Are you ready to experience Pandora the World of Avatar at Disney Animal Kingdom?
The land of Pandora will quickly immerse you and takes you automatically into a magical journey with the Na’vi people the Disney way.
The World of Avatar officially opened May 27, 2017 to rave reviews and it’s still drawing millions of visitors each and every year!
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What to expect at Pandora World of Avatar in Animal Kingdom
During my first visit, the land engulfed me as soon as I walk through the gates.
The majesty, the beauty, and the harmonious sounds of nature transported me to another place.
Now I am not a super fan of the movie AVATAR, but as I sat in the newly discovered land, I was totally blown away.
I no longer felt as if I was in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom anymore. If that’s what Disney Imagineers we’re going for, then they absolutely nailed it!
In this article, I will go through:
- Pandora – The World of Avatar rides and attractions
- What to eat in Pandora
- Where to shop in Pandora
- How to maximize your day
- Pandora Pros and Cons
- My final thoughts about Pandora
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Pandora Rides and Attractions at Disney
Now that you know what to expect when you walk in the land of the Na’vi, let’s go over the rides you must experience in Pandora the World of Avatar.
Avatar Flight of Passage
On this one-of-a-kind ride, you get the opportunity to fly on a banshee… an actual mountain banshee!
The aerial predator takes you on a fantastic journey above beautiful Pandora.
The technology that Walt Disney World used in this attraction combines the 3-D type of screen with a new bicycle-like vehicle.
Some guests have compared the Avatar Flight of Passage vehicles to the ones on Tron at Disneyland in Shanghai.
If you are a fan of Soarin Around the World, then you will be ecstatic to experience this breathtaking ride. Except you be on a much bigger quest in an absolutely visceral experience that tops Soarin 100 times.
The queue for this ride is an attraction in itself.
Avatar Flight of Passage Has a 3-Part Queue
Part One: The Outdoor Queue
You will trek through pathways of the Pandoran plants, trees, and mystic water falls for an amazing aerial view of the Avatar-inspired land.
Part Two The In-door Queue:
You will go through a beautiful bioluminescent forest and end up in a laboratory.
The laboratory is where research of the Na’vi people and the moon Pandora takes place. The studies of Pandora are funded through the Pandora Conservation Initiative program.
In the lab, you will see various plants, organisms, and ecological findings. You will also be able to walk up and see a full-size avatar, which is such an amazing view in itself.
Part Three Boarding the Ride:
The final aspect of the line is where you’re scanned for the Avatar body and then it’s go time! You’re transported into your new form to enjoy the epic Na’vi experience.
The only con with this ride is that if you are prone to motion sickness then you may want to reconsider.
The motion sickness aspect is not as bad as The Simpson Ride at Universal Studios Florida. If you’re super sensitive to motion-based rides, then you want to take precautions.
Also, be mindful that due to the type of ride vehicle, larger adults (taller) may not be able to fit properly on this attraction. Guests have to be a minimum of 44” to ride.
I give this ride, on a hipster scale of 1 to 10 a 10 plus! It is a must do attraction.
When you have the chance to book your FastPass+ do it as soon as possible for Avatar Flight of Passage.
Na’vi River Journey
This is a classic Walt Disney World boat ride adventure. It’s comparable to Frozen or Pirates of the Caribbean.
It takes you on a ride into the bioluminescent rain forest in search of Na’vi Shaman of Songs.
You will meet the great wise one on your journey and you will be in tune with the gorgeous colors of nature and fantasy all wrapped up into one ride.
This isn’t a top thrill attraction, but it is a nice classic Disney experience for those who are fans of this type of ride.
I loved it because it continued to flow the theme of Pandora splendor straight into this river ride.
Not to mention that it’s just down right BEAUTIFUL!
It’s a perfect ride to escape the heat and relax your feet. It’s also a ride the whole family can enjoy together.
I truly enjoyed the Na’vi River Journey. On scale from 1 to 10 I would say that it was probably a 7.5.
Valley of Mo’ara
You get to hike up the floating mountains and check out the glowing fauna in nature that surrounds you in Pandora.
You’re basically transported into the actual territory that the Na’vi people live. It’s super realistic and it’s absolutely gorgeous.
Exploring the exotic plants, the Na’vi-built drum circle, the Na’vi totems and other cultural items are all up for discovery in this valley.
Even when going up higher and higher all you see is beauty in the trees and vegetation. You don’t see any other parts of Animal Kingdom and that’s why I felt like I was no longer in the park anymore.
Pandora The World of Avatar Food
Next up we have the food which is just as spectacular as the land in Animal Kingdom.
The food available at Satu’li Canteen is more health-conscious and more sustainable friendly. Although it is health-conscious, it is undeniably delicious.
I was a little hesitant when I first got there, but I did dive in and try the different items on the menu. I tried the steamed buns, the build your own bowl, and the dessert.
Cheeseburger Steamed Pods – Bao Buns
The cheddar taste wasn’t overpowering, but the winner of the show was the actual bun!
The bun is definitely what you would expect from a traditional steamed bun. Plus, the texture was fluffy, soft, and moist.
I could’ve just ate the bun alone, because it was absolutely remarkable. It came with coleslaw and what seem to be homemade chips, topped off with boba balls.
Chopped Wood-Grilled Chicken Bowl
I was happy to try this smoky chicken goodness. The bowl included chicken thighs marinated with garlic and olive oil topped with crunchy vegetable, vinaigrette, and chimichurri sauce.
