Pandora at Disney World -CM112


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Pandora Avatar Land in Disney World

Heather and Steph are sharing their tips for visiting Pandora in Avatar Land at Animal Kingdom in Disney World. What they liked and didn't like, the best photo ops, magic shots, their thoughts on the food, and souvenirs.

Panel

Steph (Capturingmagic_ on Twitter and Instagram) and ModernPhotoSolutions on Instagram and Facebook
Heather (I Love Characters. heatherw25 on Twitter and Instagramilovecharacters on FB)
Tanya (everymagicmoment.com. TanyaH666 on Twitter and Instagram)

 

(Transcripts below)

 

Steph:
Hey everyone, welcome to Capturing Magic. I'm Steph Clay, and I'm here today with Tanya Hickman, who can be found at EveryMagicMoment.com, and TanyaH666 on social media. Hey Tanya.

Tanya:
Hello. I've actually been posting on my blog again. Woo.

Steph:
Yay. Yay. So how's it gonna look?

Tanya:
It never fails that, the end of the year, I just can't function the last three months of the year. With Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's like, and then I just forget. But I started posting again, a week ago.

Steph:
Yay.

Tanya:
So there's stuff there now.

Steph:
Yay. Okay. And we have Heather Winfield, who can be found at HEatherW.com/character and HEatherW25 on social media. Hi Heather.

Heather:
Hi.

Steph:
You here? That was kind of delayed. It made [crosstalk 00:00:58]

Heather:
It was a little delayed.

Steph:
You left somewhere.

Tanya:
She's like, “No, I'm not staying. Bye.”

Heather:
Yeah. See how you guys can do without me.

Steph:
Okay, today I'm really excited. We are going to be talking about Pandora. Yay.

Heather:
Yay.

Tanya:
Yay.

Steph:
So Heather, you visited Pandora during the AP preview, right?

Heather:
Right.

Steph:
Okay, and then I just got back a week or so ago, from my trip to Florida, where I was able to visit Pandora a bunch. And I love it. Okay, but I want to preface it and say, I haven't ever seen the movie. Ever. And I don't want to see the movie. I don't want to see Avatar.

Tanya:
To be fair, you're not missing much.

Heather:
No, I mean yeah. The thing is, I saw it when it came out and I hated it. A lot. And so when this whole thing was announced, and I was kind of like, “You know, it may be cool, but I don't like this.” And then, just again, I did the AP preview, so the movie had been on the month before, so I DVR'd it, and I kept putting it off and finally, I watched it a day or two before I went. I'm like, “I feel like I have to.” And I still had a hard time getting through it. But even still, yeah, I loved the whole Pandora Land. So you either, even if you hate it or you haven't seen it, like Steph, it doesn't matter.

Tanya:
I agree.

Steph:
I feel like its a love it or hate it movie. Like not necessarily hate it, but it's either you really, really like it or you're just kind of meh about it. My cousin saw it 18 times in the theater. IN the theater, 18 times. He was obsessed with that movie.

Heather:
That's why it made so much money [crosstalk 00:02:43]

Steph:
I know. And he didn't see it in like standard definition each time, you know. Like, oh my gosh. No. He was obsessed with that movie. Now he wants to go to Disney World and he doesn't even care about Disney World.

Tanya:
That's funny.

Steph:
Now he just wants to go, just for that.

Tanya:
Yeah. When they made the announcement, said they were building Pandora, Avatar land, whatever we're gonna call it, I was same. I had the same thoughts as Heather. I just was like, “What the heck? I don't even like that movie. It's not …” I know that it made a lot of money, but so many people that I know haven't seen it. Just like you guys are saying- And if they have, most … I don't know anyone, except for your cousin now, who really likes it.

Heather:
Who like loved it? Yeah.

Steph:
Everybody-

Heather:
I have a friend online, who's like obsessed with it and loves it, but that's like the only person I know. And they've gone to the Land like pretty much every day since it opened, but I'm like, “Yeah, okay. You're the one that should be like yes, [inaudible 00:03:45]” Otherwise, yeah. People are just kind of like indifferent to it. It's not like Star Wars, like, “Oh my goodness, Star Wars. I can't wait.”

Steph:
Yes, but I knew … I mean, it's Disney. So I figured it was going to be good, because it's Disney [crosstalk 00:04:07]

Heather:
And it's Joe [Birdie 00:04:07].

Steph:
Yes, exactly.

Heather:
That's why I had faith that it was gonna be good.

Steph:
Yes. And so I knew I would love it, once I got there and I knew that it was going to be great. And I knew that I wouldn't need to see the movie either. Which, I've had a lot of people say, “Oh, maybe we need to watch the movie.” No, you don't need to watch the movie.” I haven't seen it, my kids haven't seen it. My husband was the only one that had seen it, but he saw it right when it came out, and so he didn't remember anything about the movie, 'cause it just wasn't memorable to him.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
And so he felt like he was kind of seeing it for the first time too. He was like, “I don't remember a lot of this stuff.” So okay, we, I'm gonna tell you how we went in to Pandora. We got in on a Sunday night, and it rained every day of our trip. So we got in and by the time we got over to the park, we got in at about seven, and so we got over to the park late. They had extra magic hours until one in the morning, if you're staying on property. And so we knew that that's what we were going to do.

Heather:
And they had that until August now. They actually extended it.

Steph:
Yes. Which that night for us, it worked out great. Because it was raining, it wasn't that crowded. We went back for extra magic, well we just happened to be there, in the parks, and we went in to Pandora, I think to grab something to eat. I don't remember for sure. Yeah, it was to grab a snack. And during extra magic hours. And it was mayhem. It was crazy. So I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but it wasn't raining at that time. When we went and we got there, it was raining and we walked in and I have to say, it was breathtaking at night. And especially in the rain, with everything sparkling and glowing and wet and we all walked in and just stood and gasped. Literally gasped. And my kids were dying, how beautiful it was. They're like, “Look at this. Look at the ground.” Because everything was glowing, and incredible. So that was our first impression of Pandora. What about you Heather? Your first impression?

Heather:
Yeah, so when I went it was the preview, so it wasn't open at night yet, so I'm dying to see it at night. It's actually the first day I go, I'm gonna go over to see it at night. But yeah, I walked in. And so it was during the day, and it was … I had tried to stay unspoiled as much as I could, 'cause I wanted to see everything for myself. So I had seen a picture or two of a couple things, but it was pretty unspoiled, so that was good. So yeah, it was just, everything was really beautiful. I mean, that's what I kept saying afterwards. I'm like, “It's really pretty.” I don't know what else to say about it. It's just really pretty. So that was my, yeah, first impression. ‘Cause I think, do they have it that you have to go in one way and leave another way?

Steph:
No.

Heather:
Okay, 'cause I know the first day that they had said that, 'cause when I went, they didn't have … ‘Cause they have like two ways to get in I guess, right? There's a way to get in. So one of them, the one from Africa wasn't open when I went. So I only went in that first main, I don't know if that's the main place, but-

Steph:
It is the main place, yeah. I think it is. Africa's kind of a back way.

Heather:
Yeah. ‘Cause I know when it was crowded, they were saying you have to go in that way and then leave from Africa. So I guess when it's not crowded, you can go in either way you wanted. I don't know. But yeah, that's how I saw that, where they had … And there's like a photo pass like right when you got [inaudible 00:07:55], like I [inaudible 00:07:55] a little bit. That was … [inaudible 00:07:58] and I went and I was like, “I'm getting my pictures,” because when you went for the preview, they gave you a fast pass for the [inaudible 00:08:08] and the main ride. And it was like a 15 minute window.

Steph:
Oh wow.

Heather:
So yeah. And so mine was like in about a half hour or so, maybe a little more than that. So I was like, “I want to get as many pictures as I can first.” ‘Cause I'm always paranoid, like is it gonna start raining? Or any of that stuff. So I did a couple of the, two photo pass things, which we'll talk about that. And then, went on the rides and [inaudible 00:08:31] around and stuff afterwards. That was my first impression, I guess.

Steph:
Yeah, that's good. I do want to say that, when you were talking about which way to go in and which way to go out, I don't think their signage in Pandora is very good. We got lost a lot. [crosstalk 00:08:51] I mean, it was kind of confusing.

Tanya:
They probably did that on purpose, to keep you in there.

Steph:
Maybe.

Heather:
It was like in the theming maybe. I mean, it seemed like it is, it's just small. It was smaller than I expected.

Steph:
It is small. Yeah.

Heather:
So yeah, even if you get lost, you're not like, “Oh my goodness, how am I ever gonna find my way back?”

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
I did have to ask when I first walked in … Again, I went in as blind as I could, so I didn't know where anything was, but they kind of pointed over … But yeah, they don't really have that much, even where like the rides are.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
It was really a big like, “This is this room.”

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
It is actually … But I think again, I guess that's the …

Steph:
Yeah, I know. I think they're trying to keep it with the theming or whatever, but I got lost a lot and I ended up walking a lot more than I needed to, because I'm thinking that I'm heading to the rides, but no, actually I'm at the canteen and the restrooms. And so, I do wish that they would have better signage. And even the signs that they do have, the way they have the triangles, it's … Okay, so it's a triangle that has asymmetric sides, and so you can't tell which way it's pointing for sure. And I stood looking at that sign, and I'm like, “Which way is that triangle pointing? They're all the same size. I don't know which way to go.” So I think that they could do a little bit better job on some of the signage. That's my only complaint about Pandora. Okay, so let's talk about … Should we go over the photo ops and stuff first?

