Beating the Crowds: How to Handle Animal Kingdom with Avatar

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Pandora: The World of Avatar opens May 27, 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We don’t know all the details yet, but our experience tells us some basic things about how crowds will interact with Animal Kingdom after the new land opens. Since we hear that pictures are better than words, Brian put together a video to explain. If you would like to see more things like this, please give us some suggestions in the comments. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss anything!

Brian McNichols

In addition to blogging, I also do some analyzin' here at Touring Plans. I am a travel nut, planning nut, Disney nut, wall nut. Husband of 1, father of 2. Hilariously funny in my own mind. Find me on Twitter @YesThatBrian if you like really dumb jokes.

18 thoughts on “Beating the Crowds: How to Handle Animal Kingdom with Avatar

  • February 14, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Brian, whether it was intentional or not, your scene cuts in the video did indeed have a Dharma feel to them. All that was missing were the “mangled film” effects. If you’d included those, I would have thought I was watching Dr. Edgar Halliwax.

    • February 14, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      If I could have figured it out fast enough I would have. Also considered labcoat to hide my missing arm 🙂

  • February 14, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Thanks Brian that was great

  • February 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Brian, thanks for this! I’m just curious on your opinion of AK doing a “soft opening” of Pandora before it actually opens in May? Another site anticipated this, perhaps the week of April 22nd……your thoughts? Also, if they do this, is it announced or do you just find out that it’s open once you get to the park? Thanks for your input!!!

    • February 14, 2017 at 7:22 pm

      There will definitely be soft opens, when is the question. April sounds early to me, but they’ve been doing them over longer periods too. My instinct is 2-3 weeks before.

      There will be signs: press events, Cast Member previews, etc. We won’t know when the soft opens start until they do, but we should be able to narrow it down the closer it gets.

  • February 14, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    Loved this. Would enjoy watching crowd analysis of the other parks too!

    • February 15, 2017 at 2:12 am

      I agree. I would love to see more videos like this illustrating typical crowd movements and good strategies for other parks. Nice job!

    • February 15, 2017 at 6:51 am

      Thank you! I can definitely do them for other parks–I just enjoy pointing at maps 😉

  • February 15, 2017 at 8:27 am

    I think the pre Park opening Breakfast at Tusker House would also be a good play, if they don’t tier the FP+s then you can ride Safari right after your meal, (if you are one of the first to be seated) and still have 3fp+ available to use that day. If you are lucky enough to be able to add the ROL Dining package to the pre-park breakfast and you can get 2 for 1.

    • February 15, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Excellent points. I had mentioned RoL dining packages in the uncut 21 minute (!) version, but totally forgot about the pre-opening Tusker House option

  • February 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Sooo interesting. Thank you! I was never in AK for the Jungle Book show. What is the reason for considering a FP+ to River of Lights? Is the seating really limited? Just curious. Every time I have used a FP+ for a show I felt like I had wasted it.

    • February 15, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      FP+ for shows is usually a waste, and this is a bit of a guess, but here’s why I said that:

      The seating area is just about the only place to see the show–it’s not like Wishes or Illuminations where you can just stand (mostly) wherever. Since it is like Fantasmic in that way, I’m expecting it to be like Fantasmic in queue too. Once Pandora opens and more people are in the park, I’m thinking there may be a line just to get into the seating area for Rivers of Light like there used to be for Fantasmic (people used to line up hours in advance).

      If that happens, it would be better to use a FP+ and show up 30 minutes before the show than have to line up 90 minutes before, at least in my eyes. Even if it means having to wait a little longer for Kilimanjaro Safari or Expedition Everest earlier in the day, I think it would be worth it. On the other hand, it’s possible that Rivers of Light will not be that popular and never have a queue. Unfortunately we won’t really know until Memorial Day.

      Thanks for watching!

  • February 15, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    This was awesome, thanks Brian. Fantastic analysis. I’m trying to imagine a non-Disney nerd watching this video. It’s a lot to consider even for a die hard.

    • February 15, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      One more thing..I definitely think they are going to tier these fastpasses. Tiered with a capital T. The only attraction not in Tier 1 will be Primeval Whirl :/

    • February 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm

      Thanks! I imagine non-nerds would make it about 30 seconds in, think “idiot, it’s just a theme park” and end up waiting 3 hours for Flight of Passage 😉

      I agree about the tiers, I think they will definitely do it. And they won’t add the shows or Triceratop Spin in the top tier, so there will be a bunch of stuff that you don’t want to use a FP on.

  • February 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Love this. What do you think of doing the ROL dining package instead of using a FP+ on it?

    • February 15, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks! The dining plan would certainly be a good alternative to using a FP+ if it’s in your budget.

  • February 16, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    The map skills were amazing. I can’t imagine a better way to present serious touring info than on a child’s easel! Perfect.

    Analysis was fun too. Our next trip is in October, so hopefully you can give an update then.

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