Report from Animal Kingdom. Slightly heavy crowds today. Or maybe it just felt that way because The World of Pandora is constantly swamped with people. We got to the park before open because it’s impossible to get Fast Passes to Flight of Passage and that’s the one attraction I really wanted to experience. I heard that the wait time rarely goes below two hours, so the “get in line right when the park opens” seemed sound.
And sure enough, that was the right call. They had a standby line started before the park officially opened and while the estimated wait time was 95min it ended up being only 45min. It helped that the queue is fantastically themed. There’s just a lot to soak in as you shuffle along. It also helps that once you’re officially onboarded, there are 2 preshows that move your group through a couple of rooms where they “link your DNA to an avatar”. It’s cool and entertaining, provides context for the attraction, and cleverly covers that fact that you’re basically waiting another 10 minutes for the ride to start.
And what a ride it is. Absolutely amazing full sensory experience. Worth the wait.
Then we walked the two Expedition Trails to see the animals. It is a fuctioning zoo after all. I’ve always like these and think other zoos could learn a few things from how Disney sets these up. Great views of the Gorillas and especially two tigers who were stalking each other and play sparring.
Then off to “It’s Tough to be a Bug”. Fun show with lots of surprises. I’ve seen this a few times and every single time there are people who hightail it to the exit when a certain event occurs during the show. Can’t say they weren’t warned.
Then we Fast Passed the Safari. Great views of giraffe, elephants, hippos, rhinos, lions and more. I very much appreciate they finally stripped all of the story elements out of the attraction and now it’s just a straight up tour.
Then lunch at Satu’li Canteen in Pandora. They mostly do customizable bowls with a protein, a base, and a sauce. I had steak, with rice and beans, and a black bean sauce. Tasty, filling, and fairly healthy. My son had the Cheeseburger Bao. Thumbs down from him (and he loved the Cheeseburger Spring Rolls at Magic Kingdom… as did I).
Next Fast Passed Dinosaur. This is a somewhat maligned attraction which uses the same technology and track layout as the Indiana Jones ride in Disneyland but with a cut construction and theming budget. It’s decent with a couple of good jump scares. My son’s favorite ride at the park.
Then we Fast Passed Expedition Everest. Fun, intense Coaster. Not worth a long wait.
Finally, our group all met up. My daughter and her friends said they were going to walk the trails. I told her to contact us when they were done and we’d plan one last thing before leaving the park. After about 45 minutes of sitting around at a table we discover that they ditched the trails (because they close early) and got in line for the Navi River Journey with out telling us first. So my wife, son, and I were stuck waiting another 45 minutes while they made their way through the queue and the ride. Not too thrilled about that. But at least Pandora at night is really cool to see.
Not a bad day.