Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal KingdomKim Inman
Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park opened on May 27, 2017 bringing a flight simulator based banshee attraction and boat ride through the landscape of Pandora.
As you enter, you walk through the Valley of Mo’ara and the enormous floating mountains are all around you. The valley is also home to many unique species of plants that can only be found on Pandora. There is a Na’vi-built drum circle, containing instruments you can play, Na’vi totems and other cultural items found throughout the land as well as two new Wilderness Explorers challenges with badges to collect.
This new land offers 2 new ride experiences as well as a Quick Service dining option, a beverage stand, and, of course, Pandora – The World of Avatar themed shopping experiences too! Make sure you experience Pandora – The World of Avatar both in the day and at night because the land comes to life with beautiful bioluminescence each night!
Avatar Flight of Passage (44″)
This experience is an exhilarating, 3D ride where you fly on the back of a mountain banshee offering you a breathtaking, first-person flight over the moon’s incredible landscape. It is for those 44” and taller and is quite a thrilling ride. Once you enter, there is a pre-experience queue similar to DINOSAUR that is narrated by video conferencing but that is also interactive. Once you enter the flight room, you mount your own banshee and prepare to take flight. Many have compared this experience to Soarin’ but it is SO MUCH MORE! This is not just a view of the World of AVATAR; this ride truly immerses you in the land! FastPass+ is highly recommended for this new experience. Even if you don’t have FastPass+, the standby queue is quite amazing in itself!
Na’vi River Journey
This experience is a boat ride that takes you on a journey deep into a bioluminescent rainforest in search of the Na’vi Shaman of Songs that the whole family can enjoy. It is similar to boat experiences at the other Walt Disney World parks. The boats each have two rows that will comfortably seat 4 Guests each. After coasting through a series of caves, and passing by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures of the rainforest, you’ll soon find yourself face-to-face with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. Your adventure comes to a conclusion as the Shaman demonstrates her deep connection to the life force of Pandora and sends positive energy out into the forest through the power of her music.
The new Pandora – World of AVATAR dining and beverage options are Satu’li Canteen and Pongu Pongu, meaning “Party Party” in the language of the Na’vi. Both offer themed menu items with Satu’li Canteen offering Quick Service dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner and Pongu Pongu offering a quick stop for themed beverages. Of course, my favorite treat on the menu was the Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse!
Mobile Food Ordering:
On opening day, Walt Disney World also introduced mobile ordering – only available at Satu’li Canteen. Simply find a table at the canteen area and, using your My Disney Experience Mobile App, you can easily place your order for food and beverage and will be notified via your app when your order is ready. You will only need to know your order number for pick-up. Currently, to use Mobile Order, your MDE account must have a credit card linked and all charges will be applied to the linked credit card – Disney Dining Plans and Gift Cards are not accepted. Mobile Order will expand to other quick service locations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park this summer – and hopefully property-wide soon after!
Entertainment on Pandora – The World of Avatar is focused around a Na’vi-built drum circle, containing instruments you can play, Na’vi totems and other cultural items found throughout the land. Swotu Wayä – which means “Sacred Place of Song” – is located in the heart of Mo’ara Valley and has the most beautiful backdrop of any stage at Walt Disney World! Performances are fun and interactive with a message of peace and can be seen every hour on the half starting at 10:30 am until 30 minutes before Pandora closes. *Please check Time Guides for updated performance times.
For Pandora – The World of Avatar themed shopping, this new land offers Windtraders, which is the exit for Avatar Flight of Passage where you can choose from Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more. And Colors of Mo’arais a retail kiosk that also offers Na’vi-inspired face-painting.
While exploring Pandora – The World of Avatar, stop by the Wilderness Explorer stations and earn two new badges!
Experiences at Night:
Once darkness falls, the many unique and exotic plants of Pandora come to life with their beautiful bioluminescence in many different shades and patterns – even the ground you walk on is full of beautiful color! Look for interactive experiences throughout the land too – floating plants that respond to your arm movements and more. And it’s not only the colors that will surprise you, even the sounds of this amazing land change after sunset. As you move through Pandora at night you can occasionally hear the calls and footsteps of the many fantastic beasts that populate the nearby mountains.
Maximize Your Time:
There are some great ways to maximize your experience in The World of Avatar with extended theme park hours, “Extra” Extra Magic Hours for resort Guests and FastPass+!
*TIP: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey are both Tier 1 FastPass+ selections at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. If you are only planning for one day at this park, I highly recommend FastPass+ for Avatar Flight of Passage and doing Na’vi River Journey as standby. However, if you are a resort Guest the “Extra” Extra Magic Hours may give you the opportunity to do both without FastPass+.
Photo credits: Crystal Boston, Missy Tillman, Debi Mitchell