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
‘Cause you were the one that actually sent me tons of pictures and were like, “Here's where all the photo ops are, so that you're ready.”

Heather:
Yeah, because the thing is, when I went, again for the preview, when they put up the AP preview, and I … I didn't have any trip planned or anything, it was just like, “Ah, I need to get this.” So I didn't really think, I should have coordinated with people I knew who were going. And my mo doesn't have a pass right now. So when I went, I had to go by myself. So since I was going by myself, I had to rely on photo pass to make sure I'm getting pictures there. So that's why I made sure I got them. Every time I went to a photo pass, I'm like, “Where are the other photo passes? Are there any other magic …” I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything. So that was the main thing. And yeah, when I … The photo things that I told you, were they the same when you went?

Steph:
The words, I don't think that there were as many photographers out as there were when you were there. [crosstalk 00:11:49]

Heather:
When I went, I think there was … Yeah, it was like three … I mean, again, it's a preview, so I knew that it probably, they might have been just testing things out. It seemed like there were like three photo pass people out, but then one of them was roaming, and then sometimes they were like overlapping. ‘Cause there was one time I saw four of them just busy chatting. So I just thought they were gonna stand there until they were done and I'm like …

Steph:
I know, right? Excuse me, can you take my picture? Yeah, I've done that. [crosstalk 00:12:20]

Heather:
But yeah, the one photo pass, 'cause when I first walked in to that land, and so they have … Okay, these things have names, I know. Again, since we don't know anything about Avatar, I don't know their names.

Steph:
Me either.

Heather:
Like a description's just gonna have to do. So there's like this big plant thing, and there's like pink on it. And I think when you touch it or something, it's supposed, there's like smoke coming out of it or something. I don't know if you saw that?

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
Okay. So that was like the first spot. And I'm assuming they'll have photo pass there most of the time, 'cause it seemed to be a spot where they would. Did they have it when you were there?

Steph:
There wasn't a magic shop there, but there was a photo pass photographer, yes.

Heather:
Not a magic shop, yeah. Just a photo …

Steph:
Yeah, there was a photo pass photographer there. Most every time we walked in and out, there was someone there.

Heather:
Yeah, it seemed like that would be a spot, especially 'cause it's like when you first walk in, you know. Anyway. So that definitely seems like that would be there. And so that photographer was … Again, 'cause it wasn't open at night yet, so she was like, “Go to the spot on the floor,” or on the rock or whatever and she's like, “Just hold your hands around it and look, 'cause then it makes it dark and you can see it light up.” I'm like, “Okay.” [inaudible 00:13:36] And so, again, I asked her like, “Where are the magic shops? Where are there other photographers?” And so, I ran in to her like three more times and she's like, like every time, like, “Ugh.” You know, like jokingly. I think jokingly. But yeah. She was [inaudible 00:13:55]. That was the first one. When I came out of the land, there was somebody over, this is still when you're walking in, but they weren't there when I … [inaudible 00:14:06]. There's like a blue plant, and it's like, again it has a name. And the guy-

Steph:
I know what you're talking about.

Heather:
Yeah. It's really pretty, so that's why I would want a picture. It's like a circle … I don't know, it's pretty. That's how I describe this whole land, I'm sorry. But he gave me the whole story about how, you know when you walk on to Pandora, the air isn't breathable to humans, so they're smart and they put, you know, that pink plant, whatever it's called, and this plant-

Steph:
Let me say, I want to say that that plant, it reminds me of Audrey from the Little Shop Of Horrors. [crosstalk 00:14:43] I men, seriously. That's what it looks like to me. And so, forever and ever more.

Tanya:
Isn't she a Venus Flytrap?

Steph:
I don't know. But it's big, and anyway. Forevermore, that plant is known as Audrey to me. And by the way, that musical is also by Alan Minkin, so you know. There's a tie in there.

Heather:
So yeah, the photo pass guy was explaining the whole thing, how the plants are there to take out the [inaudible 00:15:09] from the air, so that we can breathe, and isn't that a great thing? And he was like, “If you have seen the archived footage, that some people call Avatar, that you see that.” [crosstalk 00:15:22]

Steph:
They have been prepped, good lordy.

Heather:
And the thing is too, again, this is when I was leaving. And I had gotten, we'll talk about the food, but I had gotten a drink, so I want to take it out, I wanted to share with my boyfriend and I'm like, “I just want a picture and go,” but he's giving me the whole story, so I'm like, “Okay, that's good.” So, but yeah. That was somebody there, and I think he was kind of roaming. So you might find somebody over around that thing. It's like on the left side, when you're walking in past the plant [inaudible 00:15:50].

Steph:
Yeah, and we found someone there at night, I think. Maybe not during the day. I need to look at my photos.

Heather:
And then, the main thing, which they'll always have somebody there, 'cause that's where the magic shot is, it's by the floating mountains, which is the big thing. And that line, I was in that line for … Again, this is a preview, so there weren't really that many people there. It was nice. I mean, I was in that line for like over 20 minutes. And I noticed then when I was leaving, they switched the way the line was going, and everything. So I'm sure they were figuring it out. But yeah, so that was the thing, with the floating mountains. And then they had like a banshee magic shot, so like you point and banshees [inaudible 00:16:35], so yeah. So that was, so that I think always has to be there.

Steph:
Yeah, it was there and it was even there at night. Okay, someone's moving their headset. You got to [inaudible 00:16:50]

Tanya:
Sorry, it was me. Sorry. I hit the cord and the whole thing flew off my head.

Steph:
I'm like, if you're gonna adjust your headset, please hit mute.

Tanya:
It went flying just now.

Steph:
And you're like, I can't. If I knew ahead of time …

Tanya:
Sorry, sorry, sorry. Continue.

Steph:
Okay, so yeah. I want to say that there's someone there at night too. Yeah. ‘Cause you can't do the banshee magic shot at night, but you can do the … I call them squishees. They look like jellyfish to me. You know, squishee from Nemo?

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
I don't know what they are.

Heather:
They're, again, I just saw the movie and I know, but I don't really. It's something and they mean something to the life and the thing and then I think they put their tail in it. I don't know. [inaudible 00:17:44] But yeah, if you've seen that movie, you know those things. They are those, like you said, they kind of look like jellyfish things and they're like floating, kind of and yeah.

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Heather:
I probably should have looked up the names of these things before we started talking, but I'm pretty sure 90% of the people listening wouldn't know the names anyway.

Steph:
I know, that's what I'm thinking too. I'm like, “Everyone's gonna be in the same boat as us, and so if we were to say the name, even when they go, they won't know what that means.” But if we say squishees, and they'll see them, they'll be, “Oh yeah, that's the squishees. [inaudible 00:18:16] what they were talking about.” Don't you think?

Heather:
Yeah.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
So anyway, that magic shot is near the floating mountains, as well. They're right near each other. But the lines-

Heather:
And it's only at night, that one.

Steph:
Yes. The squishee one. And the banshee one is only during the day. But the lines, even though they looked long, it only took us about 10 minutes to get through the, five, 10 minutes. And there were probably 15 people in line.

Heather:
The other thing too is, when I did it, again, it was preview, so probably they were like learning what they were doing. So that might have been why it was taking a really long time. ‘Cause they were doing [inaudible 00:18:51] things and the magic shot and it was so long that the one, the photo pass one that was in the front, then with the photo pass when I got up there, and that's why she was like, “Oh [inaudible 00:19:04]” But yeah.

Steph:
But yeah, I do want to say, on the banshee magic shot, 'cause we did it, my daughter and I did it two different times. And the first time that we did it, the photographer told us, “Point at that light right here.” And so that's what we did. She was like, “Look at the light, point at the light.” So we ended up with almost our whole back of our head to the camera. And then the second time we did it, the photographer said, “Point back over that rock, but look at me.” And so that's what we did, and that photo's way better. Because we're looking at him, but pointing at the banshee, like we're turning to him and saying, “Oh my gosh, look at that.” Instead of the back of our heads.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Heather:
I'm gonna have to remember that, 'cause when I … I don't even remember her saying, “Point to a lamp,” or anything. She just was like, “Point up there.”

Tanya:
Pretend like you're looking at something.

Heather:
Yeah. So I mean, it's like the side of my head, I guess, but it's not the back. I mean … The thing was, because it was, again it might have been the time of day, or their settings or whatever it was. You couldn't even tell me [inaudible 00:20:18], can I send you guys the picture? Like it just looked like nothing was in the background. It was just kind of like a black blob.

Tanya:
It's you standing there.

Heather:
Yeah. So I had to go in and edit it, so that you could see it was the floating mountains. So that kind of made the banshee magic shot a little like not as what it looked like. But I had to do that, 'cause otherwise it was pointless. I had to do it with all my pictures from that thing, 'cause I don't know if the settings weren't right or what, but yeah. That was … I mean, they came out okay, but I'll remember that. I'll look at the camera next time I go back.

