With the opening of Pandora at Animal Kingdom last year, there has been a BIG shift in the intensity of the crowds at Animal Kingdom and the way people tour the park.
The most sought out attraction in Pandora is quite possibly the new ride, The Flight of Passage. The exhilarating, 3D journey takes riders across the world of Pandora on the back of a mountain banshee. The ride is so popular that when park-goers cannot get a Fastpass (or want to ride it twice in one day) they often arrive as far in advance as 2 hours (YES, I said 2 hours) to hold their place in line.
Cast members at the Tusker House eatery were quick to notice people booking early breakfast reservations more frequently after the opening of Pandora. Cast members call this “the Pandora effect”. Pandora-enthusiasts book reservations as early as possible (preferably at 8:00am), eat as quickly as they can and race over to Pandora for a spot at the front of the line. Park-goers used to have nice, relaxing breakfasts at Tusker House before getting in line for the safari, now it appears they rush to get to Pandora and miss out on the character experience, as well as the dining experience.
The best way to make sure you enjoy all aspects of your stay, including breakfast, is to book your fastpasses well in advance. If staying on-site you can book your fastpasses 60 days out from your arrival day – this is a big plus when trying to get Flight of Passage fastpasses. Off-site guests can book fastpasses as early as 30 days from the day of their park visit. You can always try to get one the day of when you are in the park as well.
The other ride in the exciting new world of Pandora is the Na’vi River ride. As with The Flight of Passage, it is getting harder and harder to get fastpasses for the Na’vi River as well. Both the Flights of Passage and Na’vi River are Tier 1 rides at Animal Kingdom. Though the lines for the new rides may be long, the addition of these Tier 1 rides has made the waits on other rides like Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safari and Dinosaur significantly shorter.
As amazing as Pandora is during the day, it is a MAGICAL experience at night and it will not disappoint.
I was FINALLY able to see Pandora at night in January with my husband and niece. I had tried in October but kept getting rained out, so the anticipation had been building for a while. When we were entering the Pandora area my niece had a huge smile on her face. I asked her if it was because of the amazing night effects, she said “no, it’s because of your reaction to everything”. I never thought about how I react to the new things at Disney until she said that.
Like so many things at Disney, be sure to stop and notice the details… they are amazing!!