Dyer Vows to Change Tourism’s Face

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The newly-appointed Chairman of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Mr. Godfrey Dyer, is a man on a mission. With a passion for the industry, he is determined to change the face of Jamaica’s product.“My appointment as Chairman is for three years, and I tell you when I leave at the end of the three years, I must be proud of what I see in Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, Kingston, the South coast and all the resort areas,” he vows, with every bit of seriousness and resolve etched on his face. “I will accomplish this. Even it means I have to live on the streets to see that it happens, it is going to happen!” he exclaims.With 29 solid years under his belt as a player in the tourism business, the former two-time President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has earned the authority to be taken seriously in the industry. “I want everybody to hold me to this commitment, for I want nothing less than the total transformation of the resort towns; and it is going to happen.”Mr. Dyer has served on the board of the Tourism Enhancement Fund since it was established in 2005. The Fund is financed through fees collected from incoming airline and cruise ship passengers, and is intended to improve the tourism product and to make the resort more physically appealing. The heavily-promoted Spruce-Up Jamaica programme is being financed through the Fund, which now stands at $2 billion.Among the projects already approved for financing under the Fund are a $60 million upgrading programme for small hotels; a $28 million improvement programme for the Montego Bay Hospital site on Gloucester Avenue; the renovation and beautification of Port Royal; the Seville Heritage Park as well as Hope Gardens in Kingston.In addition, work is to be carried out on the craft markets in the resort areas. Mr. Dyer has raised concern about the time it takes between approval and implementation of projects, and this is an immediate issue that he intends to tackle as Chairman of the TEF. “We have to get things moving faster than we had in the past,” the new Chairman says. He reveals also that he will be monitoring the projects “very closely.”In an interview, with JIS News at the Wexford Court Hotel which he formerly owned, the highly respected Western businessman says he is concerned about the look of the resort towns and the image being presented to visitors. He feels strongly that the country has to do better in terms of how it presents itself visually to people.He stresses, however, that his ten-member board does not intend to take over the responsibilities of the local authorities. Rather, they will be working collaboratively toward the common goal of improving the physical environment of the resort areas.Godfrey Dyer has had a long history of working collaboratively and in sustaining partnerships. He has a distinguished history of civic activism and community involvement.He has served in various capacities in organizations such as the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Associated Chambers of Commerce, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the former Jamaica Telephone Company, now Cable and Wireless Jamaica Limited, the Montego Bay Co-operative Credit Union, the Jamaica Tourist Board and JAMPRO, now Jamaica Trade and Invest.Born in Spaldings, Clarendon, he attended Knox College and has served in the police force, the insurance and furniture industries as well as in the media, where he ran a radio station.His passion for service is boundless. And what consumes him now is the relentless drive to improve our tourism product. “I am determined to do it and I will do it,” he pledges. RelatedDyer Vows to Change Tourism’s Face RelatedDyer Vows to Change Tourism’s Face Advertisementscenter_img RelatedDyer Vows to Change Tourism’s Face Dyer Vows to Change Tourism’s Face UncategorizedNovember 21, 2007last_img read more

