USA ’18 – Day 11 – I Knew a Pandora Once

I’ve mentioned a number of times in my posts about large areas of the parks being closed as new rides are developed but there is one new “land” that has opened since we were last here. In the intervening four years a Pandora themed land has opened in Animal Kingdom.

To be clear this is a land themed around the 2016 film of the same name and not those charm bracelets – that would be odd.

We knew that the land was open as friends had been last September and had said just how difficult it was to get fast passes in advance for the two rides in the area and that the queues were very long on “standby”.

We also tried in advance but weren’t successful either and so, early this morning, we left to get to Animal Kingdom at “rope drop” which is 9am. Even though the park officially opens then it has already been open for an hour for hotel guests so by the time we were allowed in there were already queues at the “Flights of Passage” ride. The wait-time was shown on the screens as being an hour but that was a lot less then we had seen it before with three hours not unheard of. Fortunately our strategy of arriving early paid off as despite the suggested time we actually only waited a reasonable half an hour.

The ride itself is very similar to Soarin’ in that you sit in front of a very large screen as you are flown over a landscape but this is much more sophisticated. Firstly you are sat on what look like motorbikes but are supposed to be Banshees, beasts from Pandora. As you sit there the bit between your knees expands and contracts as if the beast was breathing. It is also 3d so you have to wear those annoying glasses. But it is all worth it and is an amazing ride as you swoop and soar over the lands of Pandora. Very cleverly done and worth the early start.

With the ride done we were able to come back out in to Pandora and savour the landscape. One thing that Disney does incredibly well is dressing the scenery around the park and Pandora was no exception with the “floating” rocks above, cascading water and strange flowers. You really could have believed that you were on Pandora were it not for all those pesky humans!

The rest of the day went well too as the boys got to do plenty to rides on Everest and we saw lots of animals on the Safari. We will be back here once more this trip and I hope it’s as good as today was.