Pandora at Animal Kingdom

Our third day at Disney World started bright and early with Early Entry to Animal Kingdom at 7:30 am and the rain was still coming down. We had not been to Animal Kingdom since our trip in 2015, so the whole Pandora section of the park was new to us. We headed to Flight of Passage for rope drop and the line was already pretty long by the time they let us in despite the early hour and the weather.

Flight of Passage is a Soarin’-like attraction where you ride on a Banshee over Pandora. The ride vehicle is more complex in that it appears to breathe underneath you, which is interesting. It is also in 3D which really affected my motion sickness. I had a headache for the rest of the day. If you get motion sickness from screen-based rides, you may want to consider skipping this one. Chris enjoyed it, though, and probably would have gone on it again if the line went down.

Pandora at Animal Kingdom

After getting off Flight of Passage, we noticed the wait for Expedition Everest was short so we headed over there for a wet roller coaster experience. We love that ride so much that when we got off, we went right to the single-rider line and rode it again.

At that point, Kilimanjaro Safari opened and had a ridiculously short wait so we ran over there and had probably the best safari experience that I had ever had at Animal Kingdom. Because it was early in the day and it wasn’t hot, all the animals were very active. The lion even roared at us as we drove by.

After our safari, we headed back to Pandora to ride Na’vi River Journey, which was the final new attraction for us on this trip. Na’vi River Journey is a calm boat ride through Pandora’s bioluminescent rainforest and the Na’vi Shaman of Songs sings as you float by. The wait was long but at this point, we were just glad to get a break from the rain. While we were waiting, the ride broke down so we ended up waiting for much longer than anticipated, but the other rides also had long lines at this point so we decided not to leave. Maybe the long wait affected our anticipation for this ride or maybe it was the fact that we had just experienced true bioluminescence in Puerto Rico, but I was not impressed with Na’vi River Journey. While the attractions in Pandora aren’t my thing, I have to appreciate the immersive storytelling in Pandora. I wish we had time to explore more of the land when I wasn’t getting soaked to the bone.

Acrobatic Monkeys at Festival of the Lion King

After leaving the Na’vi River, we headed to the Festival of the Lion King. In general, we are not big show people in Disney, but on our last trip to Animal Kingdom, I lost my glasses and we went to the Festival of the Lion King, but I really couldn’t see anything. I was glad we made a point to go back because it was visually spectacular and I really did enjoy it!

After the show, we had pretty much seen everything we wanted to see in Animal Kingdom so we stopped for lunch back in Pandora, at what may be my new favorite counter service restaurant, Satu’li Canteen. Their menu is inventive and has lots of healthier options. We picked one of the less healthy, the cheeseburger bao buns and they were really good!

After lunch, we utilized our park hopper and went back to Magic Kingdom to ride a couple of attractions that we didn’t get to on Friday. Due to the rain, the wait for Big Thunder Mountain was short so we headed there and rode it a couple of times until we were too soaked for comfort. Then, we hit Space Mountain again, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Peoplemover and we were getting cold. We had a dinner reservation at Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village so we headed there early and hung out in the warm, dry lobby until our table was ready.

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Sanaa specializes in African food with Indian flavors and their food is not something we can find easily where we live. They have an extensive wine list featuring African wines and I was most excited to try their bread service. The bread service was wonderful and so much food! For my entree, I had the pork shank and Chris had the Potjie Inspired with the Goan Seafood Curry, Pork Vindaloo, and Lentil Daal. While we had many delicious meals on this trip, this one is at the top and it has inspired us to use some Indian flavors in the kitchen at home.

While I had originally planned to go back to the parks after dinner, we were tired and wet. We headed back to the resort, dried off, did some laundry, and watched Harry Potter on TV to prepare for our final day of Disney madness before heading home.

Thanks for stopping by! Check out our NEW Go See Do Explore Podcast, available wherever you listen to podcasts. To read more about this trip, be sure to read our Long Weekend at Disney World Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! For my list of gadgets to make your travels easier, click here. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.