China Unicom profit surge fuelled by 3G uptake

first_img Tim Ferguson Home China Unicom profit surge fuelled by 3G uptake China Unicom reported improved profit and revenue for the first nine months of the year, as the company’s 3G business continued to drive growth.The second-largest operator in China reported net profit of CNY8.37 billion ($1.38 billion) for the year to date, compared with CNY5.45 billion in the comparable 2012 period. Its revenue was CNY220.17 billion, up 18.9 per cent from CNY185.19 billion seen in the equivalent period in 2012.Service revenue was CNY177.38 billion, up 13.6 per cent year on year. Mobile service revenue increased 20.2 per cent to CNY111.94 billion, with the 3G business contributing 57.8 per cent to the total compared to 45.9 per cent in 2012.The net addition of 33.45 million mobile subscribers over the first nine months of the year brought the total to 272.76 million. The net addition of 3G subscribers was 35.17 million, meaning the total base of 3G subscribers hit 111.63 million by the end of September.Average revenue per user for the period was CNY48.6, but was considerably higher for 3G subscribers, at CNY76.5.The company said that it had reduced its 3G terminal subsidy cost as a percentage of 3G service revenue from 10.9 per cent in 2012 to 9 per cent from in 2013. The subsidy cost stood at CNY5.82 billion. Network, operation and support expenses also decreased as a percentage of service revenue, from 15.4 per cent to 13.9 per cent.China Unicom said in a statement it had “continuously enhanced its network capacity and further expanded its network scale” during the period.For its fixed line unit, the company claimed “stable growth” in service revenue, up 3.8 per cent to CNY64.82 billion. Its broadband operations generated 52.7 per cent of this, from 49.7 per cent in the first three quarters of 2012. Author Apps Related 3GChinaChina UnicomFinancial China expands app curbscenter_img Ericsson warns over loss of China market share Previous ArticleHP seeking buyers for mobile patents – reportNext ArticleSamsung reports another strong quarter on smartphones, semiconductors Tags AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 25 OCT 2013 Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter… More Read more China impone restricciones a más aplicacioneslast_img read more

Thompson takes 3-shot lead at Kingsmill

first_imgWILLIAMSBURG, Va. – Lexi Thompson shot her second straight 6-under 65 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead over playing partner Gerina Piller into the weekend at the Kingsmill Championship. Thompson is playing her third tournament since losing the major ANA Inspiration in a playoff after being penalized four strokes for a rules violation that a TV viewer spotted. ”I feel great with where my game is at,” Thompson said. ”I am just trying to keep my thoughts very simple, focus on doing my routine and picking small targets out and committing to my shots. If I do that, my game is in a good spot.” The long-hitting Florida player had six birdies in a bogey-free round on Kingsmill’s River Course. She waited out a rain delay in the middle of the round. ”Always stalls you a bit,” Thompson said. ”Wasn’t too loose on the first iron shot that I hit, but, it was a beautiful day out. Not much wind. Hopefully, we get some good weather this weekend.” Piller shot a 67, closing birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey. She chipped in for her birdie on 17. ”I feel like my putting is really great right now,” Piller said. ”Just excited for tomorrow. … Hit the fairway, hit the green, make the putt. Keeping it as simple as possible.” Piller will play alongside U.S. Solheim Cup teammate Thompson again Saturday. ”She’s a great ball-striker and hits it far,” Piller said. ”This course definitely suits the long-ball hitters, especially now. The greens are firming up and getting a little quicker. To have a shorter iron in is definitely an advantage.” Top-ranked Lydia Ko was four strokes back at 8 under after a bogey-free 67. Trying to hold off So Yeon Ryu and Ariya Jutanugarn for the No. 1 spot, Ko is winless since July. ”There is a lot of golf to be played,” Ko said. ”All I need to do is focus on my game and be excited for the weekend.” Ryu, the ANA winner, was 5 under after a 67. Jutanugarn, defending the first of her five tour victories last year, was 3 under after a 67 playing in the group with Thompson and Piller. Candie Kung joined Ko at 8 under. Kung eagled the par-4 sixth in a 66. In Gee Chun (66) and Vicky Hurst (67) were 7 under, and Angela Stanford (66), Shanshan Feng (67) and Brittany Lincicome (70) were another stroke back. Chun rebounded after an opening bogey on the par-4 10th. ”Walking to the (next) tee I said, ‘Forget it, start again,” Chun said. ”I tried to stay patient and made a lot of birdies.” The South Korean player is one of five major champions in the top nine, joining Thompson, Ko, Feng and Lincicome.last_img read more

Insiden Landing Gear Boeing 737-800 SpiceJet, Drama Pendaratan Darurat Yang Dramatis!

