Pandora: The World of Avatar is just two months away from opening. As we get closer, more and more details are coming out about the new land at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom. There are also a lot of questions about trip planning and other details that are popping up. Things like “will it soft open?”, “when can we book Fastpasses” and many other things keep coming up.
Thankfully, we are getting a few details that answer those questions. Not all of them are 100% accurate, simply because it hasn’t been officially announced by Disney yet. We’ll run down a few of the big details and see if we can’t break it down for you a little more.
Q:When will a soft opening/preview happen?
A: The grand opening for Pandora is scheduled for May 27th. With that being said, most parks have soft openings or technical rehearsals to help work out the bugs and get employees trained for the big crowds to come. The openings aren’t guaranteed, nor are they announced. They just happen. When can we expect to see them? Well, as of right now there are no rumored dates for technical rehearsals, but there are for passholder previews. According to WDWNT we could see registration open up for passholders as soon as April 7th and 8th. Kind of makes sense, because Universal is opening the brand new Jimmy Fallon ride on the 6th. This could take some of those guests away from Universal. At the same time, passholders will be blocked out during that time at Walt Disney World. Our latest rumors have the openings happening around the 22nd of April for Passholder Previews, with a possible soft opening date of mid-May. Who really knows at this point…we’ll just have to wait and see.
Q: When can I book Fastpasses?
A: Typically Fastpass reservations come online about 60 days from opening date for resort guests. Several sources are saying that we could see FastPasses as soon as tomorrow, but really expect it at about the end of April for everyone else. Of course, the Fastpasses will be booked through the My Disney Experience App.
Q: Will Extra Magic Hours Be Available?
The added bonus is that from May 27th until July 4th Resort guests can get exclusive access from 11 p.m. until 1 a.m. nightly. The rumor is that this will be just for Pandora, and not the rest of Animal Kingdom. It also confirms that Animal Kingdom will be open much later throughout the summer. Last year the park introduced a new nighttime line up that includes the Tree of Life shows, nightly Harambe parties and Kilimanjaro Safaris at night. Rivers Of Light also opened this year.
Finally, the official Disney website has been updated to include the full menu for Satu’li Canteen. The new restaurant is classified as a quick serve, and will feature a very unique range of dishes, which will be made along the same style as Chipoltle. The most interesting thing to come from the new menus are the alcoholic beverages. The signature drinks at the restaurant will be The Pandora Grog Ale, the Pandora Amber Ale, and the Banshee Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The new Avatar Land is set to open on May 27th, so fingers crossed that we get an early look!