Just over six years ago, Disney made an announcement that James Cameron’s “Pandora” would be arriving at Walt Disney World. The project faced mass speculation and many (including myself, which I’ve touched on in an earlier article) really didn’t think the concept would fit in with the Disney brand. To be quite honest, a vast majority of the skepticism has been completely turned around, including my own. I never thought I would enjoy this land, but to be quite honest it will be a must do for us for years to come. However, today, rather that repeating what has been said by myself early on, as well as many other individuals across the web, I simply wanted to share my opinions of night vs. day in Pandora. Also, I want to pose a question: If you had to pick only one time to visit Pandora, would it be at night or would it be in the daytime?
Personally, I see Pandora as a place that really changes drastically throughout the day. In all honesty, I’m a huge fan of the place during the day. Of course, nighttime is incredible to see and experience because it is simply unique and one of a kind in a way that you’ve likely never seen and will likely never see again. However, Pandora during the day exposes so many intricate details that can be easily overlooked in near complete darkness.
When you first see Pandora and experience that grand “reveal” of the floating mountains high overhead, it’s a complete sensory experience. You hear the running water falling from waterfalls that appear to pour out from an endless flow of water. Imagineering developed this experience as something that makes you take a step back and really think, “How is that even possible?” Time after time, you’ll be simply walking through the area and stumble into a detail in the intricate vine work or the cascading water that surrounds guests and notice the attention to detail that truly is unparalleled by any other theme park organization. It’s one of those elements of a Disney park that truly sets them apart. As I’ve shared many times, for me a Disney vacation is different for a variety of reasons, but the details really create a world class and one of a kind experience that has never been fully replicated. Nighttime in Pandora is full of all kinds of details, but in my opinion it loses an aspect of the immaculate detail that is really limited by the human eye’s capability in low light scenarios.
At night, Pandora is a completely different place. It feels like an entirely new experience. Obviously it’s the exact same place, but the look and feel takes on a different “theme.” the bioluminescent forests come to life and the experience takes on a new sensory overload. The forest comes alive with new sounds, the plant life takes on an entirely new “glowing” personality, and a whole new series of details unveil themselves to guests. However, you do lose a bit of the daytime perception that simply can’t be picked up in a low light environment. Don’t get me wrong, the land is still miles ahead in the world of realism and detail that anything we’ve seen before, but it seems to lose just a small portion of what can be seen in full daylight.
All things considered, this is an excellent place simply to explore and capture a few photos that you can amaze friends with when you return home. There’s nothing like Pandora and there’s no honest comparison of it to any other portion of a Disney park. So, for those of you that have visited this new land, what is your favorite time of day to visit Pandora?
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