It’s finally here. I remember, years ago, hearing the announcement of Pandora coming to Disney World, and feeling incredible skeptical. I think I was justified in my feelings – I couldn’t see how Disney was going to create a land based on these blue people, that would fit well in The Animal Kingdom. To me, it was essentially the same thing as if Disney had announced a Smurfland. Well, we got to preview the land this past week, and I’m thrilled to say how wrong I was. Pandora, is stunningly beautiful, and chock full of detail. She’s the perfect ten on Tinder that everyone is going to want to swipe for. Today, we’re putting together our guide for Pandora, so when the land officially opens, you’ll be able to plan your time there.
There are two rides in Pandora – Flights of Passage, and Na’Vi River Journey. You should plan to ride both, and try to get a Fastpass for one. If you can’t get a Fastpass (we suspect they’ll be scarce), head straight to Flights of Passage when The Animal Kingdom opens. We think after riding this, that it’ll be the bigger draw of the two; and have longer lines. Flights of Passage is like a mix of Soarin and Star Tours, on a much grander scale. You ride on a seat like a motorcycle, then soar through Pandora. The mix of motion, 3D, scent, and touch create an incredible ride – it might make you motion sick though if you’re prone to it. Head to the River Journey after Flights of Passage – this is a slow moving boat ride, in the same vein of Pirates of The Caribbean. You’ll travel through a bioluminescent rain forest, in search of a super creepy Na’Vi, whose singing a weird song and might scare the hell out of you when he pops out. Other than that, the ride is aces and we give it two thumbs up.
GUYS – PANDORA IS BEAUTIFUL. Even if you lost your soul somewhere, and hate both the rides, you’ll still feel awestruck when standing underneath the floating mountains. Pandora is the kind of jaw dropping immersive experience that Disney does best. Plan to spend a couple of hours just walking around and exploring. (And if you’re an instagrammer, find the Mossy Wall).
There are two places that you can order food in Pandora – The Satu’li Canteen and Pongu Pongu. The Satu’li Canteen is a quick service restaurant with amazing detail and great food. We recommend the blue cheesecake, and cheeseburger pods (is it a burger? Is it something you plant? Nobody knows.) At Pongu Pongu you can grab drinks with boba – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. We recommend The Night Blossom, a non alcoholic drink that reminds us of a more sour version of violet lemonade, with boba on top.
The most popular souvenir item in Pandora is the banshee, whom you “adopt” and let sit on your shoulder, while you control his movements with levers. These banshees are hella expensive – if you don’t feel like playing Daddy Warbucks, and shelling out a ton of money, just look at them (because do you really want to have a heavy banshee attached to your shoulder in 100 degree heat?). The other merch is more straight forward – like floating mountain mugs and t-shirts.
We can’t say enough good things about Pandora. It’s stunningly beautiful and will delight the most casual visitor, or diehard fan.