For those who braved this journey on opening day, I commend you. I was slightly less brave and went the next day. I jumped right on line for Avatar, Flight of Passage at 8 a.m. (park opening- even though they started letting guests in around 7:20 a.m. according to the My Disney Experience app wait times). The end of the line stretched outside of Pandora and it was around an hour and 40 minutes. The scenery from the queue, combined with my excitement and amazement from the actual ride made that hour and 40 minutes feel like nothing.
Here are some photos from the outside queue, which takes you up towards the mountains.
After a walk up the gorgeous trail outside, you find yourself in what feels like a Na’vi cave with beautiful paintings on the walls and ceilings.
Next you end up in the bioluminescent forest.
Finally, you enter the U.S. military lab, which has moving organisms in tanks, lab notes and computers, and this already infamous avatar tank (it was so scary when he moved!)
Avatar Flight of Passage was like no ride I have ever experienced before. Between the clear 3-D graphics and the seat that actually felt like a breathing banshee underneath me, it was almost too real to handle. I screamed from its thrill and then I cried from its beauty. The loading room was even incredibly impressive, as it “scanned” our DNA to match us with an avatar. This ride immediately became my favorite of all time, and again, was worth the hour and 40 minute wait.
After a long wait and enthralling experience, I worked up an appetite. I tried out the new mobile ordering on My Disney Experience for Sat’uli Canteen, which was so simple and easy to use. The food was ready in less than 10 minutes. I had a Bloody Mary and the Breakfast Steamed Pod, which was stuffed with bacon, scrambled eggs, spinach and cheddar cheese.
The line for the gift shop, Windtraders, was about 15 minutes long. Yes, there was even a line for the gift shop! Inside there was a banshee “bonding experience” line or a banshee “express” line. Basically the only difference was that in the bonding experience line, a cast member teaches you how to work the control for the banshee and in the express line you just choose and purchase your banshee. I chose to do the bonding experience and purchased my banshee for $49.99, seen in the next picture. You can also have your face scanned and turned into a doll-sized Avatar for $75. I opted out of this because it was appointment-based and the next available appointment was 4 hours later. Near the checkout line you can see the beautiful Neytiri.
Along with my banshee, I purchased a Pandora shirt and limited edition magic band. I stopped at the outdoor bar, Pongu Pongu for the very pretty and very sugary (but non-alcoholic) Night Blossom and posed with the famous “Moss Wall.” I also tried the Mo’ara Margarita (alcoholic) and it was delicious!
With my drink in one hand and my camera in the other, I walked around and enjoyed the scenery.
To my complete surprise, I was able to score a fastpass for Na’vi River Journey about a week before the trip. I waited less than 5 minutes and skipped a 3 hour line. The lighting, music…and air conditioning on this relaxing little boat ride was enchanting, but the ride mostly consisted of background videos.
The end of the ride had the only animatronic, Mo’at. She was unbelievably real and beautiful.
After Na’vi River Journey, I enjoyed a live drum show and I was invited up to play an instrument along with plenty of guests. It was a lot of fun!
We ended our trip to Pandora with a photopass opportunity in the Valley of Mo’ara. There is another photopass opportunity more towards the center of Pandora where photopass photographers add a banshee flying towards your finger, but unfortunately on that day “the banshee wasn’t feeling well.” I left Pandora around 12:15 p.m. and the line to enter the land was about 30 minutes. I tried to return in the evening to see the bioluminescence, but the land was closed (around 9:30pm) and would not reopen until 11 p.m. for Extra Magic Hours. Despite the minor setbacks, I was completely in awe after visiting Pandora and I now have new goals involving banshee pictures and Pandora at night planned for my next trip in September. You can follow @hereyouleavetoday_ on instagram for many more pictures of Pandora in the future. Thanks for reading!
My name is Danielle and I am a Disney lover and frequent visitor. I am from New York and have been lucky enough to go to Walt Disney World every year since I was 1 year old. Along with my obsession, my number of trips per year have increased, and I am so excited to share my experiences with other theme park folk. In addition to Disney World, I also take occasional trips to Universal Studios Florida, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Disneyland California. My upcoming trips include Aulani, a Disney resort in Hawaii in August, Walt Disney World in September and a possible trip to Disneyland Paris next year is now a lovely little thought beginning to blossom. I look forward to sharing all these experiences with you. You can find more of my pictures at @hereyouleavetoday_ on Instagram.