Whee, first post! (Well, technically the welcome post was the first post, but you feel me.) This is exciting! It’s also a bit terrifying — *wipes panic sweat from brow* — so I’m just going to hop right to it!
A little back story: A couple of months ago, I got a ridiculously lit video invite to the grand opening of Pandora in Disney World. I was SO pumped. Disney is perhaps one of my five favorites places on earth, including my big ol’ Apple and Cape May. (Yep, I’m a born and bred Jersey Girl. Sup, y’all?)
But then I was like, Pandora… Avatar? You remember Avatar? Of course you do. Avatar came out in 2009, which is crazy for me to think about, since I was still in college…
But I digress. Avatar was pretty spectacular for its time. It was Pocahontas on steroids, complete with it’s own glow-in-the-dark universe, which I thought was incredibly beautiful. I still do! I remember watching that movie in 3D and thinking how.
Well, Zoe Saldana and the gang might have spent the better part of a year in front of a green screen to roam the world of Avatar, but bless, we don’t have to. It may have taken seven years (clearly, I can’t get over that number), but Pandora is officially a real place, snuggled inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, and it really is breathtaking.
After chomping on these, which I would be remiss not to include…
…all us media peeps strolled in at the crack of dawn on Wednesday morning and got to appreciate it in all its sun-soaked glory. Take it in, flybabes:
Now, the “land” includes two new rides. I’m a lady, so no major spoilers, but if you loved Avatar, you are going to live for the rides. One is a river ride, super earthy and spiritual, and the other is a 3D, IMAX-esque masterpiece designed to make you feel like you’re flying on the back of a banshee, Na’vi-style. I went on that one three times, which should tell you how I feel about it.
(Okay, teeny spoiler. Wuuuuuuut:)
But back to banshees. Say hello to my little friend:
Yes, I bought him. For a cool $50. I don’t know what I’m going to do with this little guy, but I’m not allowed to have dogs in my building, so young Maverick here is a start. I hope he likes Shake Shack and questionable television.
Oh! And guess who showed up to the grand opening?
Yep, my girl crushes, Saldana and Weaver. (Worthington is in there too, but he came in so casual in a baseball hat and a tee, it took me about two hours to realize he was there, when I walked off the banshee ride right behind him… Sorry, man!)
And there we are! If you’re headed to Disney World in the near future — may I recommend the fall-time Food & Wine Fest, as it should be slightly less hot and possibly less insane for wait times? (Apparently, when Pandora finally launched last weekend, people waited up to four hours to get on the banshee ride!!!) — you should definitely drop into Pandora. Go in the sunshine, then do a safari — for this little guy!
And then go back at night, because you must see the difference.
Oh! And talk to the Wilderness Explorers (of Up fame). They’ll teach you about the plants. Apparently, the big green pods (below) occasionally come to life and eat people. #casual
Of course, while I came for Pandora, I stayed just a little bit longer for everything else Disney has to offer, including the castle. Check back soon for more!