This past week, Tricia and I were delighted to be invited to Walt Disney World’s Pandora Showcase in New York City. The event was held in the Edison Ballroom and featured a 3 course meal and lots of neat details on what is in store for guests this summer in Walt Disney World!
Upon arrival we were greeted with beverages and a menu waiting for us at our tables. We were free to walk around and look at the displays and mingle with other travel planners and Disney Cast Members as our salad was being served. The entire meal was delicious!
The presentation started with an introduction from Disney Regional Sales Manager, MaryEllen Kline. We were then re-introduced to Cast Member Kenny Pitchit, who was joined again this year by a “travel planner” from the audience, Bernice Heckler, who again offered to help him with his presentation. This pair also emceed the Awaken Summer Showcase last Spring.
We started with why staying at a Walt Disney World Resort in incredibly valuable during your Walt Disney World vacation. There are over 25 resorts to fit everyone’s tastes and budget.
Moving on to Disney Springs, did you know the newly refurbished Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Disney Springs is now 5 times larger than it was before? This new shopping and dining district is an amazingly eclectic collection of shops that takes you everywhere you want to be—from well-known brands to Disney-centric boutiques.
Inside Disney’s World Famous Water parks -Miss Adventure Falls, the new family raft attraction is now open at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park!
Inside Epcot, guests continue to enjoy family friendly attractions as well as thrill rides and world class dining…
Inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in anticipation of the 2019 opening of Star Wars Land there will be a new BB8 Meet and Greet opening soon! This is also the only place on property you can meet Olaf from Frozen and on May 26th, “The Music of Pixar LIVE!” will premiere.
In Magic Kingdom, “Happily Ever After” Fireworks and Castle Projection show will premiere on May 12th.
Moving on to Animal Kingdom and Pandora… Pandora isn’t a “land” in Disney’s Animal Kingdom but the chosen location to bring you to Pandora.
Here is where Kenny and Bernice introduced us to Kam DeMarco, Alpha Centuri Expeditions’ Field Expert. Streamed in from Pandora to show us parts of the Valley of Mo’ara and explained why Disney’s Animal Kingdom was chosen as the pathway to Pandora. Disney’s Animal Kingdom preaches conservation and self discovery, just as the Na’vi People.
One of the most anticipated attractions, is Flight of Passage- where you have the opportunity to create your own avatar and ride a banshee- is one of 2 rides where you can obtain a Fast Pass to ride during your visit. The second, (but you cannot choose both when first choosing your fast passes- contact your travel planner for more details) is a more family friendly attraction, The Na’vi River Journey brings you down a mysterious river hidden within the bioluminescent rainforest.
As far as trying the local cuisine, you can certainly head to Satu’li Canteen. This was once an RDA mess hall, now it is a peaceful dining facility adorned with Na’vi art and cultural items. More excotic menu items highlighted with primarily wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and hearty proteins. Kids will find cheeseburger pods, cheese quesadillas, and a hot dog wrapped in dough. If you are looking for something exotic to drink, head to Pongu Pongu, which means “Party Party.” Here you can order a“bioluminescent frozen cocktail,” an “indigenous beer”, and even a sweet snack or two.
Want to bring a piece of Pandora home? Windtraders is the place to find exotic merchandise and souvenirs celebrating the flora, fauna and culture of Pandora.
Pandora is a place you will certainly want to visit during the day and at night as the Valley of Mo’ara glows at night with the bioluminescent Pandoran Flora.
Beginning May 27, 2017, the Extra Magic Hours benefit be available at Pandora – The World of Avatar to all Guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
Taking place twice each week from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM, regular Extra Magic Hours benefit will include Pandora – The World of Avatar, as well as other experiences throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.
There will also be offering a limited-time Extra Magic Hours Evening for Pandora – The World of Avatar from 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM, May 27 to July 4, 2017. In addition to the attractions, food and beverage, and merchandise in this new land, Guests will also have a chance to experience Tree of Life Awakenings throughout the evening.
Have you started planning your next Walt Disney World vacation yet?