Steph:
Yes, for the daylight magic shot, you want to look at the camera, for sure. For the squishee one, it's okay to just be looking at the light. I'm gonna pull that one up real quick. Yeah. That one's better, but still, it was weird the way they had it, the way she had us pointing at that one light, and it ended up with the back of our heads. The squishee one looks sideways for sure. The banshee one's just point, the one that's during the day, that's the banshee, point but make sure that you're looking at the camera. Turn around and look at the camera, if they don't instruct you to do that.

Heather:
Yeah, 'cause I'm looking at the picture and I'm like, it's like the side of my face, but I don't know.

Steph:
It's the back of my daughter's head and then my profile. And you all know how crazy my hair was, and so really, it's just a picture of my crazy hair. It was so bad when I was in Florida.

Heather:
Because the thing is, even though this is on Pandora, which is another planet, it's still just as Animal Kingdom hot, as it is in the rest of the park.

Steph:
And humid. Yes.

Heather:
Yes.

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
So then, I also got … I think another place where they'll always have it, was over by like where you said you got lost. Where the, was it the store and the food place and then the big thing online.

Steph:
Windtraders, [inaudible 00:22:21] and that [crosstalk 00:22:24].

Heather:
Yeah, whatever it's called. And then there's like a wall, and like there's benches and you can sit there and people are [inaudible 00:22:35] the walls of Disney, and so that's become a thing. The moss wall. So yeah, there's like a photo pass person usually there, and then they take it in front of the … I did know what it was called, and now I forget. But it's like this big thing that the guy sat in, in the movie, and he was like shooting at the stuff. And I don't really understand why that's there, but I don't know. So there's that thing. The first time I was over there, the photo pass guy took a picture of me in front of that. And then when I came back, there was another photo pass guy there and I said I already took it, so he took a picture of me over by the moss wall. And then, when I was leaving, I saw the photo pass was also facing the other way, towards the middle of the land. So you have all the plants and I guess you could have the mountain in there. I didn't get that, because I was leaving. So yeah. So I think that was, that guy, not guy but photo pass person should always be around in that area, that seemed like a spot.

Steph:
Yeah. And then at night, there's several different spots too. There's one, you know the big plant that you were talking about, got to see if I can zoom in on this one. [inaudible 00:23:53] That really pretty plant that you were talking about, and then there's, it almost looks like some floating mountains behind it, but I don't … A smaller one maybe? ‘Cause it's not right in front of the main floating mountains. So there's a night shot there. And then there's also a night shot in front of the floating mountains, which is beautiful. And then, also, the squishee night shot.

Heather:
Yeah. I also got, the same photographer, I got her. She was kind of roaming around, so there's like this bridge area, and so that was really pretty. And she took a picture of me on the bridge, and then there's like kind of a small waterfall thing, that when you turn the other way … So she took a picture of me there. And then I also found when I was leaving, there was a roaming guy ad he was in front and there's several kind of like … They aren't really waterfalls, but they're the water coming down the mountains I guess. So there was one in front of the big waterfallish thing. So I got that, and it actually didn't really come out that well. I was kind of disappointed. But there was the guy kind of roaming around, he stopped there. The whole land is like a photo spot.

Steph:
Yeah, it is.

Heather:
So I guess they could kind of, if they want to go somewhere [inaudible 00:25:23].

Steph:
Yeah, at any given time, I think I found about three to five photographers in there, that were kind of stationary and then one roaming around. And also, I want to mention, when we looked at our photos on the moss wall, they had a prop that is a frame, that makes it look like it's a passport, a visitor passport. So that was cool, to be able … You hold that up in front of your face and then it looks like it's a little passport photo, and then the frame says, dang it, I wish I could zoom in more. How do you zoom in on these photo pass previews? Just give me the big version of the photo. For Pete's sake. Here it is. Okay. It's, “Alpha Century Expeditions,” and it says, “Authorized Intergalactic Traveler.” And then it says underneath, in big letters, “Visitor.” Big, orange letters, “Visitor.” So that's kind of a fun thing too, in there. You there?

Tanya:
Yeah.

Heather:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:26:33]

Steph:
Did I lose ya?

Heather:
Yeah, they didn't have any props when I was there.

Steph:
Okay, yeah. Yeah, it's fun. Super fun. So we did photos with both of those. And then, there are actually a couple of different moss walls too, I figured out, 'cause I saw photographers down in different places.

Heather:
Yeah. I know that when you're leaving Flights of Passage, you pass by several moss walls. But I think that one over there, like the main one. ‘Cause there's like pink in the wall. I don't know. The whole wall thing is …

Steph:
Whatever.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
Yeah, it's fun. I guess. But whatever. Okay. So, did we get them all?

Heather:
I think. I mean, those are all the ones that I got, photo pass wise. And I think you mentioned all the night ones you got.

Steph:
Yeah. Photo pass. And there are lots of photographers around. I was really happy and excited with how many photos we got. I wish I could have gotten a few more. It was just that, for some reason, when we happened to be rushing through, there were lots of photographers, and when I wanted, when I was looking for photographers, I had a bit more of a hard time finding them. But for sure, the floating mountain … Like, there was never a photographer in front of the floating mountains during the day, when we were there. But there was at night, for that pretty shot.

Tanya:
How are their night time photos coming out? ‘Cause you know, those can be hit or miss with photo pass sometimes.

Steph:
These ones and animal kingdom are really good. They've been really, really good.

Tanya:
Okay.

Steph:
Yeah. They can be hit or miss. The ones that I got in Hollywood Studios turned out really great. And the ones that I got in Animal Kingdom turned out great. The ones that we got in Epcot at night, I want to say, some of them were a little dark. More this trip, the bigger issue that I've seen, has been issues with photos being blown out.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
But you can fix them. I'm glad that they're still loading them, 'cause for a while there, if they weren't perfect, they wouldn't put them up.

Tanya:
They wouldn't … Yeah. I'd rather have them, even if they're bad.

Steph:
Me too, 'cause … Especially with Iphone apps, you can tap tap tap, and you're good to go.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
So, okay. So we got the magic shots and we got the photo pass. Right? All the photo ops. Okay. Banshees. We got to talk about banshees. All righty. Let me scare you with the banshee story. Thank heavens for Heather, because she saved our trip. So in Windtraders, there is a whole nook, really, like a whole little wall, alcove. The Rookery, Windtraders. That's what they call it, right? The Rookery?

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
And you can buy a banshee, and it's a shoulder puppet. And my daughter educated me. It's an air compressor that actually works. The puppet, it's a non battery air compressor that makes it all move, and they can move their head side to side and open their mouth and they make noises and she had seen them. And when she saw them, she is almost 11, that was it. She had to have one, before we left. And she was saving her money, she had a name picked out. She was deciding which colors to get, and the day before we leave, was it the day before we left, Heather?

Heather:
Yeah. Yeah, 'cause I didn't know any of this, and I just …

Steph:
No, you did not know this. [crosstalk 00:30:42]

Heather:
I didn't know your story, right.

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
So on Twitter, I saw that … ‘Cause they're kind of like their answer to the whole wand thing at Harry Potter, so everybody … When I went for the preview, like everybody was walking around carrying them. So I saw that they said they were sold out, and so I sent Steph a text, “Hope you didn't want to get a banshee.”

Steph:
So mean Heather, so mean. [crosstalk 00:31:09] Crush my daughter's dream, right?

Heather:
And she sent a text back like, “What?” And then you told me that and then I felt awful, 'cause I shouldn't have said it like that.

Steph:
And I started crying, like I was so upset, because I knew my daughter was going to be broken hearted. And I kept telling Heather, I'm like, “I still haven't had the guts to tell her that they're out.” And I decided, I was like, “What am I going to do?” And so then I'm like, “You know what? I'm not going to be the bad guy. I'm gonna let Disney be the bad guy. Disney's gonna have to be the ones that have to tell her that they're out.”

Heather:
[inaudible 00:31:51] I know plenty of people that live there. As soon as they come in, you'll get it. And don't worry. But I know it's not the same thing.

Steph:
Right.

Heather:
‘Cause I don't … Well, wait. And so then I, again I'm on Twitter and I saw somebody say that they had them back in stock. There's only like one color, 'cause they had all different ones and stuff. And it's like a whole thing when you adopt it, or they [inaudible 00:32:20] to you. I don't know.

Steph:
Okay, so can I say, we got to back up just a little bit.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
We go in that night. So we fly in and she's talking about how she's gonna get this banshee and she's so excited that we're going to Animal Kingdom, right when we get there, so she can carry it around with her all week. And I'm dying inside. And we go in tho there after we ride the rides, and she sees the wall, and she immediately starts crying. She's like, “Maybe they have some in the back. Can you ask someone?” So I'm like, “Let's go ask.” And they're like, “No, we're out.” And no, “I'm sorry.” No nothing. Just, “We're out.” And so she immediately starts crying. Here's my little 10 year old, in a puddle of tears, broken hearted that they're out, and the cast member's like, I was really sad with the way they handled it, because they kind of took the human side of it out, and they just became these machines that were answering the same question a hundred times, and not realizing that here's my daughter, who this was what she wanted. This was all she'd been talking about for weeks. And they were kind of rude.

