In 2017, Disney’s Animal Kingdom unveiled to the public its most ambitious land yet—Pandora: The World of Avatar, based on James Cameron’s 1999 film, Avatar. While Guests weren’t initially sure what to expect, it soon became clear that once again, Disney World had hit one out of the park. Over 1 ½ years later, the land and its two amazing attractions are still wowing Guests daily. Here are 8 of our favorite things at The World of Avatar that we hope you get to experience as well!
8. The Pandora Drummers – Swotu Waya
At Swotu Waya, three musicians perform a Na’vi Drum ceremony at various times throughout the day. They use huge drums, hanging orbs and shells of different colors during the ceremony. Check the Animal Kingdom Times Guide to see when the Pandora Drummers are performing and make plans to catch at least one of the showtimes.
7. Pongu Pongu
Pongu Pongu is a beverage stand at the World of Avatar. The stand serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. The non-alcoholic Night Blossum is made with layers of apple and desert pear limeade topped with passion fruit balls. An alcoholic choice is the Mo’ara Margarita, which is tequila with blood orange and strawberry flavors.
6. Pandora Utility Suit
The Pandora Utility Suit is a huge 10-foot-tall piece of research equipment. It is controlled by a Pandora Conservation Initiative Scientist and functions like a robot in some ways. It moves around in the Valley of Mo’ara and studies plants of varying kinds in Pandora. The pilot—who is the Pandoran Scientist—interacts with Guests while at the controls of the suit.
5. Satu’li Canteen
A restaurant called Satu’li Canteen inside the World of Avatar celebrates Pandoran fare and allows Guests to eat like native Pandorans. This quick-service restaurant has a menu full of choices in Pandoran favorites, such as bowls with meat and vegetables. Guests can choose from fish, chicken, beef, shrimp and even tofu in a bowl. Satu’li Canteen also boasts an interesting dessert menu which includes a Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse with passion fruit curd. If you’re not really looking for lunch or dinner, you can still stop by the canteen and have a Pandoran drink. Try the Pandoran Sunrise—a non-alcoholic blend of pineapple, mango and lime juice with a hint of melon. Or maybe you like Sangria better. If so, be sure to try it inside Pandora at the Canteen! The Dreamwalker Sangria is a white sangria with Blue Curacao. All Pandoran fare is delicious, so the only wrong choice you can make is not stopping by!
Windtraders is a unique nature-inspired shop inside the World of Avatar where Guests can find all kinds of souvenirs to memorialize their time in the newest part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The walls of the shop are covered in natural root structures found in Pandora, and banshees abound here as well. Choose from different colors of banshees—some with different markings as well. They seem animated as they have a control to them that lets you create some of their movements as they sit atop your shoulder. You’ll also find apparel from Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE). There are accessories, art, toys, plush, collectibles, outerwear and more. Don’t forget to stop by Windtraders after your exciting day at the World of Avatar.
3. The sights and sounds at Na’vi River Journey
At Pandora’s Na’vi River Journey attraction, Guests embark out onto the Na’vi River aboard a small reed boat. The ride is gentle and smooth, but the best parts of the experience have got to be the sights and sounds during the journey. The Na’vi River runs through a bioluminescent rain forest full of animals and creatures native to Pandora. Guests who take the time to listen closely will hear these creatures calling out to each other. You can even hear some of the smaller animals scurrying across the leaves and plants in the rainforest. As you gently glide down the Na’vi River, look above you to see the animals racing from tree to tree. Other tiny animals move from lily pad to lily pad. See the beautiful Pandoran foliage along the banks of the rivers. In certain parts of the journey, you can even see a Na’vi warrior in the distance! The climatic end presents to Guests the most advanced audio-animatronic on Disney property—the Shaman of Songs. She’s 10 feet tall and sits with her legs crossed at her knees. Be sure to have your camera ready!
2. Surprises at nighttime
There’s never a bad time to visit Pandora. There’s so much to see, do, experience and explore, that anytime of the day is perfect. But at nighttime, after dark, the interesting land unveils a bit of a secret. Pandora is known for its bioluminescent rain forests, and at night inside Animal Kingdom, Guests can experience that bioluminescent phenomenon for themselves. Thoroughfares inside Pandora react with a phosphorescence as Guests travel along them. The entire lands glows in bioluminescence, and if you wear white or light colors, you’ll glow too because of black lights used in the land. It’s breathtaking!
1. Avatar: Flight of Passage
This simulation attraction continues to be one of the most difficult attractions for which to score a FastPass+ time. And it’s for good reason! Everyone loves a simulation attraction (like Soarin’ and Mission: SPACE at EPCOT) but this experience is on another level altogether. Inside the Flight of Passage attraction, Guests are treated to a flight on the back of a mountain banshee. In Pandora, it’s a rite of passage for a Na’vi warrior—if he can handle a banshee, it’s proof that he is indeed a true warrior. Guests can test their strength and ability during this experience as they feel every part of the flight on the back of the banshee. Guests can even “feel” the banshee breathing during the flight.