Pandora the World of Avatar Dedication Ceremony
Pandora – The World of Avatar has officially been dedicated. The ceremony was held on May 24, 2017. Included for the festivities were Bob Iger and James Cameron. A procession started things off, and after the dedication was officially over there was a drum ceremony in the new land.
Here is what you can expect from Walt Disney World’s newest land along with a ton of photos from the event.
There are two new rides in Pandora. The one that everyone is talking about is Avatar Flight of Passage. It’s a 3D motion simulator ride that I’ve heard several people describe as a “combination of Soarin’ and Star Tours on steroids”. I think that’s about as close a description as possible if you’re looking to compare it to other rides. You’ll link your mind with an Avatar and then ride on the back of a banshee. Eight people ride across, each on their own motorcycle-type vehicle. The seat itself is a little bit awkward, you lean forward and you’re locked in from behind. They’re not the most comfortable seats ever, but they do put you into the right position so that you can best feel as if you are flying.
The second new ride is Na’vi River Journey. It’s a slow moving boat ride that is relaxing and beautiful. If I had to describe this one, I’d say that it’s a cross between It’s a Small World and Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. It’s not really like either of those two rides, but it’s a gentle boat ride that uses screens to help create the journey. I like this one a lot, because it’s stunning. You do truly feel as if you’re riding through another world. The Na’vi Shaman of Songs at the end is an extremely well done Audio-Animatronic figure.
The main dining option is Satu’li Canteen. It’s quick service, and with the option of ordering from the My Disney Experience App. The Cast Members here (and in all of Pandora) were extremely friendly. One of the main menu options at Satu’li Canteen allows you to create your own bowl. You’ll pick a protein, a base, and a sauce. It comes with slaw on top. If you have special dietary requests, ask to see the allergy-friendly menu; I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Next door to Satu’li Canteen is a beverage spot called Pongu Pongu. It includes both alcoholic and non-alcoholic specialties, plus some interesting ale choices. Also served are snacks called Pongu Lumpia, which are pineapple cream cheese spring rolls.
There is one main store at Pandora. Flight of Passage empties into Windtraders, and there is also another entrance. It features souvenirs that you’ll find in most stores such as T-shirts and mugs, plus a couple of unusual selections. You can have an Avatar likeness of yourself made, accessories are also available for an additional cost. You can also purchase a banshee that will sit on your shoulder. Several Cast Members had them, and chances are that this is going to become quite popular. There were other unique items as well, including drums and Avatar tails. There is also an outdoor kiosk that sells some merchandise.
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In my opinion, the atmosphere is the best part of Pandora – The World of Avatar. I honestly forgot that I was at Disney’s Animal Kingdom while I was there, since the rest of the park is not visible from the new world. From the floating mountains to the unusual plant “life” to the waterfalls, it’s an incredible experience. Kids will love playing in the circle of drums, and parents might want to join in. The whole area is breathtakingly beautiful, and I haven’t even seen it at night yet. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen Avatar or not (I haven’t), you will want to stop by.