We visited Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Memorial Day weekend, which was the first weekend the new section of Animal Kingdom was open to the public.
I’m going to preface this blog post with the fact that we have never seen Avatar. We also didn’t go to Disney that weekend with the goal of fully checking out the World of Avatar, we were there for Megacon, but decided to take a day trip over to take a look around. What actually ended up happening is that we wandered around for awhile, looking at the gigantic lines (everywhere, not just in the World of Avatar), then decided we were going to drink all day. It was a very crowded weekend in the parks. It was also hot.
Anyway. The World of Avatar was pretty cool even just looking at it, and there is some awesome stuff to see.
The World of Avatar is located by Pizzafari and Tiffins. It was about 95 degrees the day we were there and Animal Kingdom had kindly provided “hydration stations” (jugs of water and cups) along the path to the World of Avatar, and were encouraging you to make sure you stayed hydrated. As a reminder, you can also get free ice water from most kiosks or restaurants that have fountain drinks.
First of all, the World of Avatar is BIG. We didn’t go on any of the rides or into the store (again, lines), but we spent at least 2 hours looking around. Although, we walk slow. The level of detail is crazy. I’m sure if we had seen Avatar we would have appreciated this more, but seriously I looked at a tree and there was some weird like Avatar green slime on it. Themed down to the smallest detail.
There are 2 rides in the World of Avatar. The Na’vi River Journey and the Avatar Flight of Passage. The Na’vi River Journey is a gentle drifting boat ride, and the Avatar Flight of Passage is a 3D movie ride where you ride a banshee, more of a thrill ride. When we were there the wait times were 250 minutes according to the board, but we heard a CM say that that they had put the wait time at the maximum it could go and it could be longer or shorter. Right now (on Sunday June 25th at about 1:00pm) the wait times are 60 minutes for the Na’vi River Journey and 110 for Avatar Flight of Passage, so they have definitely dropped.
There is also a store, Windtraders, which sells – you guessed it – Avatar and Disney stuff. There is a quick service restaurant (Satu’li Canteen) that was actually not crowded at all when we were there, but it was about 11:30am. There looked to be plenty of seating, and the menu was pretty interesting. There is also a drink stand, Pongu Pongu, and I definitely want to get my hands on some Hawkes’ Grog Ale, which is a Golden Ale flavored with wheat and citrus and is apparently green.
If you’re just there for a few hours and not going on any rides, the showcase is the Valley of Mo’ara and the ABSOLUTELY GIGANTIC FLOATING MOUNTAINS. Pictures do not do these things justice. They are SO BIG. And SO COOL. Although they’re so big that I got inexplicably nervous walking under them and looking up at them. There really is a ton of detail and a lot to see, and while you’re walking around you’ll probably find some cool interactive stuff – its not a land to breeze through while trying to get on a ride. Take your time, look at the details.
So Drinking Ever After, what are your thoughts on the The World of Avatar?
In no particular order, my initial reaction(s) to the World of Avatar were:
- This place is gigantic.
- There is some serious detail in this land.
- Wow, this is really pretty.
- IS THAT THE LINE?!
- Damn, those floating mountains are huge.
- It is incredibly hot today.
- I wonder what the structural integrity of these floating mountains is.
- I probably should have watched Avatar, I’m going to pretend this is Zangarmarsh from World of Warcraft.
- IS THAT THE LINE????!!!!!!
Eventually, we are going to go on those rides and I’ll provide a more full review. For now, the detail and theming of the land was worth the walk around.