Exciting and New at Disney World

If you live in Florida you have probably been to Walt Disney World a hundred times. But have you visited Pandora, The World of Avatar? This opened in May 2017 at Animal Kingdom. The world as you know it is turned upside down. You walk through a, literally out–of –this-world, rainforest named the Valley of Mo’ara!

Based on Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron’s record-breaking box-office hit, AVATAR, the new land welcomes guests to the lush world of Pandora long after the human conflict with the Na’vi has ended. The dramatic daytime beauty of the land transforms to glow by night when bioluminescent flora and intricate nighttime experiences add a dreamlike quality to Pandora. It is a creative collaboration of Walt Disney Imagineering, Cameron and Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.

“We are taking our guests on a journey to this world in an experience that’s as realistic and immersive as possible,” says Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. “In the movie, the world of Pandora is a setting for the action and characters whose story we follow. Here, guests are the primary characters immersed in an extremely vivid, authentic experience.”

My daughter, Brooke begged me to go on Avatar Flight of Passage. The line was very long, and I knew it was a virtual reality, simulator that I personally don’t care for, but being the wonderful mother that I am, I stood in line. Oh boy am I glad I did. This ended up being one of the most exhilarating thrills I have ever had at a theme park. It started off with a dive right off a cliff and you plunge straight down. I felt like I was riding a bird, only it was a winged mountain banshee, a dragon-like creature that was diving and soaring through the rainforest, over water and narrowly missing floating mountains. If you like an adrenaline rush, then you will not be disappointed. The flight on the banshee is so realistic that you can actually feel the animal breathe, especially when it has an encounter with the most feared predator of Pandora, the Great Leonopteryx. I really didn’t want the ride to end. It felt so real.

In the summer of 2018 Disney World will open this new 11-acre, Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests will stroll through Andy’s back yard. There will be a new restaurant called Woody’s Lunch Box that will serve old fashioned soda floats and all kinds of tasty meals. A family friendly coaster called Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers, that is inspired by the original “Toy Story” movie, will also be open this summer.