Walt Disney World Magic- A Little Extra Magic in Pandora

First off, I want to make a public announcement. I am no Disney expert. We have taken our kids to Disney four times in the past eight years, ranging from just one day in the park to this past trip when we were on the property for nine days. There are loads of people who have been to Disney plenty times more than I have, and who know a lot more than I do. I’m just here to pass on what I have learned and what has worked for us. We returned from our last Disney trip a few months ago, and while there I posted a lot of images on my instagram and facebook feeds–I had so many people send me private messages asking me questions that I decided there are a ton of people who want to know more about Disney and how to make their trip better, coming from someone they actually know. Let’s face it. . . Disney is no joke. It’s incredibly expensive. It’s exhausting. It causes even the best behaved children to melt down at times. It’s crowded. It’s overwhelming. And most people don’t even know where to begin while planning their trip.

Today’s topic is A Little Extra Magic in Pandora!  There were a few experiences I wanted to try to create for my family for Disney that didn’t cost a lot of money, but most of them took a little prior planning. This specific idea only took a quick minute to purchase something on Amazon. I read that there were a few places in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora where there were black lights–there are many places in the land of Pandora amongst the amazing flora, but specifically also in the Na’vi River Journey Ride. We were lucky enough to snag a last minute evening fast pass to the ride, putting us in Animal Kingdom when it was dark out. Visiting in summer made it hard, as it got dark pretty late in the day, so if you visited when the evening came quicker, you’d have more time for the kids to experience the fun.

We purchased our glow in the dark face paint ahead of time, like I said, on Amazon. This is the specific face paint I purchased–some colors definitely worked better than others. I threw it in a ziploc bag in our suitcase along with a handful of q-tips to apply the paint.  During our mid-day hotel break, we did the face paint in our room, and then we headed to Animal Kingdom from there. The kids had a couple of opinions on what they wanted their designs to look like, and I let the pick their colors, but overall, they were good with anything. Dots, lines and a few triangles were the extent of what I did. Painting with q-tips isn’t the easiest thing in the world.

We did pack the paint in our bag, along with a couple of q-tips to fix the paint if it got messed up. I think we had a minor paint fatality during Kali River Rapids, so I’m glad we thought to bring the paint with us. The kids really felt “cool” walking around the park in their face paint, and it didn’t matter to them that it wasn’t fancy or a “real” Na’vi face–the real face painting at Disney is about $25 a face. They were so excited when night finally arrived and we got to check out the glowing effect.

The ride was even better. Totally worth the $16 amazon purchase.  Here are a couple of videos from the evening…it was a little hard to catch the black light effect on camera and was definitely better in person, but you can get the idea. I think you’ll have to click on the links separately:

Video 1

Video 2






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newborn, child and family photographer

rochester new york