Today we went to Pandora, the world of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to have a look around and see what the new rides were like.
As we entered the Valley of Mo’ara, the first thing we saw were the very impressive floating mountains high above us. The whole landscaping and detail in the design of the Valley of Mo’ara is amazing. From the glowing fauna & flora and a native drum circle to the patterns in the walkways.
We climbed into our reed boat and off we set down the stream. There are caves and glowing plants and waterfalls to look at. The very clever technology makes lifelike animals roam through it all and you see the shadows of creatures jumping on top of the leaves above you.
We really liked this ride, it is very pretty. However, it also seems fairly short and I am not sure I would say it is worth a long queue.
We had a little time before our next pass so we went into the gift shop to have a look and cool down. The shop is large with a great assortment of Pandora souvenirs to buy. My daughter noticed that even the plastic bags are Pandora themed rather than the usual Disney bags.
Perhaps the most exciting thing in the shop is the opportunity to have your very own Avatar doll made. We didn’t do this as it was just under eighty dollars for one doll but we did enjoy watching.
In this second room we were instructed to watch a screen where the ride was explained to us and we were handed 3D glasses.
We were then led into another room where we had to board our “banshees”. You have to straddle the seat and lean forwards. A back restraint comes up and tightly holds you. I found this a little uncomfortable.
Then the ride started, we were zoomed through a tunnel into Pandora and everyone said “wow” outloud!
The banshee is realistic in that you are in a riding position and that you can feel it breathing with your legs but unfortunately if you look left or right too far you do see everyone else and instead of feeling like you are on a banshee, you feel like you are in a big sort of hang glider with everyone else.
But it doesn’t matter! This ride is by far the best ride Disney has ever made! It is most like Soarin but so much better. It is amazing, beautiful and breathtaking! It makes you scream, squeal with delight, laugh and say “wow” over and over!
You feel the wind in your hair, the spray from the water falls, you get splashed when there are splashes and your tummy goes when you swoop. There is so much to look at and take in that you could probably ride ten times before you saw it all.
We all LOVED this ride so much. I am not one for queueing but I wouldn’t think twice about queuing for two hours to experience the ride again.
On the whole we had a great time in Pandora, the World of Avatar. The rides are brilliant and the scenery wonderful. It was however very busy and I think it would look even better with less people…but then that’s me being selfish!
Taking a child with an ASD to Pandora, the world of Avatar?
As it is new this area of Animal Kingdom is very busy and crowded. I would plan as quick a visit as possible and even avoid the shop as this was very full.
The drums are quite loud.
We were only able to fastpass plus the Na’vi River ride in advance as Flights of Passage is so popular so we came up with a plan of eating at the park. I went to the ride to get a disability access pass for two hours and fifteen minutes (!) later and then we went to eat lunch at The Rainforest Cafe. After lunch we rode the Na’vi River journey and then we only had fifteen minutes left to wait so had a look in the shop before riding.
My son found the whole experience anxiety provoking. It was new to him and he was on edge. He was worried about the rides and at one point bolted off of the path in the queue into the bushes with me in pursuit. Although running through the undergrowth was even more realistic it was far from ideal! I would watch some videos on youtube with your child so they have a better idea of what to expect.
I would plan to have a quick visit as it can get very crowded and make use of fast pass and the disability access pass.
Pandora the World of Avatar can be found in the left back corner of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It is worth booking fast passes in advance for the rides as they are very popular at the moment.