And so I went over to another cast ember and said, “Who can I talk to about this?” And she's like, “Well, it's just like any store where you can run out of stock on anything, blah, blah, blah.” And I said, “Okay. I understand that.” And I said … She's like, “You can keep checking back.” And I said, “I understand that. We just flew in from Arizona,” and I said, “All I would like is an apology, really. Just tell me that you're sorry. My daughter's standing here, crying. Tell her that you're sorry, would you please?” And so that softened her immediately, and she talked to my daughter, which that's all I wanted. I wanted someone to just talk to my daughter and just tell her that you're sorry, that's it. That's all we need. That will go a long way. Don't tell me why you're right, don't tell me why it's okay. Just tell me that you're sorry. And so that's what they ended up doing. And then, another cast member said, “Just keep checking back. We might get some in. I don't want to say for sure, but just …” And then Heather came to the rescue. Thank goodness for Heather.

Heather:
Thank goodness I'm addicted to Twitter.

Tanya:
How many days after? How many days after?

Steph:
Let me go look. ‘Cause we were at Hollywood Studios.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
So let's see. That was on the fourth, and then they got them in and she texted me on the ninth. So it was a few days.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Heather:
Yeah, and so I saw somebody tweeted like, “Oh, there's one color, but they're back in stock.” And I immediately texted Steph and I was like, “They're back in stock. I don't know where you are, but …”

Steph:
Yeah, we were about to board Tower of Terror, which was her first time ever riding Tower of Terror, and she was terrified, and that ride video and ride photo is the saddest thing I've ever seen. But then afterwards I was like, “Well, let's go get your banshee now, okay?” So then I didn't feel as bad. And so we ended up buying the express pass to park hop. IS that what it's called?

Heather:
Yeah. Express transfer or something like that.

Steph:
Express transportation. And so we went over in Hollywood Studios, it's over by Rockin Roller Coaster, and we sat there and waited for a few minutes and caught the bus right over the Animal Kingdom, it let's you out in Africa and then we walked over and grabbed the banshee. I have to tell you, that … If you park hop, that is the way to go. I'm afraid the word's gonna get out and it's gonna get really expensive, because it was us and two other people, on this big, air conditioned bus. And we didn't have to do security, we didn't have to ride a big, crowded bus with lots of people. Yeah, it was great. And it was fast. We were over there within 15 minutes, and inside Pandora within 15 minutes. So we were able to get her banshee. But then, I gotta say again, because they're supposed to do this whole adoption ceremony thing, and that's what, I was like, “Is there any way we can order these online?” “No, because we do a special adoption process, where they bond with their banshee and that's the whole premise of it.”

Tanya:
They just threw it at ya, huh?

Steph:
Yeah, that's what they said when they launched the banshees too, is that you would get to bond with it and all of this stuff. So then when we go pick hers up, nobody does that special adoption process with her, nobody does the special bonding thing. They just hand us the banshee and we go. And I'm like, “What about, isn't there supposed to be a special … Okay, whatever.” And then, my husband a couple days later, decided that he wanted one, and so we go in there and they're trying to do the whole adoption, bonding thing with him, and he's like, “Just let me have the banshee [crosstalk 00:37:22] do not want to do that.” He wanted to have one to take to work, because he thought it would be hilarious to have at work, which it will be. But he's like, “I don't want to do your funny bonding stuff. Just give me the banshee.” So I was disappointed in that whole thing. I'm happy that we have a banshee, and I'm happy that she got a banshee. She was thrilled with it. Here we were in our Star Wars stuff, because we were at Hollywood Studios that day. I felt very embarrassed and out of place in Pandora, wearing our Star Wars stuff.

Tanya:
I could just picture you, walking around, going, “We're not supposed to be here. We're not supposed to be here. [crosstalk 00:37:58]”

Steph:
This is not planned. We're going back to Hollywood Studios.

Tanya:
Having to explain to everybody why you're wearing a Star Wars shirt.

Steph:
That's exactly what I felt I needed to do. And I did, to a few of the cast members. I'm sure they're like, “Whatever.” They're like, “Well, it's a different universe.” I'm like, “Yes, exactly. See. We're [inaudible 00:38:15]” And then we went back over to Hollywood Studios and she wore her banshee the rest of the trip. So that was good. Even when we weren't in Disney, when we were back at our hotel for the evening, the banshee was out and on her shoulder, and still, she's been wearing it a ton at home. It was worth all of the tears and everything that we went through to get it.

Tanya:
That's cute.

Heather:
I think the next day, it sold out again.

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
So it keeps going back and forth, and I think they get different colors in and I had heard that, that when they say that they got it in and they text you, and then I saw somebody else said, “But they're not doing the adoption thing anymore.” [inaudible 00:38:56]

Steph:
Oh, so you knew that.

Heather:
I heard it. After I had texted you, so I think it was in between. I don't know, you might have already gotten it by then. That's why I was going to ask you if they did that or not.

Steph:
No, they didn't.

Heather:
But then they did it then later, so who knows what they're doing.

Steph:
I know. I'm not sure that they know. Maybe they, just because it was, they figured it was going to be a long line, which it wasn't. There were a few people in front of us. It was a longer line when I went back a day or two later, with my husband to get his. That was a really long line. And then they were trying to do the adoption, bonding thing with him, and he's like, “Just please, let me have my banshee.”

Tanya:
I feel like that, I don't know if either of you have [inaudible 00:39:40], don't. Because I have done it as an adult, to go do a Build A Bear.

Steph:
Yeah.

Tanya:
And they make you go through the whole process and I'm like, “Just stuff the bear and give it to me. I don't need to kiss the heart and [inaudible 00:39:50] and make a wish and do all this stuff.”

Steph:
I understand it's a catch 22 for them though, because I'm sure there are some adults that do want to do it.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
No doubt they have-

Heather:
Oh yeah. Like I had … When I went for the preview, I had a friend of mine who had gotten the banshee when she went for the preview, and they also sell a perch for the banshees.

Steph:
Which we bought.

Heather:
Yeah, so she hadn't gotten that, so she sent me a thing, she's like, “Please get this for me.” So and she's an adult, so she wanted the perch. So I'm sure there was adults that like that, but yeah, I wouldn't. And that was the thing, that's why I went, it was like I went and then I was like, “Ooh, this is heavy, I'm coming back.” So I went just before I left, so I wasn't carrying this whole thing around. Yeah, and the other thing too is, it's right after you get off the ride that's the Banshee, so that I think is also why people want it, 'cause it's like … I don't know.

Steph:
The ride's amazing. It's a good segway in to the ride.

Heather:
Yeah. [crosstalk 00:40:54]

Tanya:
This sort of stuff is fun, it's just … It's the same thing with the Harry Potter wands. I got me a Harry Potter wand, which I don't ever plan on using.

Steph:
Exactly.

Tanya:
I just have it.

Steph:
And you used it while you were there.

Tanya:
Yeah, I don't want to carry it with me and bring it back and do all this stuff. It's all good.

Steph:
I love Harry Potter, but yeah. I did not get a wand. I used the wand, like when I've been with other people and they brought the wand. So I used it actually my last, this trip. And I used it and I'm like, “Okay.”

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
Like it wasn't working and I had someone else tell me what to do. I'm like, “I'm done with this. This is like …” But I mean, I get people, why they like it, but I don't … When I tend to buy stuff, I buy things like I wear …

Heather:
Yes.

Steph:
That kind of thing. That's my kind of like-

Tanya:
They're in the moment, day of purchases. Like, it's dedication if you can bring it to the park another day.

Steph:
Yeah, for sure.

Tanya:
‘Cause most people probably don't.

Steph:
Yeah, 'cause like I honestly, I was surprised. And it was like immediate, the first preview, that these things were popular. I was surprised at that. But it is, and so good for them. I'm glad. [crosstalk 00:42:07]

Heather:
It's something that is popular and that people like.

Steph:
For sure, me too. I totally agree. I am glad that they … And I'm glad … Yeah. I'm really glad that they have something that's a big deal, that people love and are excited about, merchandise wise. And it's interactive, which makes it so fun, and it's still … Unlike the Harry Potter wand, it's still interactive when we get home. The banshee is still. Here's how excited my husband was about the banshee, which he would never show inside the [inaudible 00:42:35]. Okay, for father's day, I told him when we were there and I bought him the banshee, “Okay, this is your father's day present.” He didn't know I ordered him a new Mac Book Pro. And so, for father's day I swapped out the banshee and put the Mac Book Pro in the banshee box. And he opened it and he was like, “Well, okay. This is cool, but where's my banshee? I really still want my banshee.”

Heather:
You're like, “Okay, I'm returning this, so …”

Steph:
I know. Like what the heck? And so then I had to go get the banshee out and he sat and played with the banshee for 20 minutes.

Heather:
So you know he actually wanted to do that whole adoption thing, he just didn't want people to know he wanted that.

Steph:
Probably right. You're probably right. He just didn't want anyone else watching him do the adoption thing. Yeah, and he came up the other night, and he's like, “All right, I settled on three different names for my banshee. So-”

Tanya:
Oh my gosh. That is hilarious.

