With only a few days to go until the much anticipated Pandora – The World of Avatar opens, excitement is high for this new land, with many expecting massive crowds this summer. And while we’ve already taken a look at both the blockbuster Avatar: Flight of Passage attraction as well as the Na’vi River Journey, both of these attractions will likely have multi-hour waits this summer, with the former having a queue that was reportedly built to handle a four-hour wait.
With such intense crowds for this new land’s two attractions, you might be wondering if it is still worth it to visit this area this summer. However, even if you opt to skip the lines this summer, there is still a surprising amount of things you can still do in this new land that you don’t have to worry about waiting in line for!
1. Make some music in an interactive drum circle
One of the most popular spots in Disney’s Animal Kingdom that isn’t a part of an attraction is the Muziki station in Africa, that features a number of percussion instruments for kids of all ages to bang on. And now it looks like Disney is looking to replicate this experience inside Pandora – The World of Avatar, but with a unique twist.
As you might have surmised from the Na’vi River Journey attraction, music is very important to the Na’vi, and this unique alien culture has decided to share it with visitors by erecting a special instrument circle that features drums, shells and even acorns that can all be interacted with to make otherworldly music. And best of all, guests can just walk up to this large, interactive feature and start playing, no queueing required!
2. Learn something new with the Wilderness Explorers
One of the biggest things that Disney set out to accomplish with Pandora – The World of Avatar was to create a themed land that would stand on its own apart from the other disparate lands of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. That’s the reason why there are no big signs in front of either of the two attractions, and the iconic Tree of Life is not visible from inside this new land.
However, there is one element of Disney’s Animal Kingdom that has crept in to Pandora – The World of Avatar: the Wilderness Explorers. Guests who pick up a Wilderness Explorers handbook will now find new pages dedicated to Pandora – The World of Avatar, and can now learn about wilderness concepts on Earth from inside Pandora and earn special badges that represent this new land, even as they learn more about concepts closer to home.
3. Explore the Valley of Mo’ara
It might sound a little cliché, but just walking around Pandora – The World of Avatar’s outside area, which is officially known as the Valley of Mo’ara, is an experience all by itself. This land isn’t all that big, but Disney Imagineering has done a great job filling the land with amazing details and interactive elements that you would just miss if you run to the two attractions and don’t see much else. Guests who take a stroll around this area will find some amazing plant life, some interesting alien fauna (some of which might splash you!) and even evidence of Na’vi movement inside the Valley of Mo’ara.
And of course, if you stick around after dark, the whole area transforms, with the ground literally glowing beneath your feet and the various flora twinkling with bioluminescence. There are also some cool after-dark interactive effects you’ll want to check out as well after the sun goes down.
4. Grab a bite to eat
While we’re expecting long lines at the Windtraders gift shop this summer while guests bond with mini-Banshees, one thing we’re not expecting to see is long lines at the Satu’li Canteen quick service restaurant, thanks to a new service that debuted earlier this week.
Guests who start up the My Disney Experience app will now find a new feature entitled Mobile Order that allows guests to order and pay for meals on-the-go within the app, bypassing the initial line at the restaurant. There will still be at least some waiting involved, as guests will need to tap an “I’m here” button in the app when they arrive at the restaurant, which will notify the kitchen to prepare the ordered items. When ready, guests will be alerted through the app to pick up the meal at a designated window.
Right now this new feature is exclusive to Pandora – The World of Avatar, but is actually expected to expand this summer to other locations around Walt Disney World as well. But at least in the short term, this should keep waiting for food inside Pandora down to a minimum, which is definitely a good thing.
There’s certainly a lot to see in Pandora – The World of Avatar, and unfortunately, with everyone rushing to be the first to see Walt Disney Imagineering’s latest achievement, lines are going to be pretty intense this summer. However, there’s more to this new land than just two attractions and a git shop, and guests who feel like exploring will actually find there’s plenty to discover for those who take the time to really take in the details!
What are you looking forward to experiencing most at Pandora – The World of Avatar?
-Originally in Theme Park Tourist, May 18, 2017 by Amanda Kondolojy
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