Review: Pandora - The World of AVATAR

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netdvn

Team Instinct
Jan 12, 2012
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I had the luxury of checking out Pandora twice this week. It was quite the experience.

I visited Pandora on Friday for a soft opening. The area was unfortunately only open during the day so I wasn't able to do any of the night stuff.

The area itself reminds me of walking into Diagon Alley. So much attention to detail all over the place all the way down to the pathways themselves. I'm actually glad Disney took their time with this area.

Flight of Passage is such a cool ride. The queue line has so many cool details from Na'vi graffiti painted on the cave rooftops at the beginning and the fantastic views of the floating rocks to the giant animatronic Avatar floating in the tank inside the lab. This is probably one of the most immersive queues rivaling Forbidden Journey and Kong.  The ride itself is described as a Soarin' on steroids and is probably the best motion simulator I've ever ridden. Movements are smooth and the visuals are very impressive. I got to ride it 3x during the soft opening, pretty lucky considering the ride has been getting 2-5 hour waits since it opened last Saturday. In case you didn't see the constant barrage of pictures that were floating around social media you sit on a bike seat similar to a Disk-O. Air bags in the shin guards inflate and deflate to simulate the banshee breathing as it flies.

River Journey is the calmer of the two rides. Unfortunately the queue line isn't as impressive and the boat ride itself doesn't really do anything unique, however the visuals are really impressive and the Na'vi shaman at the end of the ride is one of the coolest animatronics I've seen. Once the lines start dying down this would be an awesome ride to check out on hot days to escape the heat or hit up for a quick nap.

Overall, Disney has a huge hit on their hands with Avatar and as long as it doesn't take them 30 years to build more attractions, I look forward to Toy Story, Star Wars and every other land they have in store for the future.

When I revisited the land on Tuesday the line for Flight of Passage went from the ride entrance, toward the Festival of the Lion King stage show in Africa, around the entire land and across the bridge to Pandora ending right outside the standby queue for the actual area entrance. I couldn't imagine seeing this area opening day. I would've probably gone crazy lol.

- And yes they still have sex with their tails. Boop!
 
Sep 25, 2016
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I was there last week and got onto both rides late one night during the 11pm-1am Extra Magic Hours.

We waited for the Navi River ride from 11:00pm to about 11:40pm and the ride only takes about 5 minutes, nice decorations but I've never seen the movie so to me was pretty much just a boat ride.

Then we waited from 11:45pm - about 1:15am for the Flight of Passage ride, feet already dog tired from the earlier full day in Magic Kingdom but this was the best chance to ride it. This one was something else, kind of like "Soarin' on Steroids" may be a good way to describe it. Each person sits on what kinda looks like a crotch-rocket cycle from a Dave & Buster's motorcycle riding game, then the safety restraints go in place and the rider is on a journey with his or her Banshee and it's pretty cool. Just about everyone in our group said it was the coolest ride they'd ever been on and got up early a couple days later to ride it at rope-drop, but even then the wait was 3 hours due to everyone running for the ride. So I will definitely give it another try on a future trip and hope the wait is much less by then.
 
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