Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Pandora: World of Avatar Highlights

Oel ngati kameie. I see you, friends.

And in today's blog post, we're going to see the newest addition to Walt Disney World - Pandora: World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom!

Typically I don't think the floating islands really work from outside the park (they look super awkward when you're driving in through the gates and parking lot. sorry. it's true.), but I loved this glimpse of them through the bamboo from the bus stop!

I was really impressed with this new land - the Pandoran plants were so cool, the Na'vi theming was absolutely beautiful.

We attempted to rope drop Flights of Passage - you'll hear my thoughts on that in the vlog (the short version: not worth it, you might get trampled.) - but we ended up relying on our fastpasses instead...

I thought Flights of Passage was very impressive - absolutely gorgeous scenery and storytelling - but I didn't think it was perfect. I wasn't really a fan of the pre-show (#toomuchogden), and I definitely felt motion sick. I was so disappointed - I didn't expect that! Soarin never makes me feel queasy - but Flights of Passage was Star-Tours-level motion sick (that's a pretty bad one for me). I think a big part of it was the fact that it's 3D and the weird design of the 3D glasses.

Welcome to the Valley of Mo'ara! We actually rewatched the movie Avatar before our trip - I hadn't really cared for it the first time, but I liked it a lot better the second. I was surprised to find so very little reference to the movie in Pandora the land. I know it's supposed to be set in the future, and my brother and I joked we were almost ashamed to admit it, but just a little bit of Dr. Augustine & Jake Sully would've been nice.

MAH EYWA! Na'vi River Journey was one of my absolute favorite parts of Pandora. That Shaman of Songs audioanimatronic is so fabulous - she has so much personality, and her movements are as beautiful as a dancer's! Also the song. I have it on repeat right now. 😉

Another MASSIVE favorite was Satul'i Canteen. This may have skyrocketed to my favorite quick service on property. BIG CLAIM I KNOW. But everything was SO tasty. I had the curry pods which were lovely (PRO TIP: you can order just the pods without chips and coleslaw - although the coleslaw comes with boba balls on top which is kind of awesome - for $4.79. The full meal is around $11!). The pods are such a unique consistency, like a dumpling but a lot lighter, and the curry inside was the perfect amount of spicy. I should also put in a good word for the teylu "grub" dogs on the kids menu which Athos loved.

And then the desserts! You'd think that chocolate mousse would be at the top of my list, because it's chocolate, and it was a really good mousse, but...

Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse topped with a Passion Fruit Curd. Absolutely scrummy, as Mary Berry would say (I've been watching GBBO, can you tell?). Even my brothers, who do not do blueberry, agreed this was better than the chocolate mousse. I also have to give props for the presentation of the desserts - definitely feels like a fancy table service, not a counter service!

Satul'i Canteen was also just a restful place to be - plenty of indoor seating so you can get out of the heat, awesome Na'vi art all around! Also, they play the Eywa song from Na'vi River Journey. 👍

One for me and one for you! We also had to try the much-tauted Night Blossom drink - it's not served in the Canteen, I popped out to Pongu Pongu (right outside) to get some to go with our lunch. It was ice cold and perfectly fruity - but you couldn't really identify which fruit you were tasting! The boba balls on top were the perfect finishing touch.

OF COURSE we had to see Pandora by night when the pavements and all the plants start to glow!

It was really hard to capture in the video because the paths are so dark! But it made for a magical experience strolling around, noticing all the different luminescent details.

Overall, Pandora gets a big thumbs up from me!

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