Walt Disney World Gender Reveal

Leave a comment Standard
Disneyland

He or She

Remember gender reveals back in the day? Mom is in labor, and several hours later, a certified medical professional yelled out in the delivery room, “It’s a ….!”? Well gender reveals have come a long way.  With Promposals, engagement ring scavenger hunts, and pop up weddings, it’s no wonder people are looking for new and unique ways to announce the gender of their baby to be. If a babymoon is in your plans (oh yeah, that’s a thing now, too), why not do your Gender Reveal at Walt Disney World?

Who Does What?

A gender reveal at Walt Disney World doesn’t have to be something the parents already know.  You can enlist the help of cast members, characters, or even other theme park guests.  If the gender reveal at Disney World is a surprise for mom and dad, the planning begins at home.  Have your doctor put the gender of your baby-to-be in an envelope.  Then, keep the envelope sealed until the perfect time!

You can plan who you may want to enlist to help you once you get to the parks.  Maybe give the envelope to a waiter, who can plate it with dessert. Ask a Photopass Photographer to open the reveal envelope while taking your picture in front of Cinderella Castle during the Happily Ever After fireworks display.  If it’s written big enough, he can catch it in a photo, but if not, he can certainly capture your reaction to finding out if you’re adding a Mickey or a Minnie to your family.

I even know of a couple who enlisted the help of a theme park guest.  They handed the friendly stranger the envelope with the gender information, then gave them the money to purchase a baby outfit in either blue or pink.  The couple then opened the bag in front of a Photopass Photographer to find out the gender of baby to be!

Gender Reveal

Purchase a t-shirt

When Mom and Dad Are in the Know

If the gender is already known by the parents, you have other options. You won’t need to grab help, and if plans change, you can be more flexible.  You may want to make larger signage at home that you can use on camera.  Take some time to plan a perfect place, think about what characters might be appropriate to help you share the news, or even arrange for a professional photography session.  That will give you a professional camera operator and some of the most beautiful backdrops at Walt Disney World.

Great Ideas if Mom and Dad Know

Disney baby clothes are super cute.  You’ll find gender specific clothing in many of the shops throughout Walt Disney World. Your gender reveal might involve purchasing a boy or girl baby outfit.  Hold it up to Mommy’s baby bump, and caption a picture with It’s a Boy or It’s a Girl!  You could also stand next to a character and have them hold a tiny pink or blue onesie or a handcrafted sign revealing your big news.

Another great option is the famous Mickey ears.  You can have them embroidered with the name you’ve already chosen, if you know it and want to share.  On the other hand, you can just have Boy or Girl embroidered on the baby sized ears.  Also available are pink or blue baby mouse ears, and they work perfectly!

Disneyland

Photo Courtesy of Courtney Bautista

A Disneyland Gender Reveal Photo

I have also seen parents to be with Disney balloons – Mickey heads for boys, princesses for girls.  Also available are the clear balloons with the brightly colored Mickey ears inside.  You might find the color you need in one of those.

Some couples make a garland to string across themselves and a character, others grab tiny baby shoes in pink or blue and place them at various spots around Walt Disney World and make a photo collage to announce the baby’s gender.  One of the cutest photos I’ve seen is one on Main Street, USA, with Cinderella Castle behind them, and the parents blowing pink “pixie dust” into the air.  I get teary just remembering it!

Pixie Dust

There are stuffed animals in pink and blue, or just use a Mickey or Minnie to let the secret out.  Something else fun to do is to have a Cast Member write on a pin that says you are celebrating your baby boy or girl, then take a picture of the pin.

In the word’s of Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it!”, and a gender reveal at Walt Disney World is one of the most magical ways to share the happiest news you ever get to share!

Disney’s Pandora – The World of Avatar Review – Good, Better, Best

Leave a comment Standard
Navi people
Navi people

Na’vi River Journey

It’s usually the good, the bad, and the ugly.  But with Disney’s Pandora – The World of Avatar, themed after the almost decade old movie Avatar by James Cameron, it’s all about the good, better, and best.  And there is quite a lot to say about each.

The Good

The new section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is not even open, but every cast member we encountered greeted us in the Na’vi language, the spoken tongue of the aliens from Pandora.  They immerse you in the experience that transports you to this wonderland.  The colorful blue of their costumes call to mind the beautiful blue shade of the native Na’vi people, and they all already love working in this part of the Disney Imagineared world.

beverages at Pandora

Night blossom and Mo’ara Margarita from Pongu Pongu

Also in the good list are the frozen beverages available at Pongu Pongu (Na’vi for Party Party).  A special bioluminescent “ice cube” is available for the drinks if you purchase them in the souvenir cup, but you can buy them without the added magic.  We sampled the non-alcoholic Night Blossom, a frozen limeade with layers of desert pear and apple topped with passion fruit boba balls.  Although tasty, this is really, really sweet.  After two sips, I needed a big drink of water to cleanse my palate.  But it was a hit with Granuaile. This walk up stand also has a couple of ales and a delicious dessert called Pongu Lumpia – a pineapple cream cheese spring roll.  Think fried pineapple cheesecake.  What’s not to love.  Very good.