Steph:
It is funny. It's funny. And he's having a ton of fun with it, which is, it's fun. And it's fun for the kids. My son got one too, and it's a lot of fun to have at home.

Heather:
A whole banshee family there.

Steph:
We are the banshee family, yes. And all the boxes had to come home, so it was quite the ordeal on how we were gonna get the banshees packed and making sure that we knew … ‘Cause there were only two colors available when we got ours. There was a choice of blue and black or blue and purple ad black. And I think they all ended up with the same ones. And so, it was a big deal about, “No, you've got my banshee.” “No, that's my banshee.” So, yeah. But it's a fun thing. I'm happy for Disney. I just, all I wanted was an apology from those cast members, and instead I got a lecture, and that was …

Tanya:
Well, they should be a little bit more sympathetic. It's not like you wanted the banshee. Your daughter wanted the banshee. She's a child.

Steph:
Exactly. If it was me, totally be … I understand being frustrated that you were getting that question a hundred million times. But when it's my daughter, standing there crying, just show a little compassion. That's all I wanted. So anyway. Okay. The atmosphere. That's next on our list. I think we kind of covered that. It's incredible. Like you feel … Oh, we were gonna talk about rides. That's what we- ‘Cause we had moved in to that, with the banshees.

Heather:
Yeah, well I think … When [inaudible 00:44:51] the atmosphere, it's just it doesn't feel like a theme park. It's the same kind of thing, like when you go to Cars Land, you feel like you're there. It doesn't feel like this is a theme park. And it's the same kind of thing, and again, it's like, with Cars Land, I didn't really like the movie Cars, and then I went to Cars Land, and then I like cars more now. I don't think that's going to happen with this-

Steph:
No, uh-huh.

Heather:
But it's still like the same thing like that, like you don't need to get the movie or care about the movie or anything. It's still like, you can just love that everything.

Steph:
Love Pandora, love Avatar land, that's for sure. And I mean, I was, what was incredible, everything is so, the sites, everything that you see, all of the plant, are totally unique. The bark on the trees is totally … I mean, pay attention to every detail. They've thought about everything. The hardware on the railings in the lines, everything. The details are incredible. But even, the sounds and the smells too. Yeah.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
Let's talk about the ride. Let's talk about Flight of Passage first, because that's the big E-ticket.

Heather:
Yes. So yeah.

Steph:
I know, I think we feel a little bit differently about these rides. This ride.

Tanya:
I get barfy. I'm a barfy, video 3-D person. [crosstalk 00:46:16]

Steph:
I am too. I am too. Big time.

Heather:
I was worried. There's two things though. I don't know if they're still doing his or not, but … ‘Cause I know they have the example for you now, but the ride vehicle, it's not like … It's different, like how you have to sit on it and it's like a whole thing. And so, when I had gone, they had a paper, and everyone that was coming in, they were explaining to them and they're like, “You know, like it holds your meat in, it does this, it does that.” And it's like the whole thing, and it was kind of scary, the way they were explaining it.

Steph:
For sure.

Heather:
“Cause I have knee problems, I had foot surgery a couple days after I was there. So I was all worried about these kind of things. ‘Cause I know they had had problems before, that's why they had to explain it. And now they have an actual, like an example of the ride vehicle.

Steph:
Yes they do, outside, that you can sit on and make sure that you're going to be okay with it, kind of a thing.

Heather:
Yeah. So now they're not like freaking people out with their whole, “This is what you do,”thing. So yeah, I mean I was kind of worried. Again, I went in to it as unspoiled as I could, so I didn't really know anything about it. I just knew about this ride vehicle thing. The funny thing is, so like I had, going unspoiled, I was kind of taking social media breaks in this week before, trying not to see things, hear things. And then when I was in the line for the floating mountain picture, this woman in front of me had been on the ride, and she was explaining the whole thing. Like I had to actually stand there with my hands over my ears, 'cause I'm like, “I've gone all this time being unspoiled, I'm not getting spoiled 10 minutes before I go on the ride.”

Tanya:
There's always one.

Steph:
I guess.

Heather:
But it's kind of like, I heard people explain it as [inaudible 00:48:08] on steroids. Which I don't really know if I-

Steph:
I think that's a good description.

Heather:
No. So it's like, I don't know. How would you describe it? Like I liked it. I think it was really good, I think it's really cool. I saw people when they were getting off it, or saw people tweeting afterwards, that like, “It's the best ride ever,” and the whole thing. I-

Tanya:
Every new ride is the best ride ever.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
For me, I understand why people would feel like that, but it wasn't for me, but I think it's really cool and it's great. It's just, I don't know if I would stand and wait like two hours for it. I don't stand for two hours for anything, other than the character. [crosstalk 00:48:51]

Steph:
But a lot of people, in all fairness, a lot of other people would not do that.

Heather:
Yeah, exactly. We're all different. But I think it's great, and I would totally, I would do it again with a fast pass, but I still don't think it's a thing that I would have to do all the time, but I think other people would. But I think it's great. It's like, there's this-

Tanya:
It's a motion simulator, right? Like you don't actually move? Do you actually move?

Steph:
No, you-

Tanya:
No, right?

Steph:
Right, you don't.

Heather:
No, you move.

Tanya:
Well you move, but it's not like on a track.

Heather:
No.

Tanya:
You don't move along a track. You move, but there's a screen and-

Steph:
Yeah, you move like side to side, or up and down and-

Heather:
And then like the thing you're sitting on, it makes it feel like- Okay, so the thing is, you're supposed to be sitting on like-

Steph:
A banshee.

Tanya:
Yeah, no I understand [crosstalk 00:49:44].

Heather:
No, I was just gonna say, when you're sitting on it, it makes it feel like … [inaudible 00:49:52] explain.

Steph:
Here's how I describe it to people, when they ask me what it's like, and you might disagree with me, but this is what I, this was my experience is that it put you on the back of a banshee, that's what you're supposed to be doing, riding this, flying on this banshee. And to me, it felt like I was on a banshee, because I could feel the banshee breathing between my legs, and I could, the way we were moving … I had to remind myself that I actually was not flying. I actually was stationary. I was on the ground. Like, if I put my feet out, I could touch the ground. It wasn't … We didn't … With Soarin, you move up. Everybody moves up, so that they can see the movie screen. It's not that way with this one. They have the different levels that they're loading, and you … But yeah, several times I had to tell myself, “I am not flying. I'm not. This is not real.” But I get sick. I'm a super motion sickness person.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Steph:
Star tours, for example, makes me really sick. Even if I have [Bomine 00:51:00] or Dramamine in me, I can't take it. We went, that night, like I said, after flying, so I had bromine in me, and I was able to ride it just fine, and then we had fast passes again for later on in the week, and I took two bromine again, and I got a little bit sick that time. Not bad, but when I get off the ride, it's a different sensory feeling than motion sickness. You feel funny, I felt really funny, but for me, it was like that feeling from when you were little and you would spin in circles really fast and then you couldn't really stand.

Tanya:
Yeah, yeah.

Steph:
I was like, that's what it felt like to me, more than being sick or motion sickness. But I did have bromine, I will … I wouldn't ride it without it, for me.

Heather:
Yeah, I mean I didn't get motion sickness. I mean, I don't really get it on anything, even though I'm always worried I'm going. Like I love Forbidden Journey, and I was really worried about being motion sickness on that and Star Tours, if I'm sitting in the front, I can get a little motion sick, but otherwise I'm fine. And so I wasn't … Like I felt like there was a time where you're like dipping kinda, and so it feels like you're flying in there. That time I was like woo. But yeah. I feel like if you did really like Avatar, it would be even cooler, because you're in the Avatar land, but even if you don't, it's really pretty. I'm saying that again. I really should have looked up some other word, other than pretty. I'm sorry. The scenery [crosstalk 00:52:37]

Steph:
I think pretty is a super mild adjective for it.

Heather:
Yeah, it's really beautiful.

Steph:
It's incredible.

Heather:
Yeah, I mean it's like … Yeah, it's cool. The other thing too is the queue. Like, if you've been on Indiana Jones, at Disneyland, and you think that queue's long, that's nothing. This queue –

Tanya:
My gosh, it's even longer?

Steph:
It is like the longest queue in the world.

Heather:
It can hold, I forget if they said five or six hours worth of people.

Tanya:
Oh my gosh.

Heather:
And you said you only did the fast pass?

Steph:
We only did fast pass, yes.

Heather:
Okay, 'cause when I did it, like I said, they gave us a fast pass, so that's how I rode the ride. But then, they said, “You can do a walk through.” This is for the preview. So you can go walk through the regular queue. So I did that later, and so that's really cool, and it's like you … See, some of it is outside, so if you're outside, the views of Pandora are really cool. Some of my favorite pictures I took were just from … ‘Cause you're by one of the waterfall things, and they're on like the back of the floating mountains. I mean, it's all really cool there, and then you go inside and it's … Again, everything has like a story. It's like you first walk in, it's supposed to be something with the cave and before … I don't know. But that's really pretty. And [crosstalk 00:54:04]

Steph:
But it's really pretty, so …

Heather:
And then you go, then the next part is kind of I guess what the land is like at night, 'cause it's a whole bio-luminescence things. Like I was able to see. So I saw that, I took some pictures there. And then you go through what's supposed to be the lab, laboratory, and that is where they have … I posted, when I was doing the Instagram stories a lot of this, and then Steph sent me a thing like, “That would scare my kids.”

