Floating Mountains of Pandora at Walt Disney World

Floating Above the Trash Cans

Floating mountains of Pandora in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World

The mountains of Pandora float high above the Mo’ara Valley in Pandora: the World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. And they float above the trash and recycling cans, too. So nice of the residents of Pandora to have those available for us.

During our visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of our June 2018 Florida trip, we did get to make our first visit to Pandora. But thanks to the ravenous appetite for anything new these days, we did not quite see all of it. Those of us who do not plan what we are going to do months in advance are not able to get Fastpasses for the new attractions when we check just a couple of days before we visit. But that was fine.

We did get to ride the Na’vi River Journey by getting there before the park opened and walking straight there. We actually only waited about 15 minutes for that one. But because it was an Extra Magic Hour morning for Disney hotel guests (which we were not), the wait for Flight of Passage was already over an hour by the time they let us regular guests in the park. Maybe next time. Or maybe not.

The photo of the floating mountains above was taken in during that early morning walk into Pandora to get in line for the river cruise. That explains why there are no people around, in case you were wondering. The light that morning was just right, with the early morning sun hitting the mountains in front of a brilliant blue sky with only a few accent clouds. Even though we were trying to beat the crowd to the line, I was happy to slow down and take the photo and then quickly catch back up with the rest of my family.

Sometimes being early has its advantages.

See more from our visit in the June 2018 Florida Trip category.

To Plan or Not To Plan?

As you can see from the above and from some of the other things written around here, we do not do detailed planning before our trips. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Some people think that you can not have as much fun on a trip if you do not plan it all out ahead of time. They have specific things that they want to see and a specific order to do it all in. If that works for you, then that is just fine.

On the other hand, you have people who just show up and see what happens next. Maybe they have some things that they would like to do if they have a chance, but they just sort of go with the flow.

Back in the old days, we used to be in that first category. And yes, it was mainly me and not Laura. But now, we are right in the middle of that second category. Why bother planning everything out? and it all works out just fine for us.

If we get to see things, then we are just fine with it. If we do not get to see things, such as the Flight of Passage ride at Animal Kingdom, then we are just fine with it. It will be there whenever we get back. And if we don’t ever get to see it, it isn’t the end of the world for us. 

I think that started for us once we got older. Or maybe it was once we became parents. It got to the point where life was so busy that we did not have time to do a lot of planning before trips. As things got busier and busier as the time to leave approached, we were happy to finally just be on the trip and away from many of our responsibilities. Anything after that was just icing on the cake.

We quickly learned to adapt to that style of traveling, and it has worked well for us. It has actually taken much of the stress out of vacations. If you have everything planned out and you don’t get to do something that you had planned, it can be a bit of a downer. If you don’t have anything planned and you get to do lots of fun things, it makes the trip even better. Many happy surprises are better than a few disappointing moments.

So we will keep on planning not to plan and just enjoy whatever comes our way as best as we can!

Bible Verse

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” - James 4:13-15

About the Photo

In some ways, this photo is almost too busy. There are almost too many details to see here, and it almost overwhelms your eyes. At least that is how I see it. But on the other side of things, all those details draw you in and keep you looking at things. So that really might be a good thing instead of a bad thing.

Sometimes photos like this make me wish I would get out in the early morning hours and take advantage of that great light more often. Of course, here it was not planned, but we just happened upon the scene. But I am not always an early morning person, especially on vacation, so I am good with just taking these opportunities when I find myself in them.

I did do a bit of processing to bring out some of the details even more. And I wanted to take advantage of all of the great colors, too. I really liked how the green of the floating mountains looked against that blue sky.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus M.Zukio 25mm f1.8
Date: June 13, 2018
Location: Disney’s Animal KingdomWalt Disney WorldFlorida

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.