Pandora – The World of Avatar opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27th, 2017, and it recently celebrated its 6th birthday. I think it’s time we dive into the new expansion and determine whether the land is overrated or not.
Before we jump into what is there now, I want to talk about what used to live in this space. Camp Minnie-Mickey was an area themed to the woodlands of North America, and it opened on April 22nd, 1998 and closed on January 6th, 2014. This area was home to unique meet and greets, the Festival of the Lion King, and Pocahontas and her Forest Friends. Some of you might not know or remember the Pocahontas show, but it was truly unique, and unfortunately, it closed in 2008. I have vivid memories from my childhood watching it and feeling inspired to help animals.
This fun section of the park also had some excellent food options. Here guests could find Camp Soft Serve and Campfire Treats or better known as Chip and Dale’s Cookie Cabin. That cookie cabin had the best cookies ever; I still dream about them. Obviously, my heart broke when the land got closed down to make room for Pandora. Now that the land is open, I can see why my beloved Camp Minnie-Mickey was bulldozed and replaced.
Is Pandora – The Land of Avatar overrated? I ask this question because, let’s be honest, is it the best section of Animal Kingdom? In my opinion, no, it’s not. But is it overrated? I don’t think so because the land is impressive and highly immersive. The floating mountains and the sounds pumped into the land make me feel like I’ve left the planet. Now that we’ve had our history lesson, let’s break down everything the area offers, shall we?
There are two attractions here; one of them is way better than the other. Guests can take a mystical journey on a boat into Pandora’s bioluminescence rainforest and see one of the coolest animatronics ever on the Na’vi River Journey. If you want a more thrilling Avatar experience, then Flight of Passage is for you. Here you’ll be able to fly on the back of a banshee during an exhilarating 3D ride that will have you soaring through breathtaking areas of Pandora.
As for food, this land is home to the best quick-service meal that has ever graced Walt Disney World. Satu’li Canteen is hands down my favorite part of this land. The food differs from what you’d find at similar dining locations at Disney. Here you can create the bowl of your dreams while being surrounded by the art and culture of the Na’vi that have taken over the former RDA mess hall.
I think Pandora deserves the hype it gets because of how unique the land is, but I still think Africa and Asia are themed just as well. Those lands also have a lot to offer, so I’m afraid I have to disagree with fans who believe it’s better than the rest of the park, but I can see the value of adding Pandora. After everything is said and done, I don’t think it’s overrated; I think it’s just as impressive as the rest of Animal Kingdom. Now that I’ve shared my answer to that question, I want to know what you think. Please leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.