want to leave.
With thousands of other people.
You know how Disney crowds like to act in July.
Planning a visit? Here are a few things to know about Disney’s Pandora before you go.
10 Things to Know About Disney’s Pandora –World of Avatar
The entire land is a beautiful landscape that makes you feel like you’ve truly stepped into the World of Avatar.
It won’t hurt you to check out the movie again before you visit so you can truly appreciate what they created in the Valley of Mo’ara and among the rides. They did a great job bring the world of Avatar of life and breathing life into that story.
Take your time exploring.
There aren’t any Na’vi characters within Disney’s Pandora –World of Avatar (Na’vi being 12 feet tall would make that really hard), but there are musical performances to enjoy and a ton of discoveries to be made among the flora and fauna of the land.
There are two major rides within the Pandora area.
The Na’vi River Journey is, duh, a river ride, something like Pirates of the Caribbean, where you are transported through the land and treated to various sights and sounds. The most exciting part is the 12 foot tall singing Na’vi towards the end.
The other ride in Disney’s Pandora is Avatar Flight of Passage. It is a virtual reality type experience, similar to Soarin’. I type that with hesitancy because, while it is similar to the Soarin’ ride in many ways, it is also SO much more amazing! You’re mounted on the back of a Banshee (a flying beast from the Avatar movie –in the ride it feels like you’re straddling a motorcycle) and taken through the land of Avatar via a massive screen. It engages all of your senses –sight, sound, touch, smell, and you even think some elements are so real you can taste them! There is the scent of the jungle, the feeling of the creature you’re riding between your legs (seriously, it’s like the thing is breathing and moving with you as you fly along). You can feel the ocean spray splashing in your face and see your fellow Na’vi engaging in battles and living life around you. It is a fully immersive experience like none I’ve had before. We waited like 110 minutes to ride it and it was so very worth it!
The lines will be long.
Seriously, prepare yourself. Based on what I know about Disney, even if you wait a couple of years you’re going to be looking at over an hour in line if you don’t snag a Fast Pass.
And, you won’t get a Fast Pass.
Or will you?! They say there are no Fast Pass opportunities for the rides within Pandora, but I stood right outside of the gift shop and snagged one for the river ride, so who’s to say. Just try daily before you come and then make sure you download the My Disney Experience app onto your phone so you can do it in the park too.
Go during the day.
So you can see all of the beautiful details.
But, stay until dark too.
Because the land is even more spectacular when the sun sets! The bioluminescent forest truly comes to life after dark.
Stay on Property
At a Disney hotel. I can give you a laundry list of reasons to stay on property, but the Extra Extra Magic Hours are a major benefit that allows those staying at a Disney hotel to enjoy extended hours to explore Pandora after the park closes.
But, pro tip for those who don’t.
The night we visited, Extra Extra Magic Hours were from 10pm-12am. We had people in our party who weren’t staying on property and we just made sure they were in line at the Flight of Passage ride before 10pm. Cast members begin checking magic bands at lines at 10, but if you are in line before that they aren’t going to come through and rip you out.
Order a beverage from the drink shack by the gift shop inside of Disney’s Pandora.
It’s called Pongu Pongu which I think is Na’vi for magical beverage. It is a frozen concoction of sweet sugary goodness topped with delicious pear flavored Boba Balls and it will bring you mouth joy like nothing else. I also had the Mo’ara Margarita while I was there and, yooooo, get that. Makes waiting in line for two hours in the summer heat SO much more enjoyable.