Alpha Centauri Expeditions and Animal Kingdom have brought deep space travel to Disney World! Okay, not really, but they did create an amazing new world to explore called Pandora: The World of Avatar. The tagline is “a world beyond belief,” and they are not wrong about this. It really is an incredibly immersive area.
Full disclosure: We have never actually seen the movie Avatar. When Disney announced that they would be doing an Avatar-themed land, we were excited for something new but didn’t really care that it was about Avatar. It took Disney about 10 years to actually build Pandora, but it just opened this past May 2017 and we were lucky to be able to go on the official opening weekend. We were unprepared for how amazing it would actually be.
From the moment you cross the bridge you feel like you have been transported to a tropical, faraway place. All of the interesting plants and flowers, along with the music makes you feel very immersed in the world of Pandora. We particularly enjoyed how well Pandora fits into Animal Kingdom. While the concepts aren’t totally related, the path into Pandora flows so nicely. The music combined with the unique décor truly make you feel like you’ve just stepped on another planet!
The area you enter is actually the Valley of the Mo’ara, where you can see the famous floating mountains and different flora and fauna. If you are able to, you can grab a guide that will tell you more about the different plants and their purpose. As amazing it is during the day, at night the bioluminescent glow is truly stunning.
Now let’s get to the rides. We had heard that Avatar: Flight of Passage was great. It truly exceeded our expectations. We don’t want to spoil it, but we highly suggest checking it out. It was unlike anything we’ve ever been on. At first we were almost a little nervous, but it is so worth it! The Na’vi River Journey is a mystical river journey that, while not as exciting as Flight of Passage, is still worth going on as well. We strongly recommend getting a Fastpass if you are able to.
Of course there is still more to see! Satu’li Canteen is where you really experience the Na’vi culture with some very interesting dishes. The food here is also a little healthier, which is great for us! You can also order your meal ahead of time through your phone and it will be ready when you get there. You also must stop by the Pongu Pongu and get one of those colorful drinks that have been all over Instagram. (FYI, Pongu Pongu means party party in Na’vi.) Windtraders is the store where you can buy all your Pandora-related merchandise, including those cute interactive banshees. There is also a Na’vi Drum Ceremony that was fun to watch and you can get your face painted.
We think Disney did a nice job with this new area at Animal Kingdom. We are glad that more attention is being given to this park because it really is amazing.
More info here: https://www.visitpandora.com/
Have you traveled to Pandora? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
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