By Pink Diva
Email invites for Pandora- The World of Avatar went out for Annual Passholders months ago. I was one of the lucky ones to grab a spot to get a first-hand look at the newest attraction at Animal Kingdom.
I have to let everyone know that I have not seen the movie. No reason except I never did. Nothing against it, I just never saw it. So if my terminology is off or if I mess up something important, I apologize.
As we walked into the Pandora the first thing that catches your eye is the floating mountains. They are huge! You can see them from the parking lot they are so big. The next thing is how different the flowers are. Huge, multicolored flowers are everywhere you look.
Bioluminescence (naturally glowing in the dark) is huge here. The cement walkways all glow at night. Unfortunately, our time was during the day and it looked like faint chalk all over the place. A Cast Member told me that they whole place takes on a bioluminescence at night.
The bioluminescence is showcased in Na’vi River Journey. This slow boat ride takes you through a bioluminescence jungle while you listen to the Na’vi Sharman of Songs. We were able to ride this one twice. The boat ride is similar to It’s a Small World. It’s a very calm and uneventful ride. No height requirements make this a great family ride. The colors everywhere were breathtaking.
Avatar Flight of Passage is one of the best rides I have ever been on. I can’t ride simulator rides due to motion sickness. I also don’t handle 3D very well. (I have to take the glasses off and stare at the floor during Muppets and Philharmagic.) But, I had to do Avatar Flight of Passage at least once. All the reviews I read said it was good for those with motion sickness.
I am so glad I went on it. It takes at least 40 Cast Members to operate. You first enter a room where you get cleaned off (steam) and matched with an Avatar. Once that is done you are lead to the room for your simulated flight. You hop on a bike-like seat, put on your glasses, and enjoy.
Once you are seated, paddle-like things go against your back and legs. They vibrate a bit during the ride so if you are not comfortable with that, ask them to manually lift them up. We were told they may be rethinking those, but for now are there manly to keep kids (and adults) on the bike during the ride.
The ride itself is like Soarin’. But instead of being lifted into the air, you are already stacked. A curtain blocks the screen until the ride starts. The curtain opens and you get your first glimpse of flying on a banshee. Because you are not strapped in, you have the freedom to move your upper body. I think this really helped with my motion sickness. There are a few big drops you experience. You could tell when they were coming and I closed my eyes to combat the motion. The bike not only simulates riding the banshee, but also it’s breathing. The bike expands and contracts like you are straddling a real banshee.
The ride itself is only 5 minutes long. However, like Soarin’, it does take time to load everyone in and out easily make it longer between each ride. Even with a FastPass it can take an hour to do the ride. Disney Diva Tip: If you FastPass it and have a child under 44″ inches (112 cm), get a Rider Switch pass as your FastPass may expire.
The last thing we did in Pandora was have lunch. We are not exciting eaters at all. But we decided to give Satu’li Canteen a try after checking out the menu. My husband and I each had one of the chicken bowls over rice. It was delicious! I don’t care for spicy food so the dressing I picked was on the sweet side. It is a lot of food and really good. My kids were happy as well. My daughter ordered the “Teylu”-a hot dog wrapped in dough. She didn’t care for the dough (she doesn’t eat the bun either) but liked the hot dog. My son, the least adventurous eater of the bunch had a cheese quesadilla and was happy. None of us really cared for the chips that came with the kids meals. Next time we will go with double grapes. Satu’li Canteen also has refillable drink stations available.
This was an amazing experience to be able to see Pandora so empty. The land was beautiful, the rides amazing and the food delicious. Consult with our FREE Disney Diva Travel Agent Patricia at All for Dreams Travel to make sure you experience Pandora.