Congratulations to the team behind Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, along with all the cast members who work in the land bringing the story to life for guests everyday. They’ve just been recognized by the editors of Time Magazine on their first ever list of the World’s Greatest Places.
If you’ve ever take the 4.4 Lightyear trip to the Alpha Centari moon of Pandora and walked through the valley of Moara, then you know just how close it feels to being in the movie ‘Avatar’ as created by Director James Cameron.
While Cameron’s world was a digital creation, guests actually walk through bioluminesent forests, hear the wild animals of Pandora, and encounter the Na’vi along they way. Let’s not forget the fantastical floating mountains.
The land features two of Disney’s most innovative rides. The Na’vi River Journey follows the path of river through a beautiful bioluminescent rainforest to a sacred place where a Na’vi Shaman sings to the planet itself. The Na’vi shaman is among the largest and most well articulated audio-animatronic every created by Disney.
The Avatar – Flight of Passage attraction is a clear leap forward for Disney attractions. From the extended immersive queue, to the very real sense of soaring over Pandora on the back of a Banshee via an Avatar, FoP has been wowing guests since its first day.
Pandora: The World of Avatar clearly deserves to be on the list of the best of the best from around the world. Of course, now the pressure is on for Imagineers to deliver even more immersive detail in Star War: Galaxy’s Edge.
Were you blown away by Pandora – The World of Avatar on your first visit? How about your most recent? Is it still delivering the same amazing storytelling?
While the theming of the land is fantastic, it’s lacking in a number of ways that would prevent me from calling it the “best theme park land ever.”
For one, it’s lacking attractions. It has one phenomenal attraction and one mediocre attraction. That’s it. Both are rides, so it even lacks variety in its attractions. (Transportation, shows, and exhibits don’t exist in this land.) If it had at least four attractions, it might get closer to the title of best land ever, but it’s not there now. Second, it lacks diversity in dining and shopping. One counter-service restaurant and one moderately themed shop do not make for a great land.
Visually, yes, it’s fantastic. However, Adventureland at Disneyland Paris is even more visually impressive — with far more to see and explore — and I’d argue that the World Showcase at Epcot beats everything else Disney has to offer simply through sheer diversity of activities and visual theming.
Seems the editors of Time have never been to Paris or Tokyo…
Disney Mike is on the money. If I had to choose only one land from one park and have that and only that for the rest of my born days, Pandora would definitely not be it. It’s hard to argue that Disneyland’s New Orleans Square, for example, in any way is lacking in theming. It features two of the greatest, most beloved, longest, and most family friendly Attractions currently operated by the Mouse–plus the DLRR, plus great food (5 public restaurants come to mind), plus great shopping, plus Fantasmic! (it’s fair to include it), plus wondrous views of Big Thunder Mountain, the Mark Twain, the Columbia, TSI, and so on. Is Pandora “better” than that? Obviously, “better” is in the eye of the beholder, but to me, the answer is “no.”