When I was offered the opportunity to attend an annual pass holder sneak peak of Disney Animal Kingdom’s new Pandora – The World of Avatar, I jumped on it. Although I’m not a huge Avatar fan, I enjoyed the movie. I am so glad I got to see Disney’s Pandora and I can’t wait to go back again!
Disney’s Pandora – The World of Avatar
To begin, I want to say how nice it is to be a pass holder and have these great opportunities. Sneak peaks and early admission is a huge benefit. This truly is one of the most beautiful areas of the parks now! Check out my thoughts and make sure to plan a trip to Walt Disney World for yourself!
Beautiful landscaping to match the theme:
The plants and scenery are amazing. Disney obviously spent a lot of time thinking this through. It’s worth walking through the land if nothing else. There are floating islands and plants which transform you to a different world.
Pandora has two rides, one merchandise store, one quick service restaurant, a beverage stand (with delicious special frozen margaritas, beer, and a non-alcoholic frozen drink) and a face painting area. Needless to say, there isn’t enough in Pandora to spend all day. But it’s an amazing addition to the Animal Kingdom.
The rides in Disney’s Pandora – The World of Avatar:
Na’vi River Journey
As far as rides, I enjoyed Na’vi River Journey but I’m not sure I would wait in a long line for it. You board a boat and float through a dark mysterious land. The ride is slow and safe for all ages and physical conditions. There are no seat belts or drops. Glowing creatures come down from the ceiling in one area, and computer generated animals can be seen moving around in the background on some type of LED screen. There is a lifelike Shaman audio-animatronic figure that moves its arms and sings. It’s a nice break from the heat and my 5-year-old loved the ride but I felt it was lacking something (and this is coming from a girl that doesn’t like drops or roller coasters).
Avatar Flight of Passage
My dislike of drops and roller coasters almost had me skipping the second ride, Avatar Flight of Passage, once I learned there were multiple 4 foot to 5 feet drops (and very little information on the what to expect on the ride). However, as I wanted to fully experience Pandora and the employees were very helpful with their description of the ride, I gave it a try and I am so glad I did. This is the best ride I have ever been on, no joke! Self-proclaimed adrenaline junkies in line with me loved the ride as well. It’s a cross between Soarin and Thunder Mountain Railroad (for the drops only).
You get on an individual seat which feels like you are sitting on a bicycle. Pads move into place behind your legs and back to secure you in place so that you do not fall off when the ride is moving. The pads were a little too secure but I was glad to have them once we got going. It is important to note that there are some size restrictions on this ride due to safety concerns. So make sure you check the ride restrictions before waiting in line. (Although the line itself was amazing to see. You really do feel like you are in another world.)
Once the ride got started, I put on 3-D glasses and watched an amazing video that makes you feel like you are flying, complete with the wind blowing through your hair. It felt like my bike was tilting forwards and backward, and the platform which held multiple bikes went up and down, giving a somewhat falling sensation. It is important to note that the bike never actually moved from its original location more than 4-5 feet. However, when I felt a little lightheaded a couple of times, I could easily turn around and see that I was only a few feet lower than my original location. I was also able to see other “bikes” watching the same movie in the multi-level theater. It was a very smooth ride and I thoroughly enjoyed it! So even if you do not enjoy drops, you may want to consider this ride.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom’s latest addition. Pandora The World of Avatar is another fun place to visit during a day trip to the parks with your family.