Review: Pongu Pongu in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora — The World of AVATAR

You’re invited to a “Party Party” in Pandora — The World of AVATAR!

Pandora

Pandora

“Party Party” is the translation from the Na’vi language for Pongu Pongu, which officially opens in Animal Kingdom — along with the rest of Disney World’s newest land — on May 27th. Pandora is currently in Passholder Preview mode for pre-registered guests, and we’ve already taken you inside Satu’li Canteen, the land’s fast-casual restaurant, which will offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner to Pandora’s guests. 

Today, we’re bringing you to Pongu Pongu, Pandora’s spot to grab a drink — and even a signature snack, if you’re so inclined.

Approaching Pongu Pongu

Approaching Pongu Pongu

So, let’s get this Party Party started!

Atmosphere

When you find yourself exploring Pandora, you are officially a guest of ACE: Alpha Centauri Expeditions. ACE offers humans the chance to explore beautiful Pandora now that peace between humans and the Na’vi of Pandora has been established in the time since the RDA (Resource Development Administration) was once at war with the Na’vi.

Soon YOU can explore Pandora!

Soon YOU can explore Pandora!

Pandora atmosphere

Pandora atmosphere

Inside Na'vi River Journey

Inside Na’vi River Journey

The expeditions must meet with some success, as evidenced by the presence of Pongu Pongu. You see, Pongu Pongu was actually established by an expatriate who grew to love Pandora so much that he or she decided to call it home. Subsequently, Pongu Pongu was built as a place where the Na’vi and humans could gather together in peace and celebration.

Pongu Pongu sign

Pongu Pongu sign

Cast Member costumes, of course, get in on the fun.

Pongu Pongu Cast Member  shirt

Pongu Pongu Cast Member shirt

The playful theme is also on display through the bright colors and trinkets adorning the small kiosk and its signs.

Pongu Pongu signage

Pongu Pongu signage

Those signs, naturally, include the menu, and we’re about to check out everything on it :) !

Drinks and Eats

The offerings at Pongu Pongu are limited, but Pandora theming is in full force with the items. Two frozen specialties, the Night Blossom and the Mo’ara Margarita, are exclusive to Pongu Pongu.

Pongu Pongu Menu

Pongu Pongu Menu

The two Draft Beers on the menu are also available at Satu’li Canteen. But the final item, under “Snacks,” is a food that you’ll only find at Pongu Pongu: the Pongu Lumpia, a pineapple cream cheese spring roll.

We’ll begin with those frozen specialties. The Night Blossom is a mix of Limeade with apple and desert pear flavors, all topped off with passion fruit boba balls. It can be purchased with or without a souvenir Pongu Mug complete with a glowing Unadelta seed, which you see below.

Night Blossom in Pongu Mug

Night Blossom in Pongu Mug

In case you’re wondering what a “glowing Unadelta seed” is :-D, it’s not a light inside the cup itself. It’s actually a clip-on, so you could even use it on other glasses at home.

Glowing Unadelta Seed

Glowing Unadelta Seed

It’s a two-fer souvenir with the glass and the glow cube! Err… glow seed. But still, the price for the souvenir glass — nearing $20 — is HIGH. (And not worth it. Unless you collect glow cubes or something.)

Anyway, the fact that the souvenir cup is clear allows you to appreciate the super-fun look of this non-alcoholic beverage. The colors are certainly eye-catching with bright purple and green and that flash of yellow from the boba balls on top.

Night Blossom

Night Blossom

And we’re happy to report that the taste lives up to the appealing appearance! The flavors are as bright as the hues with this one, and the pear, in particular, lends this drink some of its unique taste. The burst from the boba is a great final touch. In my opinion, this should be the signature drink of Pandora, as it eclipses the Pandoran Sunrise served at Satu’li Canteen by a mile.

The Mo’ara Margarita mixes Sauza Conmemorativo Anejo Tequila with strawberry and blood orange flavors. It is likewise topped with boba balls, in strawberry this time.

