Our family decided on a Walt Disney World trip in May. We have been so busy that the only news we were aware of was that Pandora would be opened while we were there. Feeling lost I went to Heather Balbi, Disney Planner extraordinaire, for help. I asked if she could explain how to plan for Pandora.
PLANNING FOR PANDORA
by Heather Balbi
The availability of FastPasses for two attractions in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom seems to have guests thinking two things: “Hooray” and “Now what do I do?”
It is understandably very hard to know which ride to select a FastPass+ for when both options are brand new and information about them is so scarce. We hope the information below will let you make an educated choice during FastPass+ selection.
Na’vi River Journey
©Photo by Disney
Climb aboard a reed boat and drift downstream along the Na’vi River through the mysterious and beautiful world of Pandora. Towards the end of your journey through this bioluminescent rainforest you will meet up with the Shaman of Songs. This boat ride attraction has no height requirements and will be fun for the whole family.
Avatar Flight of Passage
©Photo by Disney
Explore the landscape of the moon on the back of a mountain banshee. This exciting attraction takes you to new heights, and the individual banshees have been promised to move and feel like living creatures. There is a 44” height requirement to enjoy this thrilling ride. This ride employs technology that is similar to that used in Soarin’, but the height requirement and information shared about the attraction so far indicates this will be a more intense ride.
Which FastPass+ to Select
If you plan to enjoy both attractions, Avatar Flight of Passage will likely end up being the more valuable FastPass+ to hold. This is simply due to projected loading times for each ride. Na’vi River Journey is being described as a family boat ride and the vehicles appear to be similar to the boats used in Pirates of the Caribbean. Hopefully this ride will have the same high capacity that Pirates of the Caribbean does and the line for this ride will move continuously.
Avatar Flight of Passage is being described as similar to Soarin’ – however, guests will be seated on the backs of individual mountain banshees. Although queue times for Soarin’ at Epcot have gotten shorter after the addition of the third theater, the nature of this attraction and the fact that the theatres are naturally going to have a lower capacity means that this line will probably not move continuously. Therefore, this ride seems likely to have longer standby lines and to be a better use of a FastPass+ selection.
The Bottom Line
Both rides are likely to be extremely popular – therefore, either choice will be a great FastPass+ to hold. Since the attractions in Pandora – The World of Avatar will be the newest in Animal Kingdom (and Walt Disney World in general), the queues will be lengthy all day beginning shortly after park opening. Whichever Pandora attraction you select a FastPass+ for, plan to arrive at park opening and enjoy the other one first – or, for a limited time, Disney Resort guests can enjoy them both during special evening “extra magic hours.”
Don’t forget that you can still select a FastPass+ for the Rivers of Light evening show in addition to one of the Pandora options! This is a great idea for everyone who doesn’t have a Rivers of Light dining package since standby wait times for these shows are excessive and seating in standby sections is extremely limited.
Thank you Heather!
If you want more help planning a stress-free magical Disney trip, contact HBalbi@themouseexperts.com and ask about complimentary planning services for Disney Resort guests. COMPLIMENTARY! Yes, you read that correctly its complimentary. As I reported before, a Disney Planner is your free concierge before and during your Disney trip.