For the past few weeks Disney has been holding a number of technical rehearsals for Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and from what we can tell from early reactions, this land is going to be a pretty big hit, with the fantastic Avatar: Flight of Passage attraction likely drawing huge crowds this summer. And while you should definitely make time during your next visit to Disney's Animal Kingdom to check out this new land, traversing Pandora - The World of Avatar this summer will present some unique challenges as well...
1. Navigation in this new land is surprisingly tough
It's always hard to get your bearings in a brand new land, but unfortunately, getting around in Pandora - The World of Avatar is especially challenging for a few additional reasons. First off, Disney has eschewed all but the most minimal signage in this new land in the name of preserving an immersive theme. You won't find any of the iconic directional signs that can be found all around other areas of Disney's Animal Kingdom here, and while there are some general signposts with images on them, if you don't already know where you are going, you might have to ask a Cast Member or two for directions.
Unfortunately this lack of signage extends to attractions as well, as there is no marquee above either of the two new rides in this area. Though guests can probably figure out where the queues begin for Avatar - Flight of Passage and the Na'vi River Journey after they walk by them, it is impossible to see them from the entrance to this new land, which means those looking to make a bee-line to Avatar - Flight of Passage first thing (which will undoubtedly have massive wait times this summer) may have a tough time with such a strategy unless they have memorized the guidemap first.
It's also worth mentioning that this land features a few elevated areas with stairs, which can present issues for guests with mobility issues. While there are ramps around, they're not always in the same place as the stairs, which can be confusing if you're already disoriented in this new land.
2. You’re going to wait a long time for pretty much everything
Long waits for new attractions are expected. However, based on what we've seen during technical rehearsals for this new land, the opening of Pandora - The World of Avatar will bring waiting to a whole new level. Both Avatar - Flight of Passage and the Na'vi River Journey only have moderate capacities, which will of course drive up wait times for these attractions. But it's not just rides you'll have to queue for.
During technical rehearsals, one of the most popular experiences to try out has been the Banshee souvenir experience, which allows guests to "bond" with a mini-Banshee, and then adopt it for $50. In our experience, the line for this experience has been quite long, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour during technical rehearsals, when limited guests are in the area. When this land opens in earnest in just a few days, we're sure that the wait time will double or potentially triple, with guests likely waiting an hour or more for this merchandise experience. And speaking of souvenirs....