Thank you very much for whatever you can give to help out my uncle.
Pathetic TweetsMy Tweets
Walt Disney WorldMy Tweets
All EarsMy Tweets
Easy WDWMy Tweets
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Monday 15 May 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Today is the day for my Passholder Preview of Pandora–The World of Avatar.
My assigned admittance window is between noon and 2 pm. At 9:07 am, the parking lot tram is whisking me to the park entrance.
Oasis flamingoes are indifferent to Pandora sneak peeks.
I proceed to Harambe where I find that the standby wait time for Kilimanjaro Safaris is posted as 65 minutes. No FastPasses are available, so why not? From entering the queue to arriving at the boarding area is more like 50 minutes.
The name of our safari guide and driver is Goose, if I have heard correctly. And I have heard him say it two times when I thank him at the end of our expedition. I can’t see his name badge so I have no idea how he spells it. When I say “Thanks, Goose,” his eyes betray no shock, surprise, or offense–so I guess I’m saying it right. Anyway, he’s a good safari leader. Very clear diction and no annoyingly affected inflections.
On the way back into Harambe, this gorilla displays an indifference equal to that of the flamingo earlier.
My plan is to have lunch within Pandora at their eatery but at 11 or so I am going to have to have something now as I skipped breakfast before leaving the apartment. So I enjoy an “accompaniment” of Tomato Basil Soup (enhanced with extra crackers) in the conditioned air of Pizzafari. This is the first time I’ve had this and it’s pretty good.
From my table I look out to view the line that is forming outside for entry into the new land.
Once souped up, I go out and take a closer look at the line-up. These people are still quite a way from the bridge that leads into Pandora.
Moving a bit further up, you can just make out one of the famous Floating Mountains looming in the distance.
With about 45 minutes still ahead before my scheduled entry time, a stroll through a shop sounds like a good idea. It’s really warming up and it’s always cool in the shops.
Island Mercantile, where time, I discover at 11:24 am, means basically nothing…
…and where someone has been known to gnaw.
Better flee from the butterfly.
Exit from the store is effected successfully, which means that no purchase has been made.
At 12:07 I am finally at the threshold of the Valley of Mo’ara.
Apparently I am seen.
Don’t ask me, I’ve never been here before.
Without knowing what anything is, I love the Flora of Pandora.
This looks like it could be the start of a beautiful friendship with a salad… provided it doesn’t contain something that’s going to eat me.
Just as they do in the Sistine Chapel, I imagine that the majority of earthlings will wander around here looking up most of the time.
Of course there is also fauna in Pandora.
I obligingly flail a bit and sure enough, these hungry animals try to hunt me (although I am hardly small and definitely not flying) with their hydro-jets. Unfortunately I do not get wet.
Back to flora and floating mountains.
Uh-Oh! Look, there’s a banshee! (The Na’vi call it an ikran, but nobody wants to hear earthlings trying to say that all day.)
Which must mean that it’s time for my Avatar Flight of Passage. For I am destined to
“Fly on the back of a mountain banshee during an exhilarating, 3D ride above this vast moon”
Which I do. Now there’s no photography permitted during this experience and I obey. But I can tell you that a whole lot of the queue is outdoors and uncovered and uphill. I’m in it around 1 pm and trust me, you want to do this early in the morning or later on in the evening.
After that, there’s plenty of cooler, indoor queue as well. And prior to the actual flight, there’s plenty of explanatory folderol. We have to be scanned for parasites, for starters. And of course we’re full of them. So, like one had to do for Body Wars back in the day, one must be decontaminated.
As we proceed from one stage of the foreplay to the next, we are repeatedly admonished to stand on the same number on the floor that we were originally assigned. But when we get to the actual boarding location we are directed to completely different numbers. Okay, just follow the Cast Member.
We stow all our gear on the provided shelves before we can mount our Pandora Harley-like steeds
and get physionically–that’s right: physionically–linked to our Avatars. (Don’t ask–it will all be explicated to you in excruciating detail when you experience your rite of passage).
As soon as I straddle my saddle satisfactorily, the promised locks move in on my back and legs so that I won’t be able to escape before mind-melding begins. During this process, my back and frontal midsection are periodically treated to mild vibrations and I can watch on the console in front of me charming images of myself and my Avatar getting physionically linked. Oh brother.
The procedure is clearly designed to take up only a few seconds, but on this occasion it’s being repeated, over and over, for what I’m thinking has to be at least four minutes. At least this gives me time to make several attempts to wipe clear the right side of my 3D glasses which is annoyingly smudged.
