The Food of Disney's Pandora
If you have not heard already, Disney had an attraction open in the spring of 2017—Pandora: World of Avatar. If you have done any research on anything Disney you will have seen it. The marketing machine was in full gear to promote this endeavor, and Disney followed through with their promise of new and exciting. There is nothing else like it anywhere.
But, this article isn't just about Pandora. This article is just about the food and drink options at Pandora. I was so impressed by them that I felt they deserved their own article.
The Dining Options
Currently, there are only two places where food and drink are sold at Pandora. Well, for now. There is a little stand outside of the gift shop (Pongu Pongu), and there is the quick service restaurant: Satu'li Canteen. Hopefully, since this section of the park is so popular, they will be quick to add more.
The Satu'li Canteen is made to look like an old military compound with decor borrowed from the native Na'vi. Pongu Pongu is right outside the gift shop and shares an outdoor seating area with the Satu'li Canteen. The outdoor area is covered by a very large overhang, which helps keep the area as cool as possible in the summer.
The Satu'li Canteen
The Satu'li Canteen is the only place in Pandora where you can eat a full meal. It is a quick service restaurant and it does participate in the Disney Dining Plan. The menu is a sort of Asian American fusion. The combination itself if interesting enough, but the way everything is presented really makes it feel other worldly. And that is exactly what Disney was going for.
The first time I visited the canteen, my mother and I ordered meals from the kid's menu. I was very happy that the cast member that took our order didn't mind at all. You see, the food is almost exactly the same, just smaller portion sizes. And if you have never experienced walking around Walt Disney World in the heat of summer with an overly full belly, you will know exactly why we wanted to order off the kid's menu. Essentially, the big difference between adult and children's chicken and rice bowl, aside from size, was the sauces. The kid's meal does not come with any while the adult's has a variety to choose from. The cast member that took our order was kind enough to ask us if we wanted any on the side.
The food was full of flavor! Not to mention it was some of the healthiest food I have seen at a quick service restaurant. I felt good about my menu choice, I was happy with the size of the meal, and I felt good eating it. That is fantastic! I really have to give kudos to the folks at Disney for making a priority of serving healthy food that tastes really, really good. While my mom and I were eating a very kind cast member came over and chatted with us while he was cleaning tables. He was very excited to see that people were enjoying Pandora so much and that people were enjoying the menu at the Canteen.
I will admit, the second time I went to the canteen I did not eat anything. Though, I was very tempted to try the bao buns. We just weren't hungry. But, we were thirsty. The first time I had gone I had gotten a very colorful drink. It is a mix of different fruit juices and powerade. It was very refreshing and has a lot of electrolytes. We made a pitstop just for that drink.
Overall, the canteen is very nice. There is plenty of seating inside and outside, and the staff does a fantastic job keeping up with tables as guests come and go. The food is not only good for you but is full of flavor. I do wish that they had a larger menu to choose from, but I imagine that will come with time.
I did notice that there was a change in the menu the second time I visited. They had more protein options to choose from to make the bowls. I also noticed that they made an effort to highlight that the fish in the fish bowl is a sustainably caught fish. This means that the exact fish will vary based upon what they are able to get in for the day. It also means that they are making a major effort to conserve threatened or endangered species and to help prevent overfishing.
Another change is the addition of the family meal. I believe they have it listed as a sampler, but it comes with four drinks and has enough food to feed a family of four. It looks like a great deal that I'd be willing to try.
This little stand is easy to miss. Well, it would be if there wasn't a line of people waiting to order. It is directly between the gift shop and the bathrooms outside of the Satu'li Canteen.
Essentially, it is just a place to grab a drink. They have a wide variety of frozen and alcoholic beverages. Since it was only 10 in the morning, and already nearly 90 out, when I stopped in I decided to try the only frozen non-alcoholic drink a try. The Night Blossom. It was very good. It was just what I needed. The fruit juices mixed very well together and the boba balls added a pleasant texture.
There is one food offering at Pongu Pongu. Pongu Lumpia. It is very good. It is a pineapple cream cheese lumpia. It is not very easy to share and can be a little messy to eat. But, it was very good. Paired with the night blossom it was just what I needed for a mid morning snack.
That picture at the top of the article shows the night blossom and the Pongu lumpia.
I am very happy with what Disney brought to the table, literally, with the food of Pandora. When I first read that Disney was going to bring Pandora to life I was a little skeptical. How could I not be? They said they were going to make floating mountains, a thrill ride that was like no other, and they wanted to bring the food of Pandora to life. Well, they did all that and then some.
I do wish that the Pandora section of the park was larger. It really feels crowded. Though, that is mainly because it is so popular that is where everyone goes. But, right now there are only two rides, one gift shop, and drink stand, and a quick service restaurant. Its almost ironic how small it feels considering how larger than life all the buildings are.
I am looking forward to seeing what Disney has planned for Pandora. I have heard rumors that they are planning a table service restaurant, but that would mean they would need to expand on Pandora. Which is going to take a bit of time.
So, in conclusion, I highly recommend trying some of the unique options of food and drink available at Pandora.