When I first heard that Disney was creating Pandora, a land centered around the movie Avatar, I wasn’t sure what to think of it. I wasn’t a fan of the movie and I wasn’t sure how this would fit within Disney. I was less than impressed. There I said it. The movie Avatar was not at the top of my must see list. While I agreed that Animal Kingdom needed something, I wasn’t sure Pandora was going to be it. When I first saw the artist renderings at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration a few years ago, my interest peaked. Maybe I was wrong after all. Last year I had a chance to spend plenty of time in Pandora thanks to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and then again this past November when we were invited down to experience Disney for the Holidays. I had plenty of time to see just how wrong I was. It was exquisite and like nothing I had ever seen. Within seconds of stepping foot into Pandora, it took my breath away. There are a few things to know before you go, so I hope this Guide to Pandora The World of Avatar helps you plan your trip a bit better.
I attended an all expenses paid media FAM trip in partnership with Walt Disney World. All opinions are my own.
Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe this land. It’s simply exquisite. The Disney Imaginears literally left no stone unturned when it came to designing Pandora.
One word. LINES. Naturally being a newer attraction the crowd levels are high. Both times I visited in February and November the lines were looonngg. This is where utilizing your Fastpass+ selections come in handy, so make sure you make them as soon as they become available.
As soon as your booking window opens, snagging the Fastpasses for Flight of Passage & Na’vi River Journey is important. Flight of Passage does have a height requirement so keep that in mind when booking.
Another option is utilizing the Extra Magic Hours. One of the benefits to staying at a Walt Disney World Resort is Extra Magic Hours. Depending on the day, a different park may open early or stay open late for Extra Magic Hours for guests staying on property at a Disney Hotel.
You could also make it a plan to head to the park for rope drop and make your way straight to Pandora. But unless your one of the first few people in the door, the lines will fill up quickly. So keep that in mind.
With a toddler in tow, that’s not feasible for us but rest assured, if you do try it this way, there are areas you could wait and play with your toddler while the rest of your party waits for Flight of Passage.
If you are traveling with a toddler who isn’t tall enough to ride, you can take advantage of the Rider Switch Policy.
Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe this land. It’s simply exquisite. From the plants and foliage everywhere you turn to the giant floating mountains, you don’t feel like in your in the middle of a theme park but rather a whole new world. That was the idea after all.
RIDES IN PANDORA
If you’re looking for rides, Pandora – The World of Avatar has two, Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage. Both are spectacular but let’s take a closer look at each.
NA’VI RIVER JOURNEY
Your adventure begins in the Valley of Mo’ara where you’ll board your boat (similar to the boats at Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World) and head out on a spectacular journey through the Na’vi River.
You’re journey takes you through a series of caves filled with creatures and exotic foliage that glows.
Towards the end of the ride, you’ll be mesmerized by the Na’vi Shaman of Songs as she sings a beautifully Na’vi song.
This ride is for all ages and Fastpass+ is available and recommended. It’s a calm ride and you don’t have to worry about any twists and turns. While it may not be full of action, it makes up for it with beauty.
AVATAR FLIGHT OF PASSAGE
On Avatar Flight of Passage, you’ll ride the back of a banshee for a 3D right over Pandora’s breathtaking landscape. This. Ride. Is. Everything.
Over the mountains and through the valleys, you truly feel like you are flying and right in the middle of the rainforest. This ride is probably one of my favorites and I cannot wait til Evie is old enough to ride it.
Don’t fret if you don’t snag a Fastpass for this because you’ll want to experience the wait at least once. It’s here that you’ll get to experience all of the experiments that the Pandoran Conservation Initiative scientists have ongoing, including the full-size and extremely life-like floating avatar in its liquid-filled chamber.
This ride has a height requirement of 44in and Fastpass+ is HIGHLY recommended. The lines both times I’ve been here have been outrageous.
WHERE TO EAT IN PANDORA – THE WORLD OF AVATAR
If you’re hungry, you’re in the right spot. The two food locations inside Pandora are located right next to each other near Flight of Passage.
Pongu Pongu is the spot to stop at for some delicious drinks and a few light bite offerings . Check out the menu here. Pongu Pongu means “party party” in the Na’vi Language and you definitely feel like you’re at a party with the fancy drink offering here.
You’ll find a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks including the famous Night Blossom.
The Night Blossom, made of layers of Apple and Desert Pear Limeade topped with Passion Fruit Boba Balls and it’s delicious!
Satu’li Canteen is open for lunch and dinner and even has mobile ordering. You can view the menu here.
We were treated to a private lunch at Satu’li Canteen on our November trip and the food is out of this world. This Quick Service dining location might just be favorite in all of Animal Kingdom. The food was phenomenal and I have yet to hear a bad review from anyone eating here.
Our appetizers were the Cheeseburger Steamed Pod stuffed with ground beef, ketchup, mustard, pickle and cheddar cheese. It tasted just like a burger but in a fun new form.
For the main course, we had the Satu’li Sampler Platter that included four Proteins and a sampling of each of the bases and Sauces, served with Vegetable Slaw and Four Non-Specialty Beverages. (This offering is only available from 5:00 PM until close).
I highly recommend the Pandoran Sunrise drink when dining here. It’s made up of a blend of tropical juices with a pineapple garnish. It was delicious and refreshing on a hot day.
Be sure to make your Fastpass+ selection up to 30 days before your visit—or up to 60 days before your Disney Resort hotel check-in.
BRING A BANSHEE FROM PANDORA HOME
While it’s not possible to bring all the magic of Pandora home with you, you can bring home a very special souvenir. At Windtraders, you can pick up your very own Banshee to play with throughout the park and at home.
We we’re all given Banshees during our visit to Pandora and had a chance to walk around the park with them and when we arrived back to our room, we had a Banshee waiting for us.
They are definitely one of the coolest souvenirs and the kids loved walking around Pandora with their Banshee.
Keep an eye out for the Pandora Utility Suit – a 10 ft. tall robot/man that walks around Pandora at certain times throughout the day. It’s huge and kids enjoy seeing this giant up close.
PANDORA AT NIGHT
While Pandora is beautiful during the day, at night is when you really see it come to life because everything glows! Sadly on both of my visits, other commitments kept me from seeing it at night but I have seen photos and it is simply stunning. On our next trip, I making it a priority to get there at night to experience it a whole new way.
Have you been to Pandora The World of Avatar before? What did you think?