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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 Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!