Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit the set of a film, or better yet – be in a movie? Last year, I was part of an early access group to experience Pandora The World of Avatar before it opened to the public. Once we crossed the Discovery River at Animal Kingdom, it felt like we were no longer on planet Earth, and instead in the World of Avatar. This extremely creative 12 acre world took Disney roughly FIVE years to build and offers guests an immersive experience like no other. Being a parent and long-time Disney fan, I knew this attraction would be a huge hit, and patiently awaited the right moment to bring my family to experience Pandora The World of Avatar for themselves.
I was invited as media to cover this event. All opinions are my own.
Experiencing Pandora The World of Avatar
Working in the media space for the last several years has presented many opportunities, including visiting television sets, interviewing celebrities, and walking the red carpet for box office films. In addition to the film and television space, I’m conveniently located in Central Florida, which allows me first-looks at theme park updates I can share with my readers. While I have lasting memories that truly make my heart rejoice, experiencing those moments vicariously through the eyes of a child brings it to another dimension. That moment came this weekend when I took my family through the World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
My niece, sister-in-law, and husband were visiting Disney World for the very first time. They live clear across the U.S. and have never been to any of the Disney theme parks. It’s hard for me to imagine a life without Disney in it, as I’m a born and raised Floridian with the convenience of the parks just a short drive away. I realize I live in a pixie dust filled bubble over here! 😉 Along with my husband and sons, we spent the afternoon exploring The World of Avatar. It was quite entertaining to see their faces light up as they walked through the man-made rainforest with floating mountains and exotic plants at every turn. Not only does this world look incredibly beautiful during the day, but as night falls, the space turns into a bioluminescence rainforest.
Once they took in the breathtaking views of Pandora, I led them to Avatar Flight of Passage, which in my opinion is the greatest ride Disney World has built to date. After being paired with a mountain banshee we put on our 3D glasses and began our flight through the Valley of Mo’ara. You feel and breath the world as you soar through the forest and over mountain tops. It’s truly an experience all Pandora visitors should take! When I asked my family what they thought about the ride, they said things like “that was the coolest ride ever” and “wow – I want to do it again!”
Following that attraction is the Windtraders store where you can interact with a robotic banshee and much more! The kids were so excited to come face-to-face with their own banshee toy.
We then made our way to the Na’vi River Journey attraction for a slower-paced, family-friendly adventure. We coasted through a series of caves surrounded by glowing plants and creatures, while listening to the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. Afterwards, I brought the family through the center of Pandora so they could create their own drum ceremony with the interactive shells, drums, and hanging orbs.
In addition to the attractions, Pandora The World of Avatar offers Satu’li Canteen a fast-casual restaurant with an assortment of rice bowls, and Pongu Pongu, a beverage and snack station. The bubble drinks are uber popular, and the pineapple lumpia is delicious.
While Pandora The World of Avatar is still very popular and oftentimes has long waits for the attractions, it’s absolutely worth the visit. I highly recommend booking Fastpasses in advance as they quickly fill up. If you’re staying at a Disney World Resort Hotel you also have the advantage of early park access, so you can explore Pandora before it becomes too crowded.