Finally the physionics kick in and we all get successfully linkulated and we plunge into our flight. Now this is quite exhilarating and the sights and sounds are truly beautiful, even to someone who has only viewed a few scenes from the movie on television. Combine your Soarin’ and your Star Tours and ramp it all up several notches and you’ve got an idea of the effect.
During my flight I am wondering why there is a kind of rhythmic swelling and contraction of the part of the “vehicle” that I feel between my knees. Eventually it dawns on me that my Avatar is riding a banshee, and presumably the banshee breathes, and I can feel it, thanks to being physionically linked. That’s my conclusion, anyway.
Unfortunately we only get to fly once as part of the Passholder Preview, but it’s a great experience and it’s going to keep this part of the park mobbed for a very long while beginning the 27 March when opened to the general public.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that turns out to be so. But for the sake of the guests, my fingers are crossed.
Following my rite of passage it’s almost 2 pm and time for a passage to lunch at Satu’li Canteen.
I like it, and hope that the menu doesn’t freak too many people out and cause Disney to dumb it down to NaviBurgers and AvaFries.
How I create my own Satu’li Bowl today:
Behold the result:
After my delicious lunch strolling about in the relentless sun of the Florida solar system proves unbearable. Time to chill on the Na’vi River Journey. No restriction on how many times we can cruise, so I do so once just to relax and check it out, and a second time to invite you to do as they say and
enjoy the bioluminescence.
A look back as I exit the World of Avatar
and retreat to the Nomad Lounge for my
Cheers! It will be a long time before I get to experience the River Journey and the Flight again, but I will probably visit to observe the teeming masses.
released 15 May 1928
released 15 May 1930
Silly Symphonyreleased 15 May 1937
At 10:01 a.m. on Wednesday 10 May 2017, at the Harmony Barber Shop in the Magic Kingdom…
…I am wishing that jackasses wouldn’t leave dirty diapers lying around just a few feet away from restrooms with trash receptacles and changing tables.
What the hell is wrong with these people? *Sigh*
Over on Main Street, the horse-drawn trolley leads a protest march against diaper litter.
And what kind of Emporium would it be if it weren’t hiding behind scrim?
Main Street Confectionery confections–for illustrative purposes only, of course.
In Main Street’s Uptown Jewelers, I presume that this is the original proprietress of the establishment.
And I doubt she would have approved of the Pandora takeover.
Flora just outside Crystal Arts.
This is apparently an obligatory photo stop for me on the way from Main Street to Tomorrowland via the Tomorrowland Terrace.
It’s not getting any cooler at 11:00 a.m. as we enter the sharp pointy place that is Tomorrowland.
The appeal of Rabbit‘s produce in the standby queue for the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Fantasyland.
í Éire domhan beag — you know it’s true.
“ellos son gigantes; y si tienes miedo quítate de ahí, y ponte en oración en el espacio que yo voy a entrar con ellos en fiera y desigual batalla”
The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne,
Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were lovesick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes.
From a window in Columbia Harbour House (where I indulge in my favorite shrimp platter with green beans because they have no broccoli), a glimpse of Big Thunder Mountain.
“We have nine hundred ninety-nine happy haunts here, but there’s room for a thousand. Any volunteers?”
Disney’s Pretentious Floridian Resort & Spa is a fine place to relax and recharge one’s phone in conditioned air when theme park temperatures reach the Fahrenheit Nineties.
They’ve got your bath salts if you can fit into the tub.
At Commander Porter’s: for the discerning gentleman with thirty-seven dollars burning a hole in his pocket, Disney’s
offers this Wildest Ride in the Wilderness t-shirt. So wild you’re liable to lose your head, it would seem.
There’s something goofy about photographing the Floridian Floors.
But really, the best thing this joint has going for it…
…is these guys.
Coming or going, I don’t remember.
Okay, one reason I am in the Magic Kingdom today besides the haircut is to bid farewell to that “magical gathering of Disney dreams,” Wishes. Actually tomorrow the 11th of May is the date of its final performance, but I figure crowds will be even worse then.
There’s commemorative merch, of course,
but I remain immune to its appeal.
I’ve seen Wishes many times over the years, but it’s been quite a while since the last time. Speaking of time, by the time I return to the Magic Kingdom after my break at Grandma Flo’s and a margarita at the Contemporary’s Outer Rim, the front of the park is a complete fustercluck. So I withdraw to Tomorrowland, whence I have often viewed the fireworks. There’s even a comfy chair for me so I don’t have to stand through the whole spasm.
My iPhone is really not very good at fireworks:
So I leave you with this video that someone with a better spot and a better camera has posted…
…and this reminder that on Friday 12 May 2017 is the scheduled debut of Wishes’ replacement, Happily Ever After.