Pandora, World of Avatar has created a new beast at Walt Disney World. A park that was once easy to access, short lines and one you never needed to rope drop for has become arguably the busiest park in Disney World. If it is not a holiday or special event, rope drop at Animal Kingdom is the busiest of any park. So, how do you navigate Animal Kingdom’s newfound popularity? Have no fear, our favorite down to earth park hasn’t let this new stardom go to it’s head, Animal Kingdom is still an amazing adventure an navigating the crowds is no sweat with these tips!
I’m not telling you to rope drop (get there when the park opens) so that you can get in line for Flight of Passage) we’ll talk about that in a minute. Rope drop so that you can be among the first people on Na’Vi River Journey because although this ride is not as popular as Flight of Passage, it’s still a really cool ride and the line will still be insane a few hours after the park opens.
If you are among the first 100 people in for rope drop at Pandora, go to Flight of Passage. It truly is an indescribable experience and a magical Disney adventure but for me, and this is just my personal opinion on the matter, no ride or one thing in Disney is worth standing in line for two to three hours. But, if that is what makes your Disney heart soar, you wait in that line!
If you are staying on property, be sure to book those fast passes 60 days in advance. You are able to get into the My Disney Experience app or website at 7:00 a.m. 60 days prior to the day you arrive for your stay at a Disney resort, so set an alarm to book those popular rides so that you can enjoy more of the parks and less of the lines.
If you are staying off property, you can book your fast passes 30 days in advance. Don’t get discouraged because fast passes will pop up. Don’t find what you want? You can always modify!
Important to remember when booking fast passes is that at Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, you can only book one tier one ride at a time with your fast pass. A tier one ride is a ride that typically carries the longest lines, the most popular rides. So, at Animal Kingdom, you must choose between Na’Vi River Journey, Expedition Everest and Flight of Passage when booking your fast passes.
However, after you scan your magic band for that third and final fast pass for that day, you can immediately get online and book another fast pass. So, if you book Flight of Passage as your tier one and then Finding Nemo the Musical and Kilimanjaro Safaris as your third fast pass, as soon as you scan your magic band at Kilimanjaro Safaris, you can jump on the app and try to find a fast pass for any other ride in the park.
There are some amazing restaurants in Animal Kingdom. In my opinion, some of the best on property. Satuli Canteen in Pandora is an amazing counter service option that offers great healthy dishes and a wide variety of customizable options. Satuli has a ton of seating both inside and out and the outside seating, it is covered so you are out of the elements.
Pongu Pongu is right outside of Windtraders, the merchandise store in Pandora. This is a simple kiosk but with a few really great treats. There is generally a line for this location, but the line moves quickly. You can get a couple different kinds of beer here, Hawkes Grog Ale which is a fruitier option, tinted green and not just for St. Patrick’s Day and Mo’Ara High Country Ale which is a bit spicier and darker. But, you don’t go to Pongu Pongu for the beer, you go for the The Night Blossom. The night blossom is beautiful and delicious. You can now get rum in your Night Blossom. In my opinion, the price for a shot of rum is not worth it when you can just get the non-alcoholic version in a plain cup (skip the souvenir cup). Adding alcohol to this unbelievably sweet drink is just asking for a hangover.
There are photo pass opportunities all over Pandora and they are worth the wait (unless the line is crazy long). They are in amazing spots and the lines move quickly. You can get several spots in front of the floating rocks and then there are usually a few scattered throughout the rest of the amazing scenery in Pandora.
Pandora at Night
Experiencing Pandora at Night is one of the most amazing experiences. As night falls over this amazing land, the plants and ground come to life It is truly an experience not to be missed and one that you won’t regret. Pictures and videos really just can’t do this justice. The land starts to come to life as soon as the sun starts to set and as darkness falls, the lights become more and more evident all throughout Pandora.
Last but not least this is not exactly in Pandora but it is on the way to Pandora and just outside the land so we are going to talk about it. Tiffins and Nomad Lounge. Tiffins is by far and away one of the best places to eat on property. That’s saying a lot and I stand by it. Some of the food is a little adventurous so if hot dogs and popcorn are your jam, you might not agree but I am an adventurous eater and I appreciate good food and unique takes on dishes and I love this place.
Tiffins is Animal Kingdom’s first signature restaurant and the theming is amazing as well as the food. You can check out our dining review of Tiffins HERE.
Nomad Lounge is attached to Tiffins and has a great patio right on the river with great snacks and amazing drinks. The drinks are pricey (as are all drinks in Disney) but there are great selections for those wanting alcoholic drinks and non alcoholic drinks. I love both of these places and I highly recommend them!
What are your must do’s in Pandora? We would love to hear from you on what you love about Pandora. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for more posts from us and leave us a comment if you like what we do! We’ll see ya’ real soon, Disney family and for the love of the mouse, never forget, that it all started with a mouse.