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Backstories and More Information Released for Every Location in Pandora: The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Today, Disney is sharing the incredible backstories and more information on many aspects of Pandora: The World of AVATAR ahead of its opening on May 27th, 2017:

The Story of ACE

Just like some Cast Members work for the Kilimanjaro Safaris tour company in Africa, or the Kali River Expeditions and Himalayan Escapes in Asia, the Cast Members in Pandora will work for a tour company as well. Alpha Centauri Expeditions, or ACE, is the eco-tour company that brings us to Pandora through a partnership with the Na’vi. Their mission statement: “Our dream is that all those who crave exciting adventures in nature can find that with ACE. We look forward to helping you discover the wondrous beauty that the world of Pandora has to offer.”

Founded by Marshall Lamm, ACE hosts travelers and also provides lodging, food, merchandise establishments, pathways, bridges, safety railings, lights, fans, informational and safety signs, river transportation, as well as park guides who know all about the land, flora, and fauna within the Valley of Mo’ara on Pandora.

The Na’vi

When you visit Pandora – The World of Avatar, you are visiting a specific regional area of Pandora, the Valley of Mo’ara. The native inhabitants, the Na’vi, live in distinct clans throughout the moon of Pandora. Mo’ara is home to the Omaticaya clan.

Here are some key phrases in the Na’vi language you might want to know before visiting:

  • Kaltxi [kahl-T’IH] means “Hello”
  • Irayo [ee-RAH-yo] means “Thanks”
  • Rutxe [roo-T’EH] means “Please”
  • Oeru syaw [WEH-roo syow] means “My name is “
  • Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE)

Dining

Pongu Pongu was originally built by a former RDA employee who fell in love with the natural splendors of Pandora. Eventually, he built a place where his fellow Expats could gather and socialize. He even placed a retired RDA-era AMP suit outside the building as a sort of landmark. The Na’vi named the place, “Pongu Pongu”, which means, “Party Party,” because of all the wild and memorable times both humans and Na’vi have had together there. The owner eventually collaborated with the ACE tour company to transform this eccentric building into a place for tourists to visit and wet their whistles. Filled with Pandoran treasures and RDA relics, it has quickly become a favorite destination for locals and tourists alike.

The Satu’li Canteen was once the main mess hall of a large RDA base located in the Valley of Mo’ara but now the canteen is owned and operated by the ACE tour company. A restaurateur hired by ACE has redesigned the once utilitarian Quonset hut structure into a beautiful museum-like dining room. Featuring Na’vi art and cultural items, the Satu’li Canteen now reflects a new friendship and cultural understanding that exists between the humans on Pandora and the indigenous Na’vi.

The interior has been transformed, with the colorful Na’vi items filling the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Most of the items were gifted to humans by the Omaticaya clan living in Mo’ara. Hand woven tapestries, natural Pandroan elements, and even cooking tools can all be found inside the restaurant along with sketches and photographs on the walls that help explain their significance. With this unique display of cultural items, the Satu’li Canteen visually represents the positive influence the Na’vi have had on the humans living and working on Pandora.

Shopping

Located at the exit of the Flight of Passage attraction, Windtraders is an old building that used to be part of the base during the conflict between the Na’vi and humans. When ACE took over the old facility, they stripped the interior to just a shell and redesigned it to celebrate the natural world of Pandora. The feeling in the shop is a combination of a national park’s visitor center, a cultural center, and a science museum. The store offers a range of items including science kits, explorers gear, items that feature natural bioluminescence, realistic and plush versions of Pandoran creatures, clothing, and various cultural items from the Na’vi. Many of these Na’vi items come from Na’vi traders that travel all over Pandora and visit with various clans.

Colors of Mo’ara is run by local expats, as wild and eclectic as the creatures they paint. This facepainting kiosk features authentic Pandoran markings – perfect for those arriving to Pandora or ending their visit wanting a memory of their time spent there.

Attractions

Flight of Passage

The Pandora Conservation Initiative (PCI) is a group of scientists who study the world of Pandora. A specialized subset of PCI has inherited and refined the Avatar program which is now offered for tourists. Thanks to PCI scientists and technicians, Guests can connect to their own avatar and fly over Pandora on the back of a mountain banshee. A Na’vi guide helps guests experience their own Na’vi rite of passage.

Na’vi River Journey

With the help of ACE, guests board a woven reed boat and journey down a river into a sacred bioluminescent rainforest. Along their journey they discover the Shaman of Songs; a Na’vi with a deep connection to Eywa (the Na’vi diety). Drawing on the natural energy of Pandora the shaman creates a magical, unified harmony that echoes throughout the entire rainforest and beyond.

Pandora: The World of AVATAR opens May 27th, 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.

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