Is Pandora worth it if you dislike Avatar?


#1

So, I’m in the process of planning a 10-14 day trip to WDW for myself and my girlfriend and we have an Animal Kingdom conundrum, mainly that neither of us has any interest whatsoever in anything Avatar related and in fact both find the movie to be borderline unwatchable. We know we are going to love attractions like Expedition Everest, Kilamanjaro, Dinosaur, etc, and so while we are concerned that we will miss elite-level attractions if we skip Pandora, we are equally concerned that if we use Fastpass on Pandora we will miss opportunities to visit other attractions we actually have interest in more often. So my real question is are the Avatar attractions so good and game-changing that you should experience them with even if you don’t like the source material? Or would we be able to skip the land without regrets? And to reiterate, we do not at all like the movie or even think it is good and in fact both believe it is an egregious misuse of Disney resources. Just needing to know if it would be worth blowing FP+ on even if we think the source material stinks. Cheers!


#2

I wouldn’t miss it. FOP is the single
Best ride anywhere ever!


#3

Pandora is pretty and the ride is beautiful. Skip the boat ride FOP. Unless you really thought the banshees (dragons) were the dumbest thing ever, the ride itself is just super amazing regardless of the crappy intellectual property.


#4

FOP is truly breathtaking! Doesn’t matter what you think of the movie the ride is completely emmersive and pretty magical … not to be missed


#5

If you truly don’t like it, why torture yourself? It is perfectly ok to go to Disney and skip the things that don’t interest you.

I personally adore Avatar, but despise Star Wars - anything to do with it at all - and I have zero intent to step a tow into Studios ever again and I feel no guilt about it. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it - and that’s ok.


#6

FOP is a game changer. Single best attraction at WDW. I have zero interest in the movie, by the way.
I’m guessing if there are people for whom Avatar is their favorite, the land would have extra appeal. It is lovely on it’s own with no outside reference.


#7

I didn’t particularly like or dislike the movie as a whole. The visuals and special effects were excellent, and the gaming nerd in me admired the technological achievements in pulling those off, but I found the whole “evil mega-Corp out to destroy the environment” theme to be hackneyed and tiresome.

That being said, FOP is a next leap forward in interactive ride technology and design. It stands on its own merit independent of the source material. If rides are your thing, I think you would do yourself a disservice by skipping it. Fair warning, though. If the curvey visuals of the refreshed Soarin’ piss you off and you think there’s no excuse for it, FOP will only reinforce those feelings beyond any doubt.


#8

I think it depends why you dislike Avatar.

FOP is an incredible experience. You ride a flying horse over an alien planet. You can feel the horse’s rib cage move in and out as it breathes. You see a huge vista in 3D in front of you. You feel the wind. You smell the smells. You dive and swoop. It’s incredible. The best ride at WDW and UOR combined.

People are willing to queue for hours to ride FOP. I paid $125+tax to get privileged access to it.

And this is not because I’m a fanatic for the movie, or that any of the people in line are fanatics for the movie. I personally enjoyed it — more for the visuals than for the storyline.

You could know nothing at all about the movie and still have an incredible experience on the ride.

Then more generally, the Pandora area is incredible, too. The theming is incredibly immersive. (Almost as good as Diagon Alley in UOR. Ha!)

Neither the ride nor the land itself focus on the environmental politics of the film. It’s about visual spectacle.

I’m not a particular fan of Star Wars, but I won’t want to miss out on visiting SW:GE. (At some point. Maybe ten years after it opens!)


#9

This 100%. I was extremely underwhelmed by the movie and FOP for me fell flat just like soarin did.

IMAX screens and me don’t get along. I spot all the imperfections and the warped image really gets to me.

FOP was more engaging though, but I wish the ride would give more “cues” on where to go because where I wanted/expected to go and where the banshee went often differed. When we did “click” though, it was really cool.

As stated, if you like rides, you should at least give it a go, even if it’s a once and done.


#10

FOP is a don’t miss ride.


#11

This is where I find myself in a similar position to the OP. I’m planning my first ever Universal trip next year. But while I’m a Simpsons and Minions fan, Harry Potter and super heroes are only slightly more interesting to me than watching paint dry. In fact, in most cases I would lean toward watching paint dry just because there’s less effort involved. My wife, on the other hand, owns all the Potter books and watches all the super hero movies whenever she can.