Steph:
Yeah, like that's creepy.

Heather:
[inaudible 00:54:35] It's an animatronic, amazing of the Avatar, like from the movie. I don't know if it's supposed to be the same guy, probably not, 'cause it's just supposed to be way after the movie or something. But it's the Avatar guy, and so he's in like a tank and he's moving.

Steph:
He's in like a tank of water.

Heather:
That's what it's supposed to be when he goes in to … That's how they do it or something. So anyway, yeah. That's really cool to see, and they have that and they have a whole bunch of other stuff that you can look at, and again, if you're in the line for a couple hours, you can see all this stuff.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
I walked through, taking pictures. They have like fossils. They have that. And then you go through a queue thing and it's like a, they have like on the wall, and it's supposed to be … Because you're supposed to be matching in to your avatar, and so they kind of have that on the screen, and then on the wall, they have a huge picture, like a silhouette of the two from the movie. And that was one of the times I really wished I had somebody with me, 'cause I would have wanted to take a picture, 'cause that's the closest they had to the characters in the land. They don't have [inaudible 00:55:53]. But, so that's cool. And so that's a whole thing. And then once you get past there, then that's where you would meet up with any, like the fast pass line.

So that's all the stuff that you're doing in the standby queue. And then, you go in to line that are kind of like, I guess what you do for Soarin. You know, like when you get out? And then [crosstalk 00:56:16]. Yeah. So you're in that, and then you go in to … My point of this whole thing is, even if you have a fast pass, you're gonna be in … It's still gonna take a while. So first you have a pre show, and you stand on things and that's when they explain the whole thing and they [crosstalk 00:56:36]… I found the whole pre show thing way too long. That was my-

Steph:
Yeah, me too.

Heather:
Like I felt like it could have been at least half, maybe like a third of it. Yeah, and it as just like, they kept repeating things, the guys kept saying, “Um.” It was just like, “Really?” But then [inaudible 00:56:55] whatever and you see stuff on the screen, they match you up to your avatar, yeah. Then you go to another room. And at this point, I was like, “If I waited like four hours and then still going through all this, I [inaudible 00:57:09].” So you go through another pre show, and again you see another video, with the guy and another thing. It just went on forever. I don't know. That was my big complaint about it. And it's all the stuff, even when you do a fast pass, you go through all this. And then, after that, you go in to your actual room, where you have the … I don't know what they call them, but they're kind of explaining, like you sit on it like a bike.

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
I'll call it a bike. But yeah, so you sit on that and they have a cubby behind you, where you can put your bag and stuff. And I wasn't sure, should I take my ears off? And the guys was like, “Yeah.” I don't think I needed to take my ears off, but … It wasn't like that [inaudible 00:57:51], but …

Steph:
I think the wind.

Heather:
Yeah. I don't know, but I did anyway. And I probably would do it again, just in case, 'cause I'm paranoid like that. Yeah, and so then you sit on it, and so you're … You're next to people on it and then it's like a whole thing and you have to sit there and then the back comes up and it pushes a thing and it's like, supposed to be matching up with [crosstalk 00:58:17].

Steph:
And that took a long time. The syncing up.

Heather:
That took, yeah. I think that part too, they had to make sure everybody was in correctly, and when I went, there was a little girl and her father. The whole time, they're fine, [inaudible 00:58:33]. We sit in the thing, she bursts in to tears. She's like, “I hate this ride. I hate this ride.” And apparently, she had been on it with her mom, and he's like, “[inaudible 00:58:42]”. She's like, “I hate it.” She was like crying and he was kind of holding her hand, but you're like next to each other, but you're not right up close to each other.

Steph:
No.

Heather:
And I'm like, [inaudible 00:58:55] the kid. Like I have been … You know. [inaudible 00:59:01] trying to calm her down, but it was still this whole long time, so you had even more time for her to be freaking out. But yeah, so it was like, I want to say, was it like six or seven or so in the room, 'cause when you're in this thing and then they split you up. So half go in to one part and half go in to the other part.

Steph:
I think it's seven per …

Heather:
Yeah, was it like 14 all together? 16? Something like that. And yeah, so that's why it's another … And then I think there's like three different rooms or something. Like overall. I had a situation, I'm not going to talk about it, it was because of my foot. I talked about it on Twitter, but I think it still was the case. If you're in a wheelchair, there's only one place you can go. Like they take you. So that's fine. But if you can't take steps, you need to tell them beforehand, and I've gotten so many different stories about this, and so I'm still not 100% sure if that's true or not, but I would just say, better to be safe than sorry, because when you're done with the ride, you have to go down steps. And so [inaudible 01:00:20] Disneyland Pirates, and I'm like … Again, I had a broken foot. I was getting surgery like that week, when I got home. So I can't take steps.

And you're at Disney, you know they have elevators whatever. So I asked the cast member, I was like, “Oh, is there somewhere other than steps?” And he said no. And I'm like, “What?” And he said, “There's no elevator on this side. You have to go down the steps.” And first of all, he was rude about it, like looking at me like, “Why aren't you taking the steps?” And I had to contain myself, to [inaudible 01:00:55] tears, because again, I was there alone, I had all these things going on and I'm just like … It was like six flights of stairs. It depends on where you are. Like I said, one of the places doesn't have stairs, I think. Or it has an elevator or whatever. And then other ones, it depends on how many flights of stairs you are. But I had to go down … And they're big steps. They're not like … You know. So, yeah. It was a whole thing and I actually had to go, when I was done, just sit in the restaurant for like an hour.

Steph:
Oh my goodness. Because you were in so much pain?

Heather:
Pain. And it was … When you're done and you have this whole long corridor, then you have to go down like a ramp thing. It's a lot. So, when I got off the ride, I kind of went off on Twitter about it. And that's why someone told me, “You have to tell them, then they'll put you in the one that has the elevator.” I still don't understand why they would have that. After the whole thing, calming down, we'll talk about the food later. Then I went back and I was just gonna stay [inaudible 01:02:06], I'm like, “You should have a sign that says that if you can't take steps …” ‘Cause you don't know this. When you're going in to the ride, it's not like you feel like you're going up any.

Again, like we were talking about Indiana Jones, you ave to take steps up, steps down. You know this. But it's, you don't know it going in, so I went to them like, “Is that the case?” And she's like, “No, there's elevators everywhere.” And there was a manager there, he was like, “Yeah. Do you know the name of the cast member?” And I was like, “No.” I was trying not to burst in to tears. Like I didn't pay attention to his name tag. And I actually, when I left, we went to the guest relations, again to tell them, 'cause its a preview thing. I just think for other people … And he was like, “No, that's wrong and they shouldn't have done that.” And he got me ice and everything. But then I heard again, when people have been going, they said the same thing. That they were like, “You need to tell …” I don't know the whole situation, but if you really can't take steps, if you're … There's plenty of reasons why you can't. Like I would just be safe and just say, “I can't take steps, can you make sure that I'm where there's an elevator?”

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
‘Cause I definitely, if I did the ride this time, I'm still in a walking boot. I'm not taking a chance ever again. I'm just gonna be like … So that's my little heads up. And then it kind of put a damper, too, on the whole thing for me, 'cause I liked it and then I kind of had to calm myself, and then it was like a whole thing. And I went .. And then, when I did the walk through, and it was funny, because when I came … By that point, the same cast member who was in the front, was now in there and she's like, “Good luck with your surgery.” “Thank you.” But yeah, so it was … And I had heard, people again with the whole, even the whole ride vehicle, people have been talking about the accessibility, so I don't know. It just seemed like an odd thing for me. That's why I was like, “Why would Disney have it, at this point? It's a new ride, and then you can't have an elevator.” So I don't know. But that's just my heads up and my long … That was my whole thing on the [inaudible 01:04:29]. Yeah.

Steph:
Yeah, I think that's good to know. Really good to know. I also, we had an experience the second time we rode it, where they tell you the whole time, “No video, no filming, no anything, including Go Pros. No photos.” And here we are, on the ride, loving it, enjoying it and in the middle, all of a sudden, everything goes silent, the effects stop and we hear someone say, “No video, put your camera away.” And I'm like, “Seriously? Come on people.” And we're not mad at the cast members, but people. Yes, they're watching you, okay? Don't ruin it for everybody else, and pull your camera out and think you're gonna be sneaky. It's not fair.

Heather:
Was that your first time on it, or was that-

Steph:
That was our second time [crosstalk 01:05:19]. It would have been such a bummer if it was the first time. But you know, there were a lot of people there who's first time it was.

Heather:
Yeah, of course. I mean that, when I was there, there was a guy and he had like his phone and the GoPro and the … He had like three cameras, and he was … ‘Cause you can do it in the pre show, up until you get to the second pre show, and then they're like, “No more filming.” And he didn't but, I'm like, “Calm down. How many cameras do you need?” But yeah, that's really upsetting. That's like when you're on like something and then it stops.

