What can I say about Pandora? I’ll be honest. Avatar is just not one of these movies that I “have to watch.” So, I was so completely surprised how much I was in love with Pandora at Animal Kingdom. I was in awe over the scenery and the rides left me wanting more. Huh…color me surprised.
We ate A LOT of food over the week. But, when I’m asked what my favorite meal was, I have to say it was the Chili-Spiced Crispy Fried Tofu Bowl at Satu’li Canteen. Even though you are able to customize your base and sauce, I was still skeptical at how much I’d actually like it. It looks weird and I am not an adventurous eater, at all. I’m not sure if I was caught up in the Pandora awesomeness, but I decided I had to give it a try. I am so happy that I did! The tofu was so flavorful and although the description make it seem like it was going to be spicy, I was really happy that it wasn’t. If my belly would have allowed me to finish my bowl, I would have. It is definitely filling.
If you have a chance, you should also try the Pandoran Sunrise. It was fruity and delicious! We asked a Cast Member ahead of time what she thought of the drink and she told us that while she loved it, it did have a little bitterness to it. I’m curious as to what she meant by it because it didn’t taste bitter to me at all.
Once we digested a little, we had to try out some other foods that have been featured. We went back inside Satu’li Canteen to purchase a Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse. If you like sweet treats, this is one to try. For the amount you get, I am glad that I had Snack Credits. As much as I loved this treat, I’m not sure if I’m willing to pay over $5 for it.
Pongu Pongu is located just outside Satu’li Canteen. We walked over to get a Night Blossom. I agree, it looks a little strange, but it was nice and sweet and it was just the thing we needed that day because it was HOT! My kids especially loved the Passion Fruit Boba Balls.
My oldest son was getting pretty hot and tired, so he went back to the hotel with his dad to cool down and relax for a little while. My youngest decided he wanted to stay and have fun, so I stayed with him and explored Animal Kingdom.
When I am helping clients, I always mention to them that if they are looking to get fastpasses to Na’vi River Journey or Flight of Passage, I would push Animal Kingdom as far to the end of the trip as you can. This gives you a better chance at being able to grab one of those fastpasses. The reason being: When you’re booking fastpasses, you are able to book them for your whole trip 60 days prior to your first day (or 30 days, if you stay off property). By pushing it as far back as possible, your day at Animal Kingdom could still be 65 (or so) days away, giving you a slight advantage over those who can’t book for a few more days. When that day comes, I also make sure to book one of these fastpasses first, even though I will be visiting other parks prior to Animal Kingdom.
The fastpass window opens at 7 am EST. Since I am now in the Central Time Zone, that means I had to be ready to go at 6 am CST. I knew that it would be a scramble, so I set my alarm for 5 45 am (I am totally not a morning person). Although I had a slight internet connection problem, I was still online and booking my fastpass for Flight of Passage by 6 05am. Just 5 minutes after my window opened, there was only 1 time slot available…5 45 pm. If I had waited any longer, I knew that I wouldn’t have been able to grab one for the whole day.
Na’vi River Journey
My youngest son and I were wandering around and looking at everything when we noticed that the wait time for Na’vi River Journey had dropped to just under 1 hour. Knowing we already had a fastpass for Flight of Passage, there was no way that we could pick up a fastpass for Na’vi, we hopped in line. The ride was so cool and the animatronics was just amazing. The movement was so fluid that it was hard to believe that it was not a cast member dressed in costume. The attention to detail is amazing. Disney thought of everything.
Flight of Passage
After we left Na’vi, it was time for our fastpass for Flight of Passage. At that time, the line was 110 minutes long. I am so thankful we were able to get a fastpass because we were on the ride in about 5 minutes. Most of that time, I felt, was just walking through the fastpass queue.
Once we reached the Link Chambers, a cast member was asking if there were any parties of 2. It was just my 11 year old and I, so skipped ahead of a few larger families and walked right into the chambers.
My boys take after their dad and when they start hearing words like “intense” and that kind of wording that seem to be in those pre-ride videos, they all tend to rethink whether they should go on the ride (and why I end up riding alone). I worried that my son would want to leave after hearing the video where you are linked with a banshee, but he decided to stay. So, we grabbed our 3D glasses and went into the room that holds those controversial seats that everyone has been talking about.
I could tell that my son was nervous as the seat started to vibrate. But as soon as we started to “fly”, his mood completely changed and he was saying, “this is awesome!” I am not lying when I say that this was the coolest ride I have ever been on. The whole thing was just amazing. You can feel the wind in your hair, the water splashing on your face as you near the water, and the inhaling and exhaling of the banshee on your legs. The whole thing was so cool!
After exiting the ride, my son and I just wanted to hop right back on. I can definitely understand why the wait time is so long. I am not sure whether I am willing to wait 2 hours to ride it, but I will definitely be getting another fastpass for our next trip.
What do you think about Pandora? Have you tried the food or the rides? Do you want to?
Don’t forget to check out our latest adventures at Disney World.