first_imgPilot maskapai ini pun baru mengetahui ada masalah pada landing gear ketika pihak Air Traffic Controller (ATC) berusaha menghubungi mereka melalui jaringan telekomunikasi. Namun tidak ada istilah ‘batal mengudara’ ketika pesawat sudah menyentuh landas pacu, terlebih ketika pesawat sudah memacu penuh tenaga pendorongnya. Alhasil, drama pertama pun dimulai ketika maskapai SpiceJet ini mengudara dengan kondisi landing gear yang rusak.Berdasarkan pantauan petugas ATC Bandara Internasional Chennai, mereka melihat kepulan api yang melahap ban belakang dari armada SpiceJet ini ketika pesawat hendak lepas landas. Beberapa saat setelah pesawat meninggalkan daratan, ban kanan belakang yang berapi-api tersebut pun meledak. Imbasnya, cairan hidrolik yang tersimpan dekat dengan ban ini membanjiri landas pacu utama bandara tersibuk ketiga di India ini.Pilot SpiceJet yang tiada henti berkomunikasi dengan pihak ATC terus berusaha untuk mendaratkan pesawat yang berada dalam kondisi tidak prima tersebut. Opsi pertama pesawat bisa mendarat di Bandara Vijayawada, namun sayangnya bandara tersebut tidak memiliki fasilitas pendaratan darurat yang memadai. Akhirnya pihak ATC Bandara Internasional Chennai memerintahkan maskapai SpiceJet yang tengah bermasalah tersebut untuk return to base ke landas pacu Chennai.Setelah mendapat lampu hijau dari petugas ATC, pilot lalu melakukan pendaratan darurat di landas pacu Bandara Chennai. Kendati maskapai SpiceJet tersebut mengalami pecah ban, namun pilot tetap bisa mendaratkan pesawat dengan selamat. Kondisi ban yang sudah tidak terlindung karet ini membuat landas pacu tersebut rusak. Walaupun sudah melewati dua drama menegangkan dalam penerbangan gagal tersebut, namun keseluruhan penumpang dan awak kabin SpiceJet selamat.Baca Juga: Bird Strike Paksa AirAsia QZ104 ‘Return to Base’ di Bandara KualanamuAlhasil, pihak bandara harus menutup sementara proses penerbangan dan pendaratan hingga pukul 18.45 waktu setempat. Sejumlah maskapai yang dijadwalkan berangkat pada rentang waktu tersebut pun terpaksa mengalami keterlambatan penerbangan.Drama lain kembali muncul ketika pihak ATC Bandara Internasional Chennai menerima laporan dari sebuah pesawat kargo asal Ethiopia yang meminta ijin untuk melakukan pendaratan darurat dikarenakan bahan bakar mereka hampir habis. Padahal landas pacu bandara tersebut masih ditutup karena kerusakan yang terjadi akibat pendaratan darurat maskapai SpiceJet.Setelah melakukan beragam pertimbangan, akhirnya petugas ATC Chennai mengijinkan pesawat kargo tersebut untuk melakukan pendaratan darurat di landas pacu kedua mereka.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading… RelatedBelakangan Pesawat Kerap Bermasalah pada Roda Pendarat, Ada Apa?05/03/2020In “Analisa Angkutan”Intip Cara Qantas Rawat Komponen Landing Gear System Tanpa Harus Terbang13/05/2020In “Featured”Mendebarkan! Pesawat Ini Landing Tanpa Roda04/05/2017In “Domestik” Tidak ada seorang pun yang mengharapkan proses lepas landas tidak berjalan dengan mulus, begitupun dengan penumpang yang berada di dalam pesawat Boeing 737-800 maskapai SpiceJet beberapa waktu yang lalu. Sebanyak 199 penumpang yang berada di dalam Low Cost Carrier (LCC) asal India ini harus berbesar hati menyaksikan secara langsung dua drama yang sarat akan adrenalin dari dalam pesawat. Tak ayal, nuansