Unsure of where to go on your next family vacation? Visit Disney’s Pandora – Avatar World at Animal Kingdom. Our family thought it was magnificent!
As Floridians, my family and I get to take advantage of all of the new attractions that pop up in Florida by just jumping in the car. Most of our time is usually spent on the “Meet-and-Greet” lines for our little ones’ favorite characters. But, once my husband and I heard that Pandora was opening, we knew we had to experience it for ourselves. As big fans of the movie, we couldn’t wait to be a part of this new magnificent world. Plus, we got the chance to be turned into our own Avatar! How cool is that?!
Avatar World at Animal Kingdom
Entering the Moon of Pandora in Avatar World at Animal Kingdom is an experience like no other. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll truly appreciate the attention to detail that Disney implemented on every inch of this new attraction.
Crossing over a large bridge, park goers get to take in breathtaking waterfalls and gigantic mountains soaring into the sky. (Tip: This is a great time to take advantage of the professional photographers — the scenery is gorgeous and makes a great family memento!)
From the bioluminescent environment to the complete replica of the floating Valley of Mo’ara to the banshee sound effects – it just blew my mind away! And although my children haven’t seen the film, they were still in awe. The loved the animals that shoot jets of water out of their mouths. And, the exotic plants that expanded well beyond the walkways as if they were in the sky.
Avatar World at Animal Kingdom was created to be environmentally and emotionally peaceful. So unlike the premise of the movie, Disney did not incorporate any controversy, even in their rides.
As the sun sets each night, the attraction gets even more breathtaking. Every inch of Pandora lights up and all of the scenery and restaurants sparkle with neon colors. My boys were ecstatic when their clothes began to glow in the dark.
Drum circles also break out every few hours and cast members invite guests to join in to celebrate the spirit of Pandora with them. Each time I thought our experience couldn’t get better, it did!
For dining, there are small stands to purchase appetizers such as pineapple lumpia (a must eat!). But if you’d like to soak in the atmosphere and unwind, head to the Satu’li Canteen where you can order a surprising array of healthy food! Think wholesome grains, fresh vegetables, and hearty proteins. I was shocked!
Located near the bathrooms, it’s breezy, exotic, and offers “Mobile Order” via the Disney Experience app on your cell phone! My husband found this perk by accident while he was walking around and as a result, he had our food and table ready as we approached. For a family with three young children, this is a big parent win. My oldest child is a picky eater but he loved the cheeseburger pod!
Adults, don’t forget to stop by the Pongu Pongu (meaning “Party Party” in the language of Na’vi) for an alcoholic bioluminescent beverage. You won’t regret it!
Rides at Avatar World at Animal Kingdom
The two rides in Pandora have become the most popular in the Disney. I suggest reserving a FastPass+ time for these as soon as possible. If you purchase your tickets ahead of time, you can book 3 fast passes up to 10 days prior to your trip – it’s well worth it!
We were able to take advantage of a scheduled time for one, but had to split up and use baby swap for the other – which was TWO hours long! Our extended family grabbed some drinks from the Pongu Pongu bar while we entertained our boys at the drum circle and ate dinner. We definitely got the better end of the deal. Once they exited the ride, my husband and I were allowed to walk right in with no wait at all. If it works for your family, I highly suggest not missing out on either ride.
If you’re not familiar with baby swap and have children with you, I highly recommend taking advantage of it. Your entire party needs to speak to the cast member at the head of the line and inform of the swap. They’ll provide the second set of riders that are staying back with the children a card. Once the first riders come out, the second riders get to go through the fast pass lane and ride the attraction almost immediately. It’s genius!
Na’Vi River Journey
Located in the Valley of Mo’ara, this journey is friendly for all ages. My youngest “wow’d” his way through each gentle turn. Similar to the It’s A Small World in the Magic Kingdom, guests glide past various areas of Pandora’s tropical beauty meeting characters from the movie such as Neytiri. I truly feel it’s impossible to take in all of the details and beauty surrounding us by riding this only once. We can’t wait to go back and experience it again. As the ride came to a close, Shaman blesses the land with her alluring singing as she omits positive energy to all. And, you really felt that energy as you left!
Avatar Flight of Passage
Waiting in line for this ride is an adventure in itself as visitors climb caverns and witness a Na’vi humanoid character transform into an Avatar. After completing a brief training by Dr. Grace Augustine from the movie, riders are genetically matched for an Avatar, which they make to look like you! Passengers sit on a motorcycle that gets locked in wearing 3D glasses that somehow manage to stay properly in place and a large screen opens.
The view is breathtaking! There was not one doubt that we were right in the middle of Pandora. Immediately, your banshee takes flight soaring deep within the rainforest, through waves (in which you do get misted on, but not soaking wet), higher than the clouds, and more. For guests who feel motion sickness from 3D adventures, you’ll be fine. The Avatar Flight of Passage ride was graceful and gave us an emotional high that lasted well beyond our stay! Side note: This ride reminded me a bit of Soarin at Epcot, but the experience was much more spectacular.
So, if you’re looking for someplace to go on your next family vacation, book a trip to visit Disney’s Pandora – Avatar World at Animal Kingdom. It was magnificent!
Do you have any tips to share with us about Avatar World at Animal Kingdom? Leave them in the comments below or drop us a line on our Facebook page! We would love to hear from you!
Want to read more about our traveling with kids adventures?
- 5 first time disney world tips to help you save time on lines
- traveling to disney world with special needs children
- 7 fun educational experiences for kids at legoland florida
- a bluefoot pirate adventure: set sail on a pirate ship