Will Pandora Be Forgotten When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opens in Disney World?

Think back to two years ago when anticipation was high for Pandora – The World of Avatar‘s opening in Animal Kingdom. There were floating mountains! It was immersive! You got to ride a Banshee! The food was funky and weird! You could turn yourself into an Avatar in the gift shop!

Pandora – The World of Avatar

I remember anxiously watching the floating mountain being built (or what I could see of it from the parking lot).  I couldn’t wait to see  and experience this land.

I was lucky enough to get a Passholder Preview for the land, and anyone I ran into after that wanted to know everything about the land from the rides, the atmosphere, and the food.

Na’vi River Journey’s Shaman of Songs

No one, and I mean no one, has asked me about Pandora in more than a year. If I get asked anything about Disney now, 90 percent of the time it’s about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Grand Ave. Construction Wall leading to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

I discussed this with my fellow AllEars.net team members, and this is not isolated to just me. We are all experiencing this — and so it got us wondering, will Pandora be forgotten when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens?

When Pandora opened, Avatar Flight of Passage delivered a ride experience we had never known before. Na’vi River Journey gave us the most advanced audio-animatronic in Disney history. The land was immersive and it glowed at night! We actually felt like we were no longer in central Florida, but off in a fantasy world — in another galaxy, one might say!

Avatar Flight of Passage

When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens on August 29 in Hollywood Studios we are promised immersion and interaction like we have never experienced before in a Disney land. The technology and experience on Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is ground-breaking. The Hondo Ohnaka audio-animatronic is out-of-this-world. And, this is all before we head into Oga’s Cantina, sip Blue Milk, build a Light Saber, adopt a droid, and more.

Hondo Ohnaka in the Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run attraction


Oga’s Cantina

We have not even mentioned dining at Ronto Roasters, bargaining with Dok-Ondar, running into Stormtroopers, helping the Resistance by disabling tracking devices, and listening to DJ R3X drop some tunes in Oga’s. This land will be jam-packed!

Ronto Roasters Grill

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be bigger than Pandora on a physical scale, offer more dining and shopping options, be more immersive, and include state-of-the-art rides. Will it make Pandora look quaint and retro? Pandora will not be new and shiny, it will not be home to the most advanced rides, and its food and shopping options are limited.

Valley of Mo’ara at Night

We fear this land that was once seen as a must-do will fall in status to a back-up land. If you can not get into Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge,  Pandora will be the consolation prize.

On the bright side, if Pandora falls from from must-do land to back-up option it might mean the lines won’t be quite as long for Avatar Flight of Passage as they have been in the past!

Avatar Flight of Passage Wait Time

What do you think? When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens will Pandora be forgotten? Let us know in the comments.

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Sarah has built a career in communications and marketing that started when she was the editor of her high school newspaper. She has written for AllEars.net since 2018, and enjoys sharing Disney news and updates with the AllEars community. She's been a Disney fan ever since her first visit to Walt Disney World when she was 5, and has been known to arrange trips around visiting a Disney park!

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11 Replies to “Will Pandora Be Forgotten When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opens in Disney World?”

  1. I don’t think lines will change much for Pandora after Galaxy’s Edge for a few reasons:

    1. They are in two separate parks.
    2. Wait times for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train haven’t changed much since the introduction of Pandora.
    3. Avatar and Star Wars likely have a differing fan base. While some people may enjoy both, there are others that may not be interested or excited about either.
    4. The Avatar movie universe is set to expand over the next few years with the addition of a few more films.

  2. Yes I’m excited about Star Wars land…but I’m also super excited about Pandora. I’ll be at Disney in September, and I cannot wait to go to Pandora and adopt my first Banshee! I’m so excited about the bioluminescence. I can’t wait to ride Flight of Passage and River Journey. I might not even ride Millenium Falcon if the lines are horrendous. I love Star Wars, but I love Pandora too. I think Pandora is a beautiful alien landscape that inspires creativity and positivity, vs Star Wars’ much harsher feel. I’m so excited to go to Pandora and experience that environment.

  3. Just booked fast passes for my upcoming September trip and at 60+3 FOP only had afternoon availability and 60+5 had am availability. Checking today at 57 days till our first one and they are all distributed. But then again so are slinky dog and 7DMT.

  4. When one new attraction opens, the lines are always long at the new attraction, and the other lines get shorter. It will probably be easier to get into Toy Story Land as well. It happens all the time. I’m not into thrill rides so I have no intention of going to Star Wars, except to walk around and see it….because I did like the movies. I’m actually looking forward to the other parks being quieter. Avatar did not impress me……but I was told it was because I never saw the movie.

  5. Pandora will still be a priority for us, although I will not wait in a long line for River of Navi. The only food I like is the quick stop for drink and lumpia. The store has not provided any items we need to buy.

    I am not a huge Star Wars fan, so will not be waiting in long lines for that. I might not even go to HS in November 🙂

  6. The reason Pandora is a big fat yawner is that there is no bond or connection with the movie or the characters in it. It was always just an overrated environmental propaganda film. People were only excited about some new rides and when they turned out to be not anything spectacular, there was nothing else to keep them interested.

    Star Wars will fare much better as there is a strong bond with the movies and the characters, so the rides don’t have to be perfect. But Disney is getting into the Star Wars game way to late and I don’t think there is going to be a large, long lasting fan base. Plus, there are so many Disney lovers who couldn’t care less about Star Wars. I’ve never seen an attraction that has polarized Disney visitors as much as Star Wars. Either you love it or you hate it.

    1. I agree with you on the Star Wars “connection”. I think it’s a generational thing, though. If you are of the older generation (like me) who was present for the cinematic debut of the original trilogy in the 70’s and early 80’s, then you likely carried that love of the Star Wars universe through the years and likely passed a good portion of it on to your kids as well. Even the sub-par I, II, and III films in the 90’s didn’t lessen my excitement for the franchise and the latest films have probably cemented it even more. So yes, perhaps when my generation and the one immediately following are gone the excitement of Star Wars will fade, but we’re talking many decades away. Don’t underestimate the power of the Force! 🙂

  7. On the last two recent trips to WDW, it was very very difficult to get Fast Passes to Avatar. We are going next during the first week of September. Getting Fast Passes for Avatar this time was a breeze. I did attribute it to the Star Wars opening. Tier One Fast Passes at HS were harder to get too. Everyone’s going to HS!

  8. I have already done Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland….and it is AMAZING!!! It eclipses pandora completely! I definitely think FOP is gonna become a backup option!