Mo'ara Margarita

Mo’ara Margarita

It’s difficult to go wrong with these flavors, so the drink is good… but honestly it’s nothing too special. I was hoping for more from the blood orange, but the flavor was pretty much all strawberry, and there wasn’t much strength from the tequila, unfortunately.

Mo'ara Margarita

Mo’ara Margarita

We’ll see if things change once previews are over (pretty much anything is still subject to tweaking at this point), but that’s the scoop for now.

We tried both the Mo’ara High Country Ale and the Hawkes’ Grog Ale at Satu’li Canteen.

Mo'ara High Country Ale

Mo’ara High Country Ale

But in case you missed it, both of these draft beers are solid choices — both fairly light and basic, but good overall. That said, our preference between the two goes toward the Hawkes’ Grog Ale, because it’s GREEN!

Hawkes' Grog Ale

Hawkes’ Grog Ale

Now, it’s time to dig into Pongu Pongu’s signature snack: the Pongu Lumpia.

Pongu Lumpia

Pongu Lumpia

The Pongu Lumpia was one of the first menu items for Pandora that we had any information about, as it was featured on the ABC daytime cooking show, The Chew, during the network’s Pandora preview week in March.

Lumpia is a popular street food in Indonesia and the Philippines. Much like an egg roll, it’s typically a savory snack filled with meat and veggies. Pongu Pongu gives Lumpia a sweet twist, as a pineapple and cream cheese-filled spring roll finished off with a sprinkle of sugar.

Pongu Lumpia

Pongu Lumpia

The flavor components — pineapple, cream cheese, and wonton wrappers — are part of another beloved dish you’ll find elsewhere in Animal Kingdom: the Fried Wontons at Yak & Yeti. But the execution here is obviously different, with the ingredients tucked into a roll (as opposed to skewered separately).

Pongu Lumpia

Pongu Lumpia

Our DFB team reviews here are totally mixed.

The flavors are good — the brightness of the pineapple is cut nicely by the mild sweetness of the cream cheese. This, we agree on. But while the texture didn’t work for some of us, others among our number are totally on board, and recommend the snack.

Pineapple Chunks

Pineapple Chunks

So. Yep. There you go. Our suggestion? Try it for yourself and let us know what you think, too. :-D

For now, though, it’s time to say “Cheers” from our very first visit to Pongu Pongu!

Overall

Well, mixed Lumpia reviews aside, we still think a stop by Pongu Pongu is a fun way to whet your whistle! A long, hot Orlando summer is quickly approaching, and the vast majority of Animal Kingdom guests are going to be checking out Pandora. Therefore, some refreshening sips will certainly be in order, and that’s what you’ll find at Pongu Pongu. The Night Blossom is enough of a reason to stop, and the beer ain’t bad, either ;) . So be sure to join the party when you get YOUR chance to visit Pandora!

Oh, and if you can’t wait for your first trip… you can see it all in motion on our DFB YouTube Channel!


What would you like to try at Pongu Pongu? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Sue Hasenbank says

    We spoke to the manager at the Canteen (wanted to let him know we loved the blueberry cream cheese mousse!) and he said that they are working on different margaritas.

  2. betsy says

    The margarita is for the BEST THING I’VE EVER HAD!! so good! the other slushy is just too sweet. we threw it out after a few sips.

  3. says

    Has anyone figured out what the beers actually are yet? Because the Grog Ale sounds like green-dyed Magic Hat #9, and the High Country Ale is maybe Abita Amber. Based on the descriptions, at least.

  4. Matt says

    @Justin: They’re from Terrapin a MillerCoors owned craft brewery in Athens, GA.

    (comment edited to adhere to posting guidelines.)

  5. Molly says

    Justin – according to Untappd (and some Googling supports it) the beers are both made by Terrapin.

    I hope they add more drinks. Only a frozen margarita for cocktails is kind of disappointing.

  6. Jenny G says

    We really loved the lumpia & the night blossom. The margarita was just OK… but perhaps I was just spoiled by Nomads Lounge earlier

  7. Kassie says

    We loved the lumpia! However, there aren’t many dishes with warm pineapple I wouldn’t love.

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