Steph:
Flash photography and-

Heather:
Oh, the flash. Yeah. It's just like, that's not fair. You're just ruining it. That took you out of it. That's sad.

Steph:
My husband gets mad at me, 'cause I'll yell at people if they do a lot flash. And then I have this little, in Disneyland, this little kid, little punk, and he's flashing, taking photos with his flash, and so I'm like, “No flash.” So what does he do? Puts his camera right behind my head and flash, flash, flash. I'm like, “I want to turn around and smack you right now.”

Heather:
Don't get thrown out of Disney.

Steph:
I know, right?

Heather:
But yeah, that's my biggest pet peeve, is flash photography on the dark ride. I mean, there's a lot, but that's the bad one.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
Actually that's a … But yeah, that's the ride.

Steph:
It's an amazing ride. I think it is.

Heather:
It is.

Steph:
My husband loved it so much, he's like, “I would be willing to wait for a couple hours in line for that ride.” And he is not a line waiter. He is bad about, he's the worst out of all of us, about being willing to ait in lines. I usually don't wait for anything longer than 30 minutes, but he's worse than that.

Heather:
Yeah, I'm kind of like that for a ride too.

Steph:
Na'vi River Journey, I liked it a lot. I thought it was really-

Heather:
I loved it.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
Yeah, I-

Steph:
Beautiful.

Heather:
I did that then for later, and it was, yes, real beautiful. It's a dark ride and it's a river. It's a boat ride. I love both of those. And it was just, I felt like that one, you need to know even less than Flights of Passage, about Avatar.

Steph:
Yes, yeah.

Heather:
It's funny, 'cause one of my friends said the opposite. ‘Cause she's like, “Everything looked weird, like I didn't get it.” But, I just think it was [crosstalk 01:07:46] Beautiful.

Tanya:
They're plants. What's not to get?

Steph:
Yeah, I mean, I'll take that back. At the end, with the big … Okay, the animatronic at the end, incredible. Incredible.

Heather:
Probably the best [inaudible 01:07:59] that Disney … It was amazing. And that was one of the things I had seen, 'cause you know, when they had been previewing it over months, where there was like they had a thing of … But even seeing that and then seeing it in person, was so cool. It was really … Yeah.

Steph:
But I didn't understand it. I still don't understand it, but whatever.

Heather:
[inaudible 01:08:22] one of the [inaudible 01:08:23] and she's like … I don't know, whatever. It was cool.

Steph:
Yeah, it was really cool. I liked it.

Heather:
And it was like, at one point there was this thing and it was a projection of some kind of animal thing, and you couldn't even really tell that it was a projection, it was that good. And it was amazing. It was this-

Steph:
My daughter knew the name of it. I didn't. [crosstalk 01:08:52]

Heather:
It as something-

Steph:
Yeah, I don't remember.

Heather:
It kind of looked like a jaguar.

Steph:
A [inaudible 01:08:57], or something like that, I think is what-

Heather:
It was, I don't know.

Steph:
Jagua something. Yeah, anyway.

Heather:
And so yeah, and so that was cool. And then they had the things and again, it's like all like a bioluminescence thing and then there's [inaudible 01:09:10] above you. It's really pretty. And that wait's not going to be as long. Like I've even seen it, like at the end of the day, I mean it's like walk on and everything. And so I definitely recommend that one. I really loved it and it's funny, 'cause when I went, I did all that other stuff, I calm down and I went and I did the walkthrough and whatever, and then I went to that ride and it said like 70 minutes. I was like, “Huh?” And she said, “No, something's wrong with it. It's a walk through. Don't worry about it.” It's like a walk on. And so I go, “Oh, I guess it's just a different time on Pandora.” She's like, “Oh, yeah. Ha.” But it was, in that queue, there's not too much in that queue, but I did take a lot of pictures. It was like the empty queue, so it probably won't be like that all the time, but it was [inaudible 01:10:01]. And there was like the view too, from that, of the mountains and stuff, was really cool. That's one of the pictures I think I posted, was from that angle. It was really cool.

I should have gone on it again, because again, it as a walk on. I probably could have just said, “Can I stay on it?” But I didn't. So, but that was really pretty. I really liked that one.

Steph:
Yeah, and I want to say that my kids liked both of them as well. My son thought Na'vi River Journey, he's like, “What drugs were they taking when they [inaudible 01:10:30]?” But the girls really liked it, and my youngest daughter especially. She loved both of them. So, just if people are trying to gauge what their kids might like or might not like. My youngest really liked both of them. But I want to talk really quick about the smell, on the Flight of Passage, because … Did you smell that smell?

Heather:
I don't know. I've seen people talking about it, and I guess I didn't pay attention to it.

Steph:
Really? It smelled so good. I want that in a candle. Like I love the smell of Pandora. I want it in a candle, badly. And I heard, when I was in the store buying the banshees, when we were able to go back, I heard actually probably five or six people ask if they had candles that they could buy with that smell. So I'm hoping [crosstalk 01:11:18]. The person that does the Disney smelling candles, get over there ASAP and please make that smell. I want one. On Etsy, I don't know who it is, that has a Etsy store.

Heather:
There's a couple, yeah.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
Yeah, 'cause when you, like I said, you go through the store, after obviously-

Steph:
And the store smells like it too, yes.

Heather:
Yeah, and like the only thing, I only bought pins, but they had some nice shirts actually. Like I was kind of thinking of one that was … But then I didn't get it. But, then they have some stuff that's all like, what you would expect.

Steph:
[inaudible 01:11:55] and yeah.

Heather:
And they have tails and they have the head pieces and then they have stuff you'd get just for the Avatar, which I don't know, probably won't sell as much as the other stuff. So yeah, they had a wide range of different kind of stuff, which is nice.

Steph:
They did.

Heather:
Yeah. And then, they had a stand too, somewhere else, but I thin that was all I saw. Some stuff they sold.

Steph:
Yes. Yeah, there was … And there was a face painting thing too.

Heather:
Yeah. And that as really cool too. The pictures of the different face painting that you can get. That was really cool.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
And yeah, so …

Steph:
Food?

Heather:
What was I gonna say? Food, yeah. The food is really great.

Steph:
Oh my goodness. The food.

Heather:
The funny thing is, like I said, I didn't look at anything, 'cause I didn't know, but when I went, I wanted to buy this drink, like, “It looks really pretty.” And so I got that, and then that was of course, that's the big thing to buy, is the … The price of course have already gone up on it. So-

Steph:
Which one is it? ‘Cause we did end up getting a drink there, that you told us about.

Heather:
Yeah, it was the … Now I gotta look up the name of it.

Steph:
The green and purple one.

Heather:
Yeah, the pink thing. It was … Here, it was the … No, I did not write that down. Night Blossom.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
So it's-

Steph:
‘Cause that's non alcoholic, right?

Heather:
Right, that's non alcoholic. They also have like a margarita one and then like beers there. This was on the stand, right outside the store.

Steph:
It always has a super long line.

Heather:
Yeah, and so when I got it, again Tanya and I have a globe cubes collection, so they had a glow cube but you had to get it in a souvenir cup to get a glow cube, so I got that, but apparently now,, you don't. You can get it, the glow cube, in just like a … Whatever. So that's the reason why I got that. But it was … I liked it. I know a lot of people have said that it's too sweet for them, but I like sweet things.

Steph:
It was for me, I'll tell you what.

Heather:
Yeah. [crosstalk 01:14:07]

Steph:
My kids liked it. Well, my youngest daughter who is a sugar addict loved it. My husband loved it too.

Heather:
Yeah, I liked it, but I think a lot of people get it, 'cause it's, like I said, it's really pretty and then [inaudible 01:14:23] right out there, so it matches it. And so, I don't know. But I got it even before I knew it was supposed to be the thing. So that was … Because I thought it looked pretty. I took a picture of it with the waterfall, so …

Steph:
Yeah, that's funny. Yeah.

Heather:
And then they all [crosstalk 01:14:39]

Steph:
Okay, go ahead. Go ahead.

Heather:
No, I was gonna say, I thought they only had drinks there, so I didn't pay attention, until when I was done and I saw everybody freaking out over the snack, and so I told you-

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
It's like this pineapple [crosstalk 01:14:58]

Steph:
It's like a turnover [crosstalk 01:15:00] Well, no, it's like an egg roll.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
It's like an egg roll with pineapple yummy stuff in it. It was so good.

Heather:
Yeah, that's like the thing that everybody's like, “It's so good.” I'm like going [inaudible 01:15:13] the first thing I want to do, is go there and get that, 'cause I'm dying to have that now.

Tanya:
I'm on Twitter right now and somebody just posted a picture of the drink, those and that blue dessert thing.

Steph:
That's funny.

Heather:
Yeah, so that was good. And then, I think I haven't heard anybody really talk about the one they have, the margarita one that's also like a frozen thing. So I don't know if that's any good or not. [crosstalk 01:15:37]

Steph:
Okay, the Pongo, it's Pongo Loopia, is what it's called. And it's pineapple cream cheese spring roll, is how they described it. I looked up the menu.

Heather:
Yeah, they even, on the blog they even posted the recipe for it.

