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  1. Disney's Animal Kingdom https://www.parkz.com.au/attraction/disneys-animal-kingdom Back to Disney, this time Disney's Animal Kingdom. I ended up heading here in the late afternoon on a couple of my days at WDW. I've been here before and it doesn't necessarily take a huge amount of time to see the park regardless. For the time that I had I didn't really take an issue with skipping over Kilimanjaro Safaris and Kali River Rapids for example. Of course, my main target was Pandora - The World of Avatar. You can spend ages wandering around and admiring the detailed theming. Here is when it really pays to visit in the evening, since you can enjoy the land after dark where it really puts it's lippy on. Satu'li Canteen probably has the best food in the parks too: I started off with Flight of Passage, a ride known for its huge queues, but somehow I was through in 30 mins! The queue is well themed from start to finish. In particular the avatar research lab has a massive amount of detail, right down to seemingly living blobs that move around inside their containers. And of course an avatar in a tank that is kicking and moving as it floats in its sleep. A long preshow explains the whole concept for those who don't know much about the Avatar universe. Basically Pandora is an alien planet inhabitied by the Na'vi. They have bred clones of the Na'vi called "avatars" that humans can control via a neural link, allowing humans to better explore Pandora.... ...and even take part in riding on Banshees, a flying creature that Na'vi ride for fun. The ride is like a much more intense version of a flying theatre. There's no gentle soaring over landscapes here. You are wearing 3D glasses, and diving, twisting and moving quite aggressively the whole time, apart from a brief breather halfway through where you stop in a cave and those little flying jellyfish spore things land on you. Felt on par to me to those simulated flying sequences on Harry Potter and the forbidden journey. The rows of seats are even able to drop a few meters, allowing for actual freefall moments during the ride! And the graphics are spectacular, and very colourful. The seat looks a bit like a Zamperla Disko seat, with some extra vibrating seat pads, and even some inflating air bags to give the feeling the banshee you are riding is breathing. A great trick is done to transition you into the ride film. Your seat has tiny little led strobes that flicker right in your eyes, and as they do this they quickly open the door in front of your seats, play some more flickering lights on the dome screen and then wham, you 'wake up' in the world of Pandora. Na'vi River Cruise is the other attraction. Suprisingly this thing had a longer wait whenever I looked. It's a pleasant well themed dark boat ride through scenes from Pandora. But I guess the thing for me was, the ride scenes and theming are just like what you have already seen out in the main park, with the difference of a few screens showing animals scurrying around and some additional moving things overhead. Though it does come good in the end with a dancing singing Na'vi priest lady. And the queue is quite beautiful, seemingly built by the Na'vi, and full of artefacts. As for the rest of the park. Harambe Marketplace is food district the park opened. Again, the food here is great if you actually want something proper with a bit of flavour. I think i had some Chicken flatbread thing with tahini. They certainly got the developing country vibe right, love the meta copyright infringement. Expedition Everest is fun as always, and quite pleasant at sunset. Dinosaur is a motion based dark ride with exactly the same layout as Indiana Jones, but something about it doesn't click for me. I think it's because is so homogenous from start to finish. You are riding around in a jeep in a dark jungle looking for a particular dinosaur just before the asteroid wipes out the dinosaurs. But it's the same thing the whole way through. Twist and turn then stop, the onboard computer IDs a dinosaur next to the track, nope its not that one, twist and turn some more, another dinosaur, nope not that one either, etc etc repeat that for most of the ride. It eventually reaches a crescendo at the end. You know how on Indinana jones you dive underneath a boulder. On this one you dive under a giant T-Rex head that lunges at you (Clearly inspired by the ending of Jurrassic Park River Adventure!) They took out the Spinning Coasters, but they still have that Dinorama area. The gift shop is worth a look for how zany it is inside. Tough to Be a Bug I did for old times sake, and because the posters in the waiting area is funny. The show is presented like a cabaret of different bugs on stage. Creative use of 4D effects in the cinema, with stink bugs and poisonous bugs shooting at you, and even ones that sting. The other ride I had wanted to do (I've managed to miss on previous visits) is the wildlife express train, but it closes quite early in the afternoon. Ah well, guess I'll ride it in a few years time. And thats Animal Kingdom.
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