The Better

There are two attractions in Disney’s Pandora.  The first one is the Na’vi River Journey. This boat ride is a slow drift through the Valley of Mo’ara as you search for the Shaman of Songs. The attraction is visually stunning. Most noteworthy here is the use of bioluminescence, the glowing soft colored light you see throughout your ride.  Because the background is dark, the blues, pinks, and purples that prevail magically pop and wrap you in the warm glow. Being compared to It’s a Small World, the ride is definitely gentle and family friendly, but the technology kicks it up to a level Walt Disney couldn’t dare dream.

Na'vi River Journey

Almost dandelioin-like in its beauty

Na'vi River

The view above you on the Na’vi River Journey

foliage

More scenery from the Na’vi River Journey

The one counter service dining location inside Pandora will be Satu’li Canteen, and everything was good.  One of the better options on our tray was the blueberry cream cheese mousse. Highlighting the colors of Pandora and the Na’vi people, this light and delectable dessert pairs a passion fruit curd with sweet cream cheese and bold blueberries. It is light, fruity, pretty, and fun.

dessert at Satu'li

Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse

A quick nod here to the other souvenir cup, offered at the Satu’li Canteen.  According to Granuaile, the Na’vi Flute Cup is awesome, but the Pandora Sunrise beverage inside, not so much.  It’s a blend of fruit juices with Powerade melon drink over ice.  Granuaile thinks the drink was weird, although I’m sure the Powerade was a good choice for a 90+ degree day.  So, the cup earns a better, the drink – well, maybe ask for the cup with a soda.

The Best

Everything out there so far about the brand new thrill ride, Flight of Passage, is true.  It is beyond amazing.  I was anxious going into this attraction, which I’ll talk about shortly, but I have never experienced a theme park attraction like this anywhere. When I tell you I wanted to cry when I got off, I mean it most sincerely. There was such a feeling of exhiliration, as you dive through the valley, over the river, and then glide through the beautiful Mo’ara Valley.

It’s not that the ride ended that made me sad, it was just the rush of emotion, the scents, the visual beauty – it was a lot to take in.  I should have followed Granuaile up the hill for a second trip, but that will have to wait for the next trip.  Think Soarin’ on steroids. You are there, in Pandora, on the back of a banshee that has been specially chosen for you, and it is amazing.

They didn’t allow photos inside the actual attraction, but the Imaginears really pushed the limits with the queue as well.  Stunning and spectacular from the get go.

Na'vi wall art

Wall art – visible throughout the attraction

Hank in the Tank

Flight of Passage queue takes you into the lab

lab

Really authentic looking lab

na'vi

Banshee Skull in Flight of Passage queue

The Delicious

One of the best counter service meals I’ve ever had was at Satu’li Canteen. This “mess hall” themed restaurant features actually pretty healthy choices, and while we only sampled one of the Create Your Own Satu’li Bowls, it was delicious.  The bowls give you the option to choose your own protein, a base, and a sauce, so you can really make what you want.  I opted for the chopped wood-grilled chicken as my protein, then based on reviews of other preview visitors, selected the red and sweet potato hash.  I went with the creamy herb dressing over top.

Chicken bowl

Satu’li Canteen Create Your Own Bowl

The boba balls on top were yogurt, and they are definitely a theme at Pandora.  The chicken was tender and delicious, but Oh. My. Yum. The hash was incredible. Sweet, savory, and a forkful of comfort, I could eat this all day long.  Also on the dish was a crunchy vegetable slaw, which balanced the sweet and creamy potatoes.

The Spectacular

I would venture to guess most of the people visiting Pandora have never seen the Avatar movie. Although it would help to be familiar with the amazing scenery from the film, you will still be impressed with the themeing in Pandora.

beautiful colors

Some of hte foliage at Pandora

pandora

Pandora Waterfalls

pandoar

Overview of Pandora

pandora

Floating Islands of Pandora

And then there’s the opportunity to adopt a banshee.  More than anything, Granuaile looked forward to this, and she was not disappointed.  The thing hasn’t come off of her shoulder since we bought it.  Definitely a purchase to consider carefully with a $50 price tag, it’s cool.

banshee pandora

Adopting a Banshee

The Not So Good

While I came out of Disney’s Pandora wearing lapis colored glasses, I was not completely blinded to the drawbacks.  The issues guests are having fitting on to the Flight of Passage attraction are real.  Even though I felt prepared and hoped I would fit, I went in there about ready to pee myself with worry. I was the largest one in my group of 16 going in, and I was already dreading the embarassment of being asked to leave.  Although working out well for me, the attraction is designed so that not only weight, but height and width of your calves could impact your ability to enjoy the attraction.

Aside from the “fit” of the ride, the walk up there might be a bit of a journey in itself. A cast member told me the queue was built to accommodate a six hour wait time – so the walk up there is LONG.  And uphill.  And then there are steps at the end to climb to get to the ride (and come down from when you are through).  This is not a Mount Everest climb, but if you are out of shape (like me), you can get out of breath.

The Wrap Up

You need to go.