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8 Unique Gems in Pandora: The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World

In May of 2017, a new land was unveiled at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which in turn unleashed a phenomenon. Pandora: The World of Avatar became the newest addition to Disney World’s youngest theme park. The fictional Na’vi people were made infamous, thanks to the wildly successful blockbuster—James Cameron’s Avatar, and because Disney knows what Guests like, they knew they had to bring Pandora to the parks in Florida. The land, like the movie that inspired it, was an instant hit, and its popularity continues to grow. Pandora is such a fascinating place—on screen and at Animal Kingdom—and if you haven’t yet visited this distant moon and its native Na’vi, Disney World welcomes you to stop in for a visit. While you’re there, be sure to experience these 8 unique gems of the land.

8. Listen closely as you glide down the Na’vi River.

At Pandora’s Na’vi River Journey attraction, Guests are invited to board a reed boat and enjoy a gentle ride through a bioluminescent rain forest. But most Guests simply take in the sights and often miss the sounds hidden deep within the forest. If you listen closely, you can hear animals of different kinds calling to each other. You can also hear other animals answering those calls.

7. Watch closely as you glide down the Na’vi River.

The rain forest inside the Na’vi River Journey is beautiful. It’s worth a FastPass+ just to take in the sights as you gently glide down the river. Look above you and see smaller creatures—some tiny—running to and fro across lily pads. If you look out past the foliage near the “banks” of the river, you can see a Na’vi warrior in one scene and animals native to Pandora in another scene.

6. The plants are alive!

Of course plants are alive—we all know that. But in Pandora: The World of Avatar, there are some very special plants that were created by Disney’s Imagineers. One of those plants is called a Flaska Reclinata plant. It is a huge towering plant that is native to Pandora, and if you touch it on its dark pink center, it will respond by releasing a mist.

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5. You can eat like a Pandoran.

There’s a hidden gem of a restaurant inside the World of Avatar that celebrates Pandoran fare, referred to as “the healthful bounty of Pandora.” At Satu’li Canteen inside the World of Pandora, Guests can eat like native Pandorans. This quick-service restaurant offers several choices in bowls with meat and vegetables. Choose from fish, chicken, beef, shrimp and even tofu in your bowl. The bowls also include vegetables and other foods from Pandora’s bounty. There is also a Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse with passion fruit curd for your Pandoran sweet tooth!

4. You can drink like a Pandoran.

If you’re visiting Pandora, but you’ve already eaten, you can still drink like a Pandoran. Satu’li Canteen offers the Pandoran Sunrise—a non-alcoholic blend of pineapple, mango and lime juice with a hint of melon. The Canteen also offers the Dreamwalker Sangria—a white sangria with Blue Curacao. At the Pongu Pongu beverage stand, order the non-alcoholic Night Blossum which is layers of apple and desert pear limeade topped with passion fruit balls. Or ask for the Mo’ara Margarita—tequila with strawberry and blood orange flavors.

3. Listen to the sounds of Pandora.

The ever-brilliant Imagineers have done it again! You’ll have to listen very, very closely for this surprise though, as these sounds change as the day goes by. If you visit Pandora in the morning, you can hear the sounds of animals in the forest awakening—squeaks and other sounds work to make it sound like the forest inhabitants are waking from their slumber and ready to meet the day. If you visit in the evening, you’ll hear a peaceful harmony as the forest creatures begin to wind down for the night.

2. Experience the Flight of Passage stand-by queue.

Pandora’s Avatar: Flight of Passage attraction continues to draw big crowds and long lines—even almost 1 ½ years after its opening. So it makes sense that most Guests who want to experience the attraction try to do so with a FastPass+ time. But those times book up well in advance and can prove to be very difficult to score. But don’t despair—Imagineers made sure the queue included some amazing details along the way, and there are some amazing things to experience while you’re waiting for your turn to ride on the back of a banshee. You’ll notice handprints on the cave walls, as well as cave drawings of banshee, tree sprites and other wildlife native to Pandora. At one point in the queue, Guests enter the Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) laboratories, where you’ll see an Avatar with trademark blue skin in suspension. The attention to detail in the queue and in the attraction are so amazing—you’ll need to experience it twice (or three times) just to see it all!

1. There are hidden surprises at night!

Anytime of day is the perfect time to explore Pandora: The World of Avatar, but the land unveils perhaps its most beautiful secret at night. Pandora is known for its bioluminescent rain forests, and at night, Guests can see that bioluminescence for themselves. Walkways in the land react with a phosphorescence as you walk along them. The entire lands glows in bioluminescence, and if you wear white or light colors, you too will glow, thanks to black lights used in the land. It’s beautiful!

About Rebekah Tyndall Burkett

Rebekah grew up in Forney, Texas and lives just outside of Dallas. She’s been a Disney superfan since childhood, experiencing the magic at Walt Disney World for the first time at the age of 11. Journeys to Neverland are at least a yearly occurrence for her, her husband and her four children (the Fab Four). When they go to the parks, they stay in Florida for three weeks at a time. Rebekah loves exploring the history of the parks, the genius behind the Magic in the person of Walt Disney, and she is intrigued by all things Disney World and Disney Imagineering. When in the parks, Rebekah and her husband Scott make the most of their time by enjoying every minute with their Fab Four, by delving deeper into Walt’s vision for the parks and into the history behind the Walt Disney World Resort, and by photographing the many different types of architecture at Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and on the World Showcase at EPCOT. When she’s not in the parks, Rebekah is excitedly setting travel dates and planning her family’s next adventure to their happy place deep within the Sunshine State. On breaks from planning her next trip, Rebekah is a writer, journalist and children’s author, penning children’s books about kids with special needs that she affectionately calls “believement-achievement” stories. Her hobbies include creative writing, paper crafting and interviewing Imagineers. She is also an advocate for Autism Awareness and for children with developmental disabilities of all kinds.