Insider Guide to Pandora – The World of Avatar | AMA Travel

An Insider’s Guide to Disney’s Pandora – The World of Avatar

May 26, 2017

Pandora – The World of Avatar is the newest attraction at Walt Disney World, and it is amazing.

As we mentioned in an introductory post, Brittney, our social media strategist, flew down to Orlando, Florida to get a sneak peek. AMA Travel was Western Canada’s only travel agency to receive this exclusive invitation to experience the park before opening to the public.

The mission: Give you an insider’s look at Pandora – The World of Avatar, gather tips on how to best enjoy your out-of-this-world visit, and share some original photos.

Bag, book, and water bottle from Pandora - The World of Avatar
Pandora gear given out to guests who were invited out for the sneak peak.

 

Step Foot on a Whole New World

Walt Disney famously said "It's kind of fun to do the impossible." And with the latest addition to Walt Disney World, they lived up to that fun. Pandora was an incredibly ambitious park to create. There were doubts it could be brought to life like this.

Pandora waterfalls draining into the lake
Brittney tells us “the sheer size and scope of Pandora is incredible.”

 

With hundreds of complex plants, innovative interactions, and breathtaking sights, Pandora – The World of Avatar transports you to a completely different planet.

Water falling off of Pandora mountains
In the movie world, Pandora has floating mountains which rotate in the sky. The floating mountains in Pandora – The World of Avatar might not rotate, but they are impressive and overgrown with plant life, even featuring a waterfall off one side.

 

As soon as you walk in, you are welcomed by a plant you can rub to encourage pollination, and a spot to join the Wilderness Explorers. You can stop by any of the cast members dressed in Wilderness Explorer outfits to learn more about both Earth and Pandora—and earn sticker badges along the way.

Walt Disney World's friendly Wilderness Guides
Disney's friendly Animal Kingdom Wilderness Explorers are here to guide you in the right direction.

 

There are also friendly guides who will eagerly show you new sights and experiences from this planet 4.4 light years away from Earth. (The bridge you walk over from Animal Kingdom isn't quite that long, but they ensure you there is a portal allowing your transport to this land.)

Pandora theme park floating mountains Guides
The mixture of real and "imagineered" plants dominate the attraction, providing a beautiful landscape for the alien world (with the floating mountains in the background).

 

Ride #1: Na’vi River Journey

There are two rides in Pandora – World of Avatar.

For those who want to soak up everything Na’vi, Na’vi River Journey allows you to float down a bioluminescent river, culminating in an encounter with the “Shaman of Songs,” an incredibly lifelike animatronic creation the imagineers at Disney should be very proud of.

Na'vi River journey ride Shaman
Na'vi River Journey Shaman performing his song.

 

Ride #2: Avatar Flight of Passage

If you want more thrills, Avatar Flight of Passage is so fantastic, you’ll need to ride it again and again. You hop on the back of a mountain banshee, and with 3D technology, immersive sound effects, and even pumped-in scent of the planet (yes, there is even a smell factor to the ride!) you truly feel like you’re there.

After winding through a long queue, you head into an Alpha Centauri Expeditions lab and see a life-sized Na’vi. Then you are sorted into various groups and sent into a small chamber, where you’re paired with an Avatar.

Na'vi in a water tank
A look at a Nav'vi Avatar guests will get paired with during the ride.

 

Next, you’re given another briefing, this time by Dr. Jackie Ogden, who explains a bit more about the technology that allows you to ride the banshee. Once completed, you get into another room, sit on a motorcycle-like seat and get strapped in. Prepare for an amazing journey!

Pro-tip from Sigourney Weaver: Make sure you lean in! You’ll hear the breathing of the banshee and experience it best. And if you get to decide where to sit, director James Cameron usually chooses the 8th spot. (Although all the seats we tried were equally wonderful.)

Avatar Flight of Passage ride
There are three different stories to experience in Avatar Flight of Passage—and each spot has its own perspective. Be sure to ride multiple times.

 

Valley of Mo'ara Transforms from Day to Night

The park has a different feeling and experience when the sun goes down.

During the day, the lush greenery, sounds of foreign wildlife, and waterfalls in the Valley of Mo'ara are amazing to wander through. At night, mysterious plants illuminate in a scene previously only pictured in our imaginations—and on movie theatre screens.

Pandora - The World of Avatar at night
Brittney: “Pandora is very cool at night. The bioluminescent plants are magical and bring a whole different perspective.”

 

When Does the Park Open?

Pandora – The World of Avatar opens May 27, 2017 and is in Walt Disney World Resort's Animal Kingdom.

 


Dreaming of Visiting Pandora?

Reach out to an AMA Travel Disney specialist, call 1-844-771-1522, or visit your nearest AMA centre.

Buy Walt Disney World Tickets

 

More Disney Travel Resources

Want more of Brittney’s pictures and firsthand impressions from Pandora – The World of Avatar? Follow AMA Travel on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Find out how to get a free dining package when you purchase a Walt Disney World Magic Your Way package.

Not sure which hotel to book? Learn all the reasons Why You Should Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel.

First time visiting the Magic Kingdom? Read all about the Wonders of Walt Disney World.

David Little
About the Author
David Little
David Little is the digital copywriter for AMA Travel. One of his favourite reasons for travel? Meeting new people and exchanging funny, scary, and bizarre stories from the road.