It would be like if they had a simulator ride of you horse-racing, but you couldn’t actually see your horse’s head!
You don’t imagine yourself in a village in Africa when you are in the Africa section? You don’t feel like you’ve stepped into Asia in the Asia section?
AK is the place that has made me put a trip to Africa in motion. It made me create a special savings account just for that, and to put a date on my calendar to aim for. For a theme park to have that kind of effect, it’s a pretty special place IMO
You’re a Navi in the moment. You’re WICKED TALL. You see way over the Banshee’s head
Good point about the Banshee head. Leave it to Ryan to notice these things. Here’s a quick comment from themeparktourist.com on this:
Where is the banshee’s head?
Pandora’s banshees have good sized heads, and Navi riders aren’t situated directly above them. In theory, for the most immersive experience possible, you should be able to see the banshee’s head as you fly through Pandora’s gorgeous landscapes. It’s understandable that Disney opted to skip solving this issue. It would likely involve adding an animatronic banshee component to the ride vehicles that would definitely make the ride more complicated (especially since you would have to reveal it after the ride starts). It is certainly possible with Disney magic, but it would be challenging.
Oh, sure. But it isn’t any different from feeling like I’m in Batuu or in Mexico, etc. It is super well done. But not enough to make AK set apart for me.
Yes. Precisely. In order to pull off showing the head, it is a technological problem. They couldn’t effectively do it using the 3D movie since they have a bunch of riders all sitting next to one another supposedly having their own “unique” experience.
So, rather than give us an animatronic head (or even just a fixed head of some kind) they gave us nothing. Which, for me, made the experience feel entirely fake.
Not saying it wasn’t fun…but it kept it from being truly immersive, and so the fact that we could “feel” the banshee’s body under us breathing seemed…odd.
I think they were banking on people being so glued to the visuals on the screen and the smells that this omission would be negligible. That did work for me, and I just assumed the whole banshee was there while I took in all the details on the screen (but not of my ride vehicle). I will try to forget about this by the time I’m there to ride it again.
AK- 66.15%, EP-59.29%, MK- 50.32%, HS- 46.32% I included everything (meet and greets shows, diversions, then gave an over all for dining, and an over all for transportation and walkability, because those things are important to me)
Good idea. I noticed it immediately, and so it bothered me from the start.
Hmm. Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned it. Apparently people haven’t been bothered by this like I have…but now they will be!
It was a series of unfortunate events, really.
We had 3 littles at the time. 1,3, and 5. So there’s no sitting in any of the bars and relaxing with a drink. Which would be nice given the opportunity.
We started by trying the bug show. Tears. So many tears. Should have known better and won’t do again until all the kids are older. That one is on me.
Tried to give them time to play at the Boneyard. There was no way for 2 parents, much less 1, to keep track of 3 little boys 5 & under in there. And the littlest ones weren’t really old enough to enjoy all the bells and whistles of the area.
We had a FP for FOTLK but were 2 minutes late to arrive when you are supposed to be there (15-30 minutes early) and were turned away even though the standby line hadn’t gone in.
It seemed like few of the best attractions were a fit for us.
I think it comes down to a couple unfortunate circumstances and the fact that we weren’t at an ideal place in terms of ages for things to “hit” right. And we have a terrific local zoo so I struggle to see the trails as that much better than what we get at home so they are a bit of a downer, unfortunately.
On the positive side, we ate at and relaxed behind Flame Tree BBQ. That was the highlight of the day. I rode EE and it is a lovely ride. Rode KS and it was excellent. Unfortunately no Pandora to enjoy at night at the time.
We have been back to WDW a couple times since then, including with a 4th baby/toddler and had great experiences at MK and HS with the kids being engaged, excited, and enjoying themselves. So I struggle to know if it was a fluke day and we’ll have a great time on the next visit or…something else.
I’m curious about this. The thing that made me fall in love with AK the first time I went is that it doesn’t feel like I’m in a zoo. The fact that, when I’m riding in the safari vehicle and I see the lion wake up, stretch and yawn as the sun rises behind him, and can’t see the barriers that would keep him from coming right up to me, makes it feel distinctly superior to any zoo experience. Plus all the other animals that can actually come right up to the truck… the first time I rode, we had a few minute delay because there were animals blocking our path. To @OBNurseNH’s point, I actually felt like I was on an African safari, not at a zoo. And, you’re right, that Disney does immersion well in other places (Mexico was one of your examples), but Mexico is also far more attainable a destination to me living in the States (have been four? times) whereas I’m longing to go to Africa for real and don’t see that happening for many, many years; Disney fills a “real” void. I love Batuu, too, but that’s not an option in real life, so the immersion fills a “fantasy” void. Perhaps I’m too grounded in reality but the former far outweighs the latter in my opinion.
Oh dude. So sorry about that. That attraction is terror-inducing, even for many adults ( )
It does sound like a series of unfortunate events. I had a day like that at HS on my first trip where the first thing of the day went sideways and the whole day was bad after that with more things piling on the misery. I have since been back to that park several times and - although it’s definitely not my favorite - I have had some super great days there.
I hope the next time you go you’ll have a better time of it.
I know the mention of lounges might suggest that that’s all there is to my day there. It’s actually not. But sitting and absorbing the atmosphere while seated there certainly contributes to my sense of it as a relaxing place. When mine were littles I certainly did not get to do all that lounging - and heck even now that they are older it’s more of a rarity. I get to do that kind of thing on solo trips or visits with friends. And perhaps that is part of it too, as solo times and times with people I care about (most of whom I only know because of TP) are super special and fill my soul with pixie dust.
It used to have the tagline Nahtazu (not a zoo) and there was a whole ad campaign about it!
That’s great. Don’t think I had ever seen that!
If I never went back to EP I’d be 100% okay with that. As much as I would like to try Remy, nothing else there is a must do.
HS is easily my favorite, only recently squeaking out over AK. AK shows are feeling old to me and EE is harder on me than it used to be.
So I guess my order is HS, AK, MK, EP.
I absolutely hated the breathing. It didn’t feel real in the slightest and took me right out of the experience. The banshee’s head on the other hand I didn’t notice and won’t think about.
My granddaughter only did attractions, which could skew things some, and spent considerable time contacting various relatives.
As I recall (this was nearly 20 years ago)
Epcot 85% MK 62% AK 60% HS58%
Lots of things different in the parks today.
It is unbelievable to me that my friends in Tampa have never been to AK. They don’t know what they’re missing!
Hahaha - we might still be sorta twins cuz that’s Epcot to us - soak it in. The philosophy is there.
HS fans get out the torches: Hollywood Studios is the park that I feel the Mouse’s hand in my pocket the most. Even when we could watch animators and walk thru the sound stages.
MK is like a grandparents’ house - familiar with an odd mix of cheesy and cool stuff and you don’t really give it much thought, you just go there.
And, to beat the dead horse, that’s what’s great about WDW - something for everyone.
Imagineers are getting something right.
I’ve only ridden it once but I did not notice this in the slightest. Thanks a bundle.
Also, I don’t know about your zoos in Michigan, but in Arizona I have rarely been able to see more than an obscured view of the lion sleeping. KS is a much better view of all the animals than I’ve ever had at a zoo.