Guests who wish to meet Tarzan on their next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom should note a location change. Beginning May 10, the Tarzan meet and greet will move from Discovery Island to behind the Tree of Life.
Be sure to check the Times Guide or My Disney Experience for exact meet times.
The official opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is almost here and previews of the new land have already begun. One of the unique opportunities guests will be able to experience in Pandora is Connect with a Banshee.
Pandora visitors will be able to see what it feels like to soar on the back of a mountain banshee in the new attraction Avatar Flight of Passage and they will be able to connect with these winged creatures at The Rookery inside Windtraders, the primary merchandise location on Pandora. Today Cody Hampton with Disney Parks Merchandise is giving a first look at these new interactive creatures and experience.
“We love bringing to life stories from our attractions through creative and innovative product designs,” says Cody. “Banshees are an important animal on Pandora, both as an animal in the ecosystem and as a cultural symbol to the Na’vi. Disney’s Animal Kingdom will also will feature a Na’Vi River Journey ride, where guests get a chance to cruise through a Pandora jungle. They are also part of one of the signature attractions, so it felt natural to feature them as a must-have souvenir from a visit to Pandora. These banshees are fun, interactive, and continue the excitement guests will feel when experiencing [Avatar Flight of Passage].”
At the Rookery, a Naturalist from Alpha Centauri Expeditions will assist a guest with identifying a favorite banshee from among 10 unique styles. Each interactive banshee includes three ranges of motion – mouth, head, and wings – that are controlled by hand. Guests will also hear them make authentic banshee sounds provided by Disney’s partners at Lightstorm Entertainment.
“We worked closely with [Lightstorm Entertainment] when designing the banshees,” continued Cody. “Their colors were inspired by banshees seen in the ‘Avatar’ motion picture. Their sounds make them feel as though they flew directly into Windtraders from the attraction. Guests will determine each banshee’s personality through a combination of hand movements and sounds.”
Guests can either display a banshee on their shoulder or cradle them in their arms.They will also offer a banshee perch that is sold separately.
“The mountain banshee has come to symbolize our continued commitment to the environment,” said Cody. “Before guests depart Windtraders, Naturalists will encourage them to make a pledge to respect and protect the natural world on Pandora and back home on Earth.”
Guests are encouraged to greet other banshee keepers on Pandora, with “Oel Ngati Kameie” (“I See You”), the traditional Na’vi phrase of greeting and respect.
The countdown is on! We are less than 30 days away from the official opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. One of the things we are most looking forward to is the food, beverage, and dessert options themed to the Pandora World.
Guests can eat and drink like a Na’vi at Satu’li Canteen, Pandora’s fast-casual restaurant and at the Pongu Pongu (which means “party party”) Kiosk.
Here is the culinary back story on Pandora – The World of Avatar from Disney:
“The setting of Pandora – The World of Avatar is long after the Na’vi and the humans have reconciled their conflict, and we are invited as guests to visit Pandora,” said Stefan Hellwig, executive creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering.
Satu’li (Sa-too-lee) Canteen is the land’s restaurant, with a design inspired by bases set up on Pandora by the Resources Development Administration (RDA) in the blockbuster “AVATAR” film. Once the main mess hall of the RDA base in the Valley of Mo’ara, the canteen is now owned and operated by the Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) tour company and has been redesigned into a beautiful museum-like dining room open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The interior has been transformed with colorful Na’vi items filling the walls and hanging from the ceiling – hand-woven tapestries, natural Pandoran elements and cooking tools decorate the interior.
Adjacent to Satu’li Canteen is Pongu Pongu, Pandora’s specialty beverage kiosk and as the story goes, was built by a human who befriended the local Na’vi clan and built a place to gather and socialize. The name came from all the “wild and memorable times” Na’vi and humans had together there.
Both of these new locations sound like they are themed flawlessly and will no doubt be very popular with visiting guests. For more information on Pandora – The World of Avatar, go to VisitPandora.com.
We are less than a month away from the official opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and it seems like almost every day Disney is sharing new details on this unique land which continues to build our excitement even more. Today we have a first look at the Na’vi Shaman of Songs who appears in the Na’vi River Journey attraction.
This is by far Walt Disney Imagineering’s most complex audio-animatronic figure ever created. You can see in the video below how detailed and fluid the movements are. Just amazing!
In case you aren’t familiar with the Na’vi River Journey attraction, guests will board reed boats and then set sail down a mysterious river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest filled with glowing plants and wondrous creatures. Towards the end of the ride, guests will spot the shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora and celebrates that beautiful connection through her music. Be sure to check out the video below!
Pandora – The World of Avatar is set to open May 27, 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.