When we last visited Walt Disney World in September 2016, this new area was still under construction. It’s taken several years for Pandora to become reality, after first being announced in 2011. Ground was broken in January of 2014 and it was opened on May 27, 2017. Disney spent $500M on this “Avatar Land” and it seems so far, to have been a hit, with lines for the two rides being several hours long!
We have never seen the movie Avatar, and to this day I am still not sure how this fits in with Animal Kingdom, but it is what it is! All I know of the film is the characters are blue alien creatures and the live on some strange planet called Pandora. Other than that, I draw a blank as to what anything from the film looks like, or what to expect from Pandora at Animal Kingdom.
A signed saying “Welcome to Valley of Mo’Ara Pandora” greets you as you enter this strange new land, which was very busy! Pandora is still very new, and it was Christmastime, so those two things colliding was going to be a bit chaotic!
Both Steve and I agree that it was awesome to look at – Disney Imagineers have done a grand job of bringing Pandora to life. Sadly, we never did get the chance to see it in the night, when the bioluminescent world comes to life. But during the day it was just as stunning. Nestled in among more familiar flora where alien plants, flowers and seed pods which looked right at home.
The floating rocks – called Hallelujah Mountains – are stunning. You can’t help but be amazed! How do they stay up there?!
I don’t know if it was because of the crowds, but the area it covered didn’t feel big. It was laid out well, you kind of go around in a circle to get to the various attractions in the land, so the flow wasn’t too bad.
The two rides are Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. We managed to get a FastPass+ for the latter and glad we did as the line was at 2+ hours when we arrived. I already knew in advance that Flight of Passage was not particularly plus-size friendly thanks to the type of ride seat; so we didn’t bother to even try for FastPass+. There is a test seat in the vicinity (I didn’t see it, but then, I wasn’t looking for it either) so you can always check that out before you ride. A friend of mine has been on it and said it was amazing, so maybe on a future visit for us.
I do not have any photos of the Na’vi River Journey because all the ones I took were blurry rubbish! There may well be video, but I’ve yet to go through them all properly.
The ride really was a bit meh to be honest. And felt really short too. When it ended, we were not the only ones who said “was that it?”. If we had lined up for over 2 hours and that was what we got at the end, I would not have been happy!
Plus-Size Rider Guide – Bench type seat. No restraints. You will have to step down into the boat.
You travel along the river, through mysterious caves with exotic plants and strange animals, before meeting the Shaman of Songs. Don’t get me wrong, it is very pretty, especially all the bioluminescent lighting, but there was just something off about it. Quite honestly – it was a bit boring.