It was placed on a bed of kale and romaine mix.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse
The dessert was all the rave and I’m pretty sure there have been pictures circulating around the Internet of this blueberry mousse. It was delicious and the blueberry taste wasn’t so overpowering, which was my main concern.
Blueberry cream cheese mousse had a passion fruit curd on top that provided a superb balance and texture.
The Chocolate Cake with a Crunchy Cookie Layer and Banana Cream Topping was my favorite.
However, at first it was hard for me to eat because the chocolate was so rich.
It would’ve been better if it was cut with some type of dairy product like ice cream or whipped cream. As the cake sat longer it got softer.
I then combine the banana cream topping with the crunchy cookie layer. Each bite got sweeter, better, and deliciously more intense.
The signature drink during lunch and dinner is the Dreamwalker Sangria. It is a mixture of refreshing White Sangria with a hint of Blue Curaçao
There were mixed reviews of the drink among the company I was around.
The main concern is if you’re more of a sweet wine drinker then you may not be such a fan. If you are a wine person and it doesn’t matter if it’s dry or sweet, then you’ll enjoy the sangria.
Get the full Satu’li Canteen menu here.
Pongu Pongu is a most do spot in Pandora. Be sure to try both the drinks Night Blossom (non-alcoholic) and the Mo’ara Margarita. The Pongu Lumpia snack, a delicious pineapple pastry, is also a winner.
Pongu Pongu Menu
- Sausage and Egg Biscuit (Breakfast only)
- French Toast Sticks (Breakfast only)
- Pongu Lumpia
- Colossal Pretzel
- Night Blossom – Non-Alcoholic Specialty Beverage. Mixture of Limeade with Apple and Desert Pear flavors topped with Passion Fruit Boba Balls.
- Mo’ara Margarita – Sauza Conmemorativo Añejo Tequila with Strawberry and Blood Orange flavors topped with Strawberry Boba Balls.
- Hawkes’ Grog Ale
- Mo’ara High Country Ale
- Rum Blossom – Bacardi Superior Rum with layers of Apple and Desert Pear Limeade topped with Passion Fruit Boba Balls and a Glowing Unadelta Seed
Pandora World of Avatar Merchandise
For shopping, you will have another attraction called Windtraders. This is an amazing store that has some of the coolest gadgets, gizmos, and toys produced for the Avatar franchise. You can bond with your own banshee.
Kind of like being chosen for a wand with Ollivander over at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Your mountain banshee has to form a bond with you and that’s the one you pick. They are pricey.
You can create your own miniature Avatar doll by putting your face into a digital scanner.
Let’s not forget about the Na’vi-inspired accessories such as ears and tails. Many of the visitors were walking around, including me, in the Na’vi attire.
Windtraders is overall a great store and is fun to just sit in there and browse.
Just don’t get caught in a rainstorm like my friend Lauren of Outdoorsy Diva, or you will walk out with more than you intended to buy.
Colors of Mo’ara
The Colors o Mo’ara is a kiosk where you can embody the spirit of the Na’vi people by having your face painted.
How to Maximize Your Day in Pandora World
- Map out the area so that you have an idea of where everything is. Check out at the map below.
- Get your Avatar Flight of Passage FastPass as soon as possible!
- Plan to arrive to Animal Kingdom early, especially if you are able to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours at Disney.
- You will want to possibly come much later in evening when the crowds have died down. This gives you a chance to really explore everything Pandora has to offer.
- Schedule your dining either before the lunch rush or afterwards. This tip increases your chances of a shorter wait time and an opportunity to get a prime seat
Pros and Cons of Pandora at Disney
- All immersive world. I think that anyone who appreciated the Avatar movie will enjoy this park, even if all the details are not understood.
- Wonderful storytelling. I also like how Disney incorporated their signature storytelling from the gates of Pandora and throughout the land. You even receive a Pandora Field Guide to help you understand the Na’vi culture and language, along with Pandora animals and plants.
- Great layout. For the space they have, 12-acres, it didn’t feel like it was super humongous. The Pandoran landscape made it feel intimate, but with a lot of space for guests to walk through without any clutter.
- Good dining options. I enjoyed the cuisine more than I thought I would. I had no intentions of eating in Pandora that’s why I started out with the steamed buns. However, as everyone around kept raving about the food, I began to try many of the different dishes. It’s not your standard theme park food by a long mile.
- Massive queue: Flight of Avatar is going to be a long line to walk in distance. It’s probably done for the large numbers that will be coming in and out of the attraction. When there’s not a long line you’ll have to walk very far just to get to the boarding portion of the line.
- Lack of shaded seating. It would have been nice to have a little bit more shaded seating. I went on a day with a nice overcast, so I was lucky. I can see in the peak summer months that this could be a problem if you’re trying to find a place to escape the Florida heat.
- Too many boba balls. It was on almost every dish I had. The frozen drinks, the steamed buns, and the chicken bowl. I like them, but not with my chicken.
The food, the attractions, the drinks, the shopping, and the overall ambiance is spectacular! This is a Disney must do or for any trip to Orlando.
Pandora-The World of Avatar will exceed your expectations. I had the best day ever during my trip at Animal Kingdom. It’s my hope that you get the same experience.
Just be sure to use the previous mentioned tips to maximize your day.
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters
(Original Article Date: May 17, 2017/Updated June 3, 2020)