I’m highly intrigued by all the technological innovations and immersive theming I’ve read about, so I expect to enjoy myself despite my indifference to the intellectual property. But I’m worried that I’m going to have force myself to learn something about Harry Potter just to keep from being completely lost and failing to get the most out of the experience. Touring Plans needs to publish a new guidebook. “The Essential Harry Potter for Universal Guests Who Don’t Give a Damn About Harry Potter.”


#12

I don’t think you NEED to, although I don’t think you’ll appreciate it nearly as much.

I am curious as to the REASON you don’t like Harry Potter. If you are judging based on, say, the first two books/movies you do have to remember that she started the series out as books for kids…but as her audience aged, and her characters aged, so did the story. I don’t think full appreciation can be had for the stories until you get through AT LEAST book three. But for me, books 4 and 5 are the absolute best of the series.

Anyhow, I’m not sure the appreciation of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter could be made in a summary of the stories, since it is the attention to detail that is rather incredible.


#13

I thought the first HP book was amazing. They went downhill from there and I didn’t even read the last one. I’ve seen all of the movies: I found Deathly Hallows Part 1 profoundly depressing and I wouldn’t watch it again.

I’m not a massive fan of Harry Potter.

But WWOHP at UOR is amazing. So incredibly detailed. So immersive. The creativity of the designers is amazing. (When I was at King’s Cross Station in WWOHP there was a brief moment where I honestly thought I was in London. It’s that accurate.) It’s a visual feast. And that’s why I go.

To be honest, the same is true of WDW. A friend of mine asked me to name my Top 10 Disney characters yesterday. I said I’d struggle to name 10 Disney characters, let alone choose my favourites. I’m not into Disney films. I don’t in general like cartoons.

But that’s not what WDW is about for me. It’s an escape from the real world. It’s a visually stunning fantasy world, where everyone’s happy and everyone’s nice to you and it’s totally safe and just lots of fun.


#14

I’ll admit, I rank Deathly Hallows (the book) as my least favorite of all the books. It was still worth reading, however, so as to have the whole of the story.


#15

I don’t dislike it. I just have zero interest in it. It holds no appeal for me whatsoever. I can’t explain why. It’s not out of any inherent disinterest in the fantasy genre. I’ve actually worn out and had to replace copies of The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings over the years. Perhaps Tolkien set the bar too high for me. I really don’t know.


#16

Bingo!


#17

I weirdly fell out of love with Harry Potter.

I pre-ordered the sixth book and read it with great excitement in just a few sittings.

I waited impatiently for the seventh book and pre-ordered it. On the day it arrived I immediately sat down to read it. I read the first chapter and suddenly thought “I just don’t care about these people any more.” I closed the book, packaged it up, and sent it back to Amazon.

I only watched DH1 and DH2 the movies last year in preparation for riding Escape from Gringott’s.


#18

Tolkien was a great world builder, but frankly, his writing style is a struggle. Took me ages to get through the books. (Ultimately glad I did.) It was a rare case where, however, I felt the movies were better than the books (despite some of the liberties taken with the movies).

Anyhow, in the case of HP, her writing style itself is enough to draw me in. And the story and attention to detail she has in the books grows incredibly over time as you get further into the stories. Still, I do understand if it just isn’t your thing. I would make a recommendation. Check out the Jim Dale narrated versions of the books and listen to them before you go. As a narrator, he is just incredible. Using your commute time to work (assuming you have commute time) to get through at least book 3.

Although, if your wife is such a fan, are you saying you HAVEN’T watched the movies with her, even if not interested?


#19

Have tried numerous times to read or watch. REALLY want to like the stuff, just not my genre. Does not hold my interest in the least.

However, I’m surrounded by Potterfans at home and at work so I’ve learned a fair bit by osmosis


#20

Totally get that. Despite my best efforts, for example, I just can’t seen to get my wife to enjoy most of the Sci Fi stuff I like! I tossed out the idea of watching through the Star Trek movies a couple weeks back since I feel my DS8 is old enough to enjoy some of them at least, and my wife was like, “Um. I am NOT watching those movies again!” :slight_smile: