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Thread: My Disney Top 5 - Things to See in Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal K

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    My Disney Top 5 - Things to See in Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal K

    My Disney Top 5 - Things to See in Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom by Chris Barry

    Chris explores the awe inspiring world of Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom

    Read it here!


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    Interesting article.

    I also am not sold on the Disney/Pandora connection(though I do enjoy FoP quite a bit!), but the land is possibly impressive enough I would not be shocked if the reverse of what drove Harry Potter areas at Universal and Galaxy's Edge development may happen for Avatar.

    That being normally that the popularity of the movies/characters drove the thirst for good attractions/lands. While I've seen the first Avatar movie, it's not as big a deal to me as it is for true fans. So let's just say that I probably won't be in any rush to see the future movies when they eventually come out, the first being roughly 10 years after the original, IIRC. I do wonder if the popularity of Pandora at WDW might actually contribute to the new movies being more popular that they might have been without Pandora existing at a theme park. With most of us here on MP obviously being WDW fans, perhaps my perception is skewed in terms of comparing the number of people who visit theme parks with some sort of regularity to those who go to movies on a very frequent basis. Perhaps any WDW impact would be just a ripple in the water, but it's obviously impossible to ever know (though I could see surveys for people who see the new movies created to try to gauge such a thing, such as "If you have visited WDW in the last year, did seeing Pandora make you enjoy this movie more?").

    I can't dispute the top 5 with anything I've actually seen, but there is one thing I've not yet seen (forgot to check my times guide during last visit! ) is the person in the Pandora Utility Suit. That looks like it would be neat so see, maybe. I say maybe, depending on how much of the "walking around the land and greeting visitors" is really done vs. just a standard stagnant meet and greet location. With all the emphasis Disney placed on the suit having some heft to it (even if significantly over-estimated for storytelling), I could see the thing freely roaming around a crowded land having logistics issues, especially not stepping on people! (It's a lot bigger than most character costumes).

    The other thing I've heard mentioned about Pandora that I believe is true is the sounds are also quite impressive if you stop to listen to them as you wander about. Technically that's not something to "see", so I won't say it should be on your list , but it is something to be aware of when visiting.

    -Dave

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1313 View Post
    Interesting article.

    I also am not sold on the Disney/Pandora connection(though I do enjoy FoP quite a bit!), but the land is possibly impressive enough I would not be shocked if the reverse of what drove Harry Potter areas at Universal and Galaxy's Edge development may happen for Avatar.

    That being normally that the popularity of the movies/characters drove the thirst for good attractions/lands. While I've seen the first Avatar movie, it's not as big a deal to me as it is for true fans. So let's just say that I probably won't be in any rush to see the future movies when they eventually come out, the first being roughly 10 years after the original, IIRC. I do wonder if the popularity of Pandora at WDW might actually contribute to the new movies being more popular that they might have been without Pandora existing at a theme park. With most of us here on MP obviously being WDW fans, perhaps my perception is skewed in terms of comparing the number of people who visit theme parks with some sort of regularity to those who go to movies on a very frequent basis. Perhaps any WDW impact would be just a ripple in the water, but it's obviously impossible to ever know (though I could see surveys for people who see the new movies created to try to gauge such a thing, such as "If you have visited WDW in the last year, did seeing Pandora make you enjoy this movie more?").

    I can't dispute the top 5 with anything I've actually seen, but there is one thing I've not yet seen (forgot to check my times guide during last visit! ) is the person in the Pandora Utility Suit. That looks like it would be neat so see, maybe. I say maybe, depending on how much of the "walking around the land and greeting visitors" is really done vs. just a standard stagnant meet and greet location. With all the emphasis Disney placed on the suit having some heft to it (even if significantly over-estimated for storytelling), I could see the thing freely roaming around a crowded land having logistics issues, especially not stepping on people! (It's a lot bigger than most character costumes).

    The other thing I've heard mentioned about Pandora that I believe is true is the sounds are also quite impressive if you stop to listen to them as you wander about. Technically that's not something to "see", so I won't say it should be on your list , but it is something to be aware of when visiting.
    Interesting possibility Dave. I will say this, upon returning from our trip I made sure to re-watch Avatar. So, the possibility exists that a regular WDW visitor might be driven to the new movies - if they ever get completed!

    We stopped and saw a bit of the utility suit character. We didn't see him walking around. He was pretty stationary when we saw him, but we didn't dawdle with him too long. It did look very cool and impressive, but I guess we were on the move at that particular time and didn't stick with him too long.

    I was very tempted to include the sounds of this land on the list. They did a great job with the creature noises. It is a huge part of the overall atmosphere.

  5. #4

    Excellent recap, Chris. I strongly agree with your take on the Navi River Journey. I'd heard it was too short, but it actually came out longer than I was expecting. And I didn't go in looking for hundreds of AA figures - I just enjoyed the sights and sounds for what they were. And of course that one AA figure is simply stunning!