Steph:
Oh really?

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
It's good.

Tanya:
It's a dessert loopia. That's yummy.

Steph:
Yeah, it's good. Really good.

Heather:
And then there's the quick service restaurant, which is called like the Santeen Canteen-

Steph:
[Satui 01:16:06] Canteen. Satu'li, sorry. Satu'li Canteen. I always forget the L.

Heather:
And they have the-

Steph:
Satu'li, Satu'li Canteen. I'm gonna get it right, eventually. Sorry about that.

Heather:
That's why I don't even bother-

Steph:
I know.

Heather:
I say the quick service place there.

Steph:
The canteen. It's the canteen.

Heather:
Yeah, and so they have breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I heard that, did you have breakfast?

Steph:
Okay, we ate all three, yes, inside the mall. And it turned out to be our favorite place to eat. The food is the bomb.

Heather:
The only thing I had, 'cause I was so whatever at that point, and I was just so … I just got a dessert and a drink there. So I want to go back and try the food. And it was also just before they started the mobile ordering, which I'm really excited to try.

Steph:
And we did the mobile ordering.

Heather:
So I got the cheese … It's the thing that Tanya just mentioned. Again, I like pretty. It's like a blue. ‘Cause again, the whole thing, that's all you think about. The blue people in it.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
It's a blueberry cheesecake thing and I normally, I don't like blueberry and I don't like cheesecake, but it didn't really taste like a cheesecake and it was really good. I loved that. So I was really glad I got that, even though I got all this stuff pretty much for the picture, it tasted really good.

Steph:
Yes.

Heather:
And then I also got, they had a drink, it was … Did I write what it was called? No. But it was … Oh yeah, Pandora Sunrise. And it was basically, it had pineapple and I think it had some kind of Powerade and something else, and it was just really refreshing, 'cause again, it's so hot. So I had that. So those are the two things I had there, and they were all really good, but I'm really excited to try the food, which you did.

Steph:
Yeah. It's all really, really, really good. And we did the mobile ordering, we ended up doing it three ties, and that thing is amazing. So for example, our last day there, we decided that, it was the only day that we got up early enough to be proud of. To even mention. We got of our room by 8:30 in the morning. And so we decided we were going to order food at Satu'li Canteen, and so on our way over, on the Magical Express, I just passed my phone around and everyone ordered what they want and then once we walked through the main entrance, I tapped, “We're here. Prepare my food.” And by the tie we got back to Pandora, I had a text message saying our food was ready and waiting.

Tanya:
That's nice.

Steph:
Yeah. We walked right in and I showed them my order confirmation and that it was me, and then they handed me my trays and we went and sat down and ate.

Heather:
That's amazing.

Steph:
Yeah.

Heather:
And they've been adding it for a couple of other places too.

Steph:
Yes, they've got it for Pizza Safari now, or Pizzafari in Animal Kingdom now too. And the food was really good. So we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner there, and I think we tried everything on the menu, between all of us. I take that back. We didn't do the cheeseburger steam pods, but we did the breakfast steam pods. They were really good. We didn't do the curry steam pods either. No one in my family likes curry. But it's basically, you just pick your protein, and then pick your carbohydrate that you want to go with it. And it's all good. It's all really, really good. And in fact, my family we … So when we were going back to get the banshees, we had reservations at '50s Primetime. I was very concerned that they were going to run out of banshees before we could even get over there, so my youngest and I skipped the '50s Primetime and mu husband just really wanted to come with us and eat at Satu'li instead of going to '50s Primetime. He was feeling a little bit gipped. And in fact, I think they all wished that that's what they would have done. They decided that '50s Primetime was off the list. Which almost everything at Hollywood Studios is off the list.

Tanya:
I really wish, 'cause when they are making new places and adding new restaurants at Disney World now, they're making the food really good. I wish they would go back to the already there quick service places, and amp up their food too.

Steph:
I agree.

Tanya:
Because they're obviously capable of doing it.

Steph:
Totally agree.

Tanya:
They just need to do it.

Steph:
Yeah. Yeah. So anyway. And both of the desserts, really good. My family thought I was a little nutty for ordering the blue one and they were like, “I just can't eat blue food.” But then as they sat there watching me eat it, they all decided to have a bite and they all loved it too. So it was really good food. And affordable too. It's counter service.

Tanya:
Yeah.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
[crosstalk 01:20:55] about it. Yeah.

Heather:
Yeah, I'm really excited to go and try ore of the food. ‘Cause yeah, everybody has said how good it was. I heard everything, breakfast, dinner.

Steph:
Yeah. I'm excited for you to try it too, 'cause it is really good. Okay, let's do quick shows. Did you watch any of the shows in Pandora? You probably didn't, they [crosstalk 01:21:16]

Heather:
There wasn't any, no.

Steph:
Okay, yeah.

Heather:
There were none. I saw the drum thing, when I walked through it, because there were kids playing on it and I was thinking, “Oh, I wonder why they don't have a thing here.” And then, once I officially opened, they did.

Steph:
Yes, they do have a drum show and actually kids can beat on the drums and stuff. And they do have a drum show, which was really fun. My kids really enjoyed watching it a lot. We had a fast pass though. That's what I hate about the fast pass plus system, is that here were are, we just happen upon the drum show, my kids are loving it and enjoying and I'm like, “But we've got a fast pass and if we don't leave now, we're not going to be able to do it and that's a bummer. We have Kilimanjaro Safaris right now. Let's go.”

Tanya:
It takes the fun spontaneity out of things.

Steph:
It does, it does. And I felt bad, because I knew we wouldn't be able to get back to watch that show, and they were really enjoying it. So it stinks.

Heather:
Do they have that on the time guide, or is it just like spontaneous thing?

Steph:
It is on the time guide.

Heather:
Okay.

Steph:
Yeah, it's a few times during the day. We watched it for a few minutes at night, we just caught the last few minutes of it, and then we caught a middle few minutes of it, I think our last day there as well. So it's good.

Heather:
Yeah, 'cause that was one of the things I was thinking, “Oh, it really needs some kind of entertainment.” Again, there's no characters that meet there, so that kind of thing, so that's good that they added that for when it actually opened.

Steph:
Yeah. Yeah, and they speak [Navvy 01:22:48], they're all talking in Navvy, which is cool. Which is a real language, if people don't know. It's like, they had a linguist develop this language, and it took him three years I think, to develop it.

Heather:
Yeah. The cast members have learned some of it too.  When we went, they had a thing that they gave you, that translated it. But here's the thing, you can buy too … Yeah, of course they do.

Steph:
Of course they do [inaudible 01:23:16]. Lots of merchandise. All the merchandise.

Tanya:
I can't wait, 'cause you know there's going to be that one cast member that learns the whole language really well.

Steph:
Yeah, there were people there actually, that I heard speaking to each other in the language. Not cast members, just people. And I'm like, “Well, good for them. That's exciting”

Tanya:
That's good for you.

Steph:
Okay, I think that's all. This is a long episode. Is there anything else that we need to cover?

Heather:
It's a whole new land, so-

Steph:
I know, it's true. It's true.

Heather:
Yeah.

Steph:
And it really is amazing. I think it's worth a trip. If you're thinking about going, or trying to decide if you're gonna wait until Star Wars, I think you need to do both. I think you need to go now and then. That's what I think.

Heather:
I mean, that's pretty much why we're doing this trip, 'cause my mom hasn't seen it yet. So she was able to go now, and she's like, “I really want to see Pandora.” Which is funny, 'cause again, she hated Avatar, even more than I did. And so, was not really in to the whole thing, until she started seeing the pictures and I was like, “It's amazing.”

Steph:
Yeah, I'm excited for your mom to see it too. I think that she will love it. I'm excited and I hope that you can score some fast passes for her to be able to ride the rides.

Heather:
I know. ‘Cause even, she's like, “I just want to see it. I don't even need to go on the rides.” I'm hoping that we'll be able to go on. I guess I have a fast pass for the River Journey, which I know she'll like that.

Steph:
Yes, she will. For sure.

Heather:
Yeah, so we'll see. I'm really excited to see it at night, so we'll see that at night. Like that first day, that's what we're gonna do. I don't know if we're gonna go there right away or we'll wait until later, so you're close enough to see it during the day and at night type of thing. ‘Cause my fast pass isn't until like six.

Steph:
It's amazing. I really, for somebody I've not seen the movie, I'm not gonna see the movie, I don't care to see the movie, but that land is incredible. And I'm excited, I'm happy that we got to go see it, right when we did. It's good stuff. Okay, let's remind our listeners where to find us. Tanya?

Tanya:
You can find me at evermagicmoment.com, and TanyH666 on all social media.

Steph:
And Heather?

Heather:
My character site is HeatherW.com/character and on social media, I'm Heatherw25 and my character Facebook page is I Love Characters.

Steph:
Perfect. And you can find all of us posting periodically on Capturing Magic social media… Or Instagram. CapturingMagic_, right girls?

Tanya:
Yes.

Heather:
Yeah.

Tanya:
CapturingMagic_

Steph:
Yes, okay. And then, you can also find me over on ModernPhotoSolutions.com. All right. Thank you and we will see you next time on Capturing Magic.

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