I just got home from a super quick trip to Walt Disney World. We left super early, like 3 a.m. on Friday morning and got home really late Saturday night. In those 2 kinda half days we spent in the parks we did so much! The main reason for our quick trip was to attend the Pandora – The World of Avatar Passholder Preview on Saturday from 12-2.
Let me just put this out there. Pandora is nothing short of absolutely amazing. Now, I’ll be the first to admit I am not that hard to please when it comes to all things Disney but this — this far exceeded my expectation. We arrived at Animal Kingdom right about 11:00 a.m. and noticed our time slot said we could enter starting then so we made our way straight to Pandora. When we arrived, Cast Members were scanning MagicBands for entry. We were given a map of the area and a FastPass for Avatar Flight of Passage for the time slot 12:30-12:45. We walked through the barricade and literally just stopped in awe. It’s gorgeous. Pictures don’t do this place justice especially while we were there because it was hazy and overcast.
The first thing we did was just wader around to absorb all of the beauty that surrounded us. Every detail, down to the ground you are walking on is thought out. At night, we were told everything glows with and we noticed that the ground will glow in the dark as well! How cool is that? Pandora – The World of Avatar, really transported us to another world. Everywhere you looked, even in the far off distance, you could see floating islands and mountains.
The area isn’t too big and is easy to navigate so after we got a feel for the lay of the land, we jumped in the standby line for the Na’vi River Journey. Per the brochure, this attraction journeys deep into the bioluminescent rainforest in search of the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. The queue is really pretty, like everything here, and it had plenty of fans going to keep us cool while we waited. There’s also a water fountain and a water bottle refill station right in the queue which I really liked. It’ll come in handy on those midsummer days. One thing I really like about the ride is the river boats you board. They are small 2 row boats, which made the journey feel so intimate. The ride itself is fantastic. The bioluminescent rainforest is amazing. There’s some really cool technology used in the ride that makes it look like bugs and animals and some type of Pandorian creatures (I haven’t seen the movie in a long time, forgive me) are crawling and running throughout the ride. This is a great family attraction for this area, it’s great for all ages.
After waiting in line for the Na’vi River Journey, it was time to make our way to the main attraction for this area – Avatar Flight of Passage. For this attraction, riders must be 44″ tall. I really didn’t know what to expect going into the ride other than I heard it was similar but better than Soarin’. The brochure says, Fly on the back of a mountain banshee during an exhilarating 3-D ride above this vast moon. While we did have a FastPass, we did get a sneak peak of the general standby queue. It’s outdoor and indoor and has some pretty cool things to look at to keep you occupied while you wait. One things for sure, it’s the longest queue I’ve ever seen. If that’s any indication on how busy they think this attraction will be, YIKES!! FastPass only for me. I really don’t want to give any spoilers for the ride, although there are plenty out there, but that’s just not my style. I will tell you it’s unlike anything else. Words like amazing, incredible, jaw dropping and exhilarating don’t even begin to touch how I felt about it. But I want you to experience it for yourself, so that’s all I am really going to say. I encourage you to not read spoilers about the attraction and be completely surprised when you go in.
After the attractions it was snack time! This area of Animal Kingdom has 2 dining options. Pongu Pongu which has frozen beverages, beers and pineapple lumpia. We sampled both frozen drinks and the pineapple lumpia. These snacks, of course, are beautiful. That seems to be a common theme with this area. But not only are they beautiful, they are really delicious. Something that I really like and that stood out to me was the non-alcoholic beverage is the prettier one of the two. So my daughter actually got the fun drink this time and I loved that for her. Sometimes non drinkers and kids get slided to only strawberry flavored red beverages but not this time! The Night Blossom is the non-alcoholic specialty drink and it’s only $4.99. We felt like we got such a value with this drink. Not only is it pretty, it was the best one of the two we tried. The Night Blossom is a mixture of limeade with apple and desert pear flavors topped with passion fruit boba balls. The purple layer was pretty sweet but then there’s that super sour green layer that cuts that sweetness. It’s really good but something you could definitely share. We also bought the Mo’ara Margarita which was $9.25. The flavors here were strawberry and blood orange topped with strawberry boba balls. This margarita was delicious too, no complaints here other than the fact I liked Addie’s drink better.
I also had to try Pongu Lumpia which is a pineapple cream cheese spring roll. You got a serving of two for $4.59. You guys, I’m not going to lie… this might be my new favorite snack. I love food like that and these were delicious. The filling was warm inside the crispy sweet shell and oh yes, it was just so, so good. I can’t wait to go back and have more.
The other dining option in this area is the Satu’li Canteen. This quick service option offers very different food than you can find at most quick service options. While we didn’t eat here, everything looked fantastic and smelled amazing. I can’t wait to go back and try it. Here is a look at the menu so you know what to expect.
As you can tell, my family and I thoroughly enjoyed Pandora – The World of Avatar. I am so excited to go back when it opens on May 27th and check it out all over again. One thing we noticed is that anytime you talked to Cast Members about Pandora, their faces just lit up. You can tell this is an area of Walt Disney World that everyone takes great pride in and that made it even more exciting for us. Stunning, well done job! Bravo. We exited our preview with huge smiles and a thunderous applause for all those who had a hand in creating Pandora – The World of Avatar.