    Dan

    The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    - James Taylor

  6. #5

    Everyone in our group was very impressed with the visuals and sounds of the land itself. It was awesome. Everyone in our group was equally unimpressed with both attractions. The river journey had no story (it was supposed to have one, but really appeared only in the queue and at the end of ride as far as we could tell) and as someone mentioned it is quite short. Visually it was beautiful and there were some very cool special effects, but for us that is all it was, a ride with great visuals and special effects, but no real meaning. The animatronic at the end was really the saving grace as that was fantastic. Flight of Passage was in a similar vein. The queue was awesome, detailed, and told a great story. The loading process was certainly the most detailed and lengthy process, really trying to explain what was about to happen and how it was to happen.
    But ultimately the ride was yet another 3-D simulator and apart from everyone saying it was the "clearest 3D" we had ever seen, it didn't do much for any of us. Perhaps waiting in the queue for almost 3 hours jaded our experience, but none of us had any desire to get back in line and ride again, even if the line was only 1 hour. We did all recognize the amazing technical work that went into the ride and certainly appreciated that very much.
    Note to Disney, please don't become Universal and make all your attractions screen based.

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  7. #6

    Your Top 5 lines up with mine pretty closely in this case -- I'd just swap around a few things. The Satu'li Canteen ranks among our very favorite counter-service restaurants on property, and we'll head over there to eat even when we're not riding anything. We love the atmosphere and the very interesting food.

    We've been to WDW three times since Pandora opened, including very shortly after the land first opened and wait times were insane (five hours for Flight of Passage? Not a chance). That trip, we rode Flight of Passage with a FastPass but didn't get on the Na'vi River Journey, which was experiencing downtime in addition to the staggering standby wait times.

    Since then, we've ridden Flight of Passage probably four or five more times, but we've only ridden the Na'vi River Journey once (with a FastPass). We were simply underwhelmed by the boat ride. Sure, there's plenty of stuff to look at, but there was (seemingly) no attempt to tell a story with the ride, unlike many of Disney's other dark rides. Very disappointing to us that they spent all that money to build a big new attraction like that but left out narrative. I'm sure we'll ride it again during some future trip, but only when wait times drop sufficiently that it's like waiting for Pirates or something similar. It doesn't seem worth wasting a FastPass on.

    So, move Na'vi River Journey to #5, put the Satu'li Canteen at #4, and then exploring the land as #3 and you'll have my top 5. The only part of the land that really disappointed us was the store. It didn't feel... I don't know... themed enough? It felt like Tatooine Traders without any of the cool merchandise -- sort of a rehash.

    I very much hope there are long-term plans for the expansion of this land, especially after the next movies come out. A third attraction, a second food location (maybe a table-service restaurant), and more to explore would be really cool. It is truly one of the most immersive lands Disney has ever built, but it feels a bit too limited in scope right now; that's probably a function of the crowds more than the land itself, though. It's hard to feel like you're on another planet when you're trapped in shoulder-to-shoulder crowds on the pathways.


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    Irony or is it hypocrisy? I think it is absolutely hilarious that Disney put an Avatar Land in one of their parks. What is the main theme of the movie? How evil American consumerism is and how much we are destroying the planet. And yet, the biggest promoter of American consumerism, The Disney Company, went ahead and plopped a screed against that right down in one of their parks. Pretty freaking funny. No plastic straws though?? Ha, ha, ha!
    As far as the rides go, the Flight of Passage made me ill. I didn't expect that but it happened and I am one and done with that. The Navi River Journey however was very well done. Really enjoyed that and we are grateful that it is the less popular of the two. We enjoyed walking around a couple times, enjoying the irony and chuckling about what horrible Americans we are. Onward and upward. Looking forward to the new areas taking pressure off the things we like to do.
    Thanks for all your Top 5's Chris. Enjoyed reading them and creating my own in response.


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    Quote Originally Posted by wdwchuck View Post
    Irony or is it hypocrisy? I think it is absolutely hilarious that Disney put an Avatar Land in one of their parks. What is the main theme of the movie? How evil American consumerism is and how much we are destroying the planet. And yet, the biggest promoter of American consumerism, The Disney Company, went ahead and plopped a screed against that right down in one of their parks. Pretty freaking funny. No plastic straws though?? Ha, ha, ha!
    The entire park (Disney's Animal Kingdom) is about conservation, and plastic straws and lids have never been allowed to protect the health of the animals there. Hilarious!

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    Quote Originally Posted by stan4d_steph View Post
    The entire park (Disney's Animal Kingdom) is about conservation, and plastic straws and lids have never been allowed to protect the health of the animals there. Hilarious!
    Yea, keeping beautiful animals locked up in cages is all about conservation. Hilarious!!!!

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