Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Afternoon With the Blue Catpeople: Thoughts on Pandora: the World of Avatar

I have to start by saying it feels really weird to be finally writing about Pandora: The World of Avatar now.  It feels like I'm extremely late to the party, and that the conversation in Disney Theme Park Internet World has moved on.  To a Galaxy far, far away in fact, and if anyone is talking about Pandora, it's judging it as a sort of test run for Star Wars: Nothing But Star Wars: Here, Have More Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

And comparing it to Harry Potter over in the competing park down the road.  That too.

I really don't want to do either of those things.  Instead, let's back up.  A long time ago, a terribly long time ago it feels, it was announced that a whole new Land was going to be built in a Walt Disney World theme park: Pandora, the World of Avatar.  I was generally more enthusiastic than, uh, everyone else it felt like.  You can read my initial thoughts here.  But that was many years ago and I've only got the chance to visit Pandora myself last month.  Everyone in the Disney Blog-verse has an opinion about the new land and here's mine:

I really like it.

I'm a sucker for a good, truly immersive, "You are in an imaginary land turned real" experience.  This delivers quite nicely.  The overall effect of the land is stunning, but I mostly appreciate all the smaller details.  And goodness, I wish I'd had more time to explore the land at night.

For now, Pandora has two rides.  I want to give some love to the Navi River Journey, as it tends to live in the shadow of Flight of Passage, the big state of the art headliner.  I'm just happy River Journey exists, because we've been losing so many slow-moving atmospheric rides lately.  Rides like The Great Movie Ride that you can enjoy with your grandmother.  "Grandma Rides", if you will.  If this is a genre, River Journey is an excellent standard for them.

And then, there's Flight of Passage.  I have no words, man.  This is damn near everything I always dreamed of in a flight simulator.  It's good and long, too!  It's also notoriously difficult to acquire Fastpasses for and has a standby line you could pretty much watch "Avatar" in while waiting.  Still, everything I've ever wanted from a flight simulator.

Plus it turns out I make for a pretty cute catgirl!  Look at my Avatar, look at her!  Dang, she even has the same "They're taking my picture! Oh, please don't blink..." look!


Art of the Day:

4.8.18 - Fish!

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