Tech Tip
by Brad Appleby
Appleby Arts

Pandora World

There are a lot of amusement parks filled with rides that are fun and exciting. One example that is a personal favorite is the Soarin’ ride at Walt Disney World Epcot. You sit suspended in a swaying seat in front of a giant IMAX-like movie screen and “soar” over various places in the world. You get the feeling that you are flying around the world. Soarin’ is also my dad’s favorite ride.

Now, Pandora World is open to Walt Disney World Animal Kingdom. This new attraction area is based on the movie Avatar. There is a whole section of the park made up to look like Pandora, including two major rides. One is the colorful Pandora Boat Ride, which takes you through Pandora on a slow river with lots of beautiful scenery and some fantastic animatronics.

The other is the Avatar Flight Ride. This ride uses the same process as Soarin’ but takes it to a whole new level. After an entertaining “briefing” you get onto what looks like a motorcycle (your Banshee) and are secured in place by a backrest and leg supports. Then you put on your 3D glasses, “link” to your Avatar, and take flight through the world of Pandora on the back of your moving “Banshee.” You take in the world of Pandora in realistic 3D+ with the feeling that you are indeed flying.

During the ride, you experience added stimulation such as feeling side-to-side and up-and-down movement, mist in your face when you fly near the water and smelling dirt when you hover over the running animals. The ride even gives you a small break to let your Banshee get a drink in an underground cave before taking off again.

Believe it or not, the ride lasts less than five minutes. Since it is Walt Disney World’s newest attraction, the lines to get into the new Pandora World and each ride are very long. One employee revealed that the Avatar Flight Ride had seen up to seven-hour waiting times!

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