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Animal Kingdom day and our first visit to Pandora!

Disney World opened the magical new world of Pandora in Animal Kingdom last May; we had the chance to visit last week and it definitely lived up to the hype!

Pandora World is based on the movie Avatar and is an homage to nature and conservation. Every detail of this Disney "world" is beautiful, even down to tiniest flowers. There are waterfalls throughout, many great photo ops, two major attractions, a quick service restaurant, and a frozen drink stand. The two attractions are Na'vi River Journey (no height restriction) and Flight of Passage (44" requirement). You can only FP+ one of the Pandora attractions and we scored one for Flight of Passage since our littlest is (finally) 44".

We started our day in other parts of the park, highlights included FastPass+ for Kilimanjaro Safaris and Expedition Everest. We also took a spin on Kali River Rapids - where you will get very wet, so definitely check it out on a hot day!

After our second ride on Everest we headed to Pandora for lunch. We hopped on the MyDisneyExperience app, looked at the menu for Satu'li Canteen and pre-ordered some beef and chicken rice bowls so they were ready when we arrived! (My fav new feature on MDE is the ability to pre-order lunch at QS restaurants - really cuts down on kid/hubby "hangry" meltdowns;) We ate a delicious lunch in the interesting booths scattered around the canteen, then went out to explore Pandora.

We walked over to Na'vi River Journey to check out the standby line area, but with a 2 hour standby wait, we are waiting until our next trip to experience it ourselves. Na'vi River Journey is a slow moving river boat tour of Pandora that I have heard is breathtaking, and we look forward to checking it out soon.

We did have a FP+ for Flight of Passage, and with a 3 hour standby wait, we were glad we did. This attraction is the most immersive virtual reality experience I have every encountered. The theming is intricate, and while there is a fairly long informational video before you ride, once inside and seated, it is worth the wait! (My Tip: The 3D glasses are large and didn't fit my little one too well, I wish I had some bobby pins or barrettes to clip them on for her! Next time.)

The ride is based on the Na'vi people who ride on Banshees. The story line for the ride is that you are supposedly bonded to an Avatar so that you can ride a Banshee yourself, and it really does feel like you take flight. I won't spoil it anymore, but WOW!

After our Banshee ride we stopped at the Pongu Pongu frozen drink stand. This is a great stop on a hot day; they offer non-alcoholic "Frozen Nectar" (frozen limeade with layered flavors of Granny Smith Apple and Desert Pear topped with bursting mango boba balls) that glows with bioluminescent colors reminiscent of Pandora's flora. Also on tap are several alcoholic options like the Screaming Banshee Margarita and Avatar Private Label Ale. For sweet snacking, Lumpia (loom-pee-ah), a pineapple-cream cheese spring roll, is also on the menu.

Bottom line: Be sure to snag an FP+ for Flight of Passage as a priority in your FP+ selections and pick your AK day based on that FP+. When you go to Animal Kingdom my reco would be to run to Na'vi River Journey as soon as the park opens, and use your FP+ for Flight of Passage later in the day.

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