Mickey and Mommy

Reviews & tips for traveling to Walt Disney World with young kids

Tag: Animal Kingdom (page 1 of 2)

Parents Guide to Pandora – The World of Avatar

Pandora – The World of Avatar

Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park is a fully immersive experience and fun for the whole family.

As you set out to explore this new land, here’s everything you need to know, from kid-focused ride, food and shopping reviews to where to find changing tables, stroller parking and interactive activities.

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Windtraders at Pandora – The World of Avatar

Windtraders is the main gift shop in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Instead of Mickey Mouse merchandise, here you will find some special items unique to Pandora, including the very popular banshee.

Banshee – Windtraders – Pandora – The World of Avatar

The interactive, robotic banshees are able to move their mouths, heads and wings, as well as make banshee sounds.  They can sit on your shoulder, be cradled in your arms, or be displayed on separately purchased perch. Continue reading

Food Review: Satu’li Canteen

Satu’li Canteen – Pandora – The World of Avatar

Satu’li Canteen is the new quick service restaurant in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and mobile ordering is available (more info on that below).

The Food

The menu for Satu’li Canteen features create-your-own bowls, where you choose a protein, base and sauce, as well as vegetable curry or cheeseburger steamed bao buns, or “pods.” Continue reading

Food and Drink Review: Pongu Pongu

Pongu Pongu – Pandora – The World of Avatar

Pongu Pongu, located in the Pandora – The World of Avatar section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, serves up specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and one snack option, Pongu Lumpia.

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Attraction Reaction: Avatar Flight of Passage

Avatar Flight of Passage

Avatar Flight of Passage is the new headliner attraction at Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  On this 3D screen- and motion-based ride, you are connected to your own avatar and fly on the back of a mountain banshee through the diverse environments of Pandora.

Avatar Flight of Passage

While this ride features a screen like Soarin’, the motions are a little more on par with Star Tours (though not as jarring or abrupt).  However, the synchronization and fluidity between the screen and motion of your seat is flawless, and the ride also incorporates wind and smells to create a truly magical and immersive experience. It really does feel like you are flying on the back of a banshee through Pandora.

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Attraction Reaction: Na’vi River Journey

Na’vi River Journey – Pandora – The World of Avatar

The Na’vi River Journey is a visually stunning, slow-moving boat ride through a bioluminescent rainforest.  It is located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s newest section, Pandora – The World of Avatar.

FastPass+ is available for this ride, and there are no height restrictions, so your entire family can ride together.

Each boat only has two rows that can each fit three people (though you can also squeeze in two adults and two small children in a single row).

Na’vi River Journey boat – Pandora – The World of Avatar

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Landscape of Pandora: The World of Avatar

Floating mountains – Pandora – The World of Avatar

When you cross the bridge into Walt Disney World’s newest land Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you are instantly transported to another world.

Pandora is home to two attractions, Avatar Flight of Passage and the Nav’i River Journey, but the detailed and immersive landscape is a headliner itself.

The Valley of Mo’ara is filled floating mountains and native Pandoran flora, and it becomes filled with bioluminescence at night.

Make sure you take time to wander through Pandora’s trails to take in the cultural touches, the sounds of Pandora’s creatures, and the truly stunning landscape.

Pandora – The World of Avatar

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Ice Cream at Walt Disney World

Any vacation – and especially a Walt Disney World vacation – isn’t complete without some delicious ice cream! Here are just a few of our family’s favorite frozen treats, as well as our top spots to get them:

Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar

A trip to Walt Disney World is not complete without a Mickey bar, which you can find at any of the ice cream kiosks throughout the parks.  These are vanilla ice cream with a chocolate shell on a popsicle stick.

Tip: If you are in the Magic Kingdom, grab a Mickey bar right before finding a spot for the 3 p.m. Festival of Fantasy Parade.  It gives kids (and you) something to do to help pass the time while waiting.

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Walt Disney World Rider Swap Explained

Walt Disney World offers an incredible number of rides and attractions for kids of any height (including infants), but there are still a handful of rides in each of the four theme parks with height restrictions.

If you are traveling with small children, you might automatically rule those rides out – but you don’t need to because Walt Disney World offers a great solution called rider swap or child swap.

So what is rider swap, and how does it work?

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Beat the Heat at Walt Disney World

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With summer officially upon us, the next few months are the hottest time of the year to visit Walt Disney World.  With schools out for the summer, it’s also one of the busiest times – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have an incredible trip with some simple planning.

Here are a few tips so you don’t “sweat” the high temperatures.

Stay hydrated.  This may be a given, but did you know:

  • Counter Service restaurants offer FREE ICE WATER.  Yep!  All you have to do is go up to the counter and ask, and they will give you a small free cup of ice water.  It’s tap water, but my family thinks their tap water tastes better than the bottled Dasani water (which costs $3 a bottle).
    • Tip: If you are ordering a meal at a counter service restaurant, order ice waters for everyone in your party, even if you are getting other drinks.  Everyone gets to hydrate, and it’s much easier carrying them on a tray with everything else.
  • You can bring your own water into the parks.  Whether it’s your own bottled water or a filled water bottle, you are allowed to bring it into all Disney parks.  Actually, you can bring in any drinks (except alcohol) and food, but you can’t have glass containers, coolers larger than 24″ x 15″ x 18″, or, only in Animal Kingdom, plastic straws (so don’t bring juice boxes on your Animal Kingdom day!).
    • Tip:  If you are bringing a stroller into the park, put your water bottles into any stroller pockets or at the bottom of your stroller to lighten your load.
  • Epcot has FREE soda.  Club Cool, located in Future World to the right of the main fountain, features eight Coca-Cola beverages from around the world.  There are several beverage dispensers (all the same) and small sample-size paper cups to try as many – and as much – as you want.
    • Tip: While my toddler isn’t allowed to drink soda at home, we do let him have a tiny bit of VegitaBeta, which is described as a “non-carbonated beverage with apricot and passion fruit flavors and is rich in beta-carotene.”  It’s probably the “healthiest” and least sugar coma-inducing option there, with the exception of the Beverly (if an adult in your group has been getting on your nerves, encourage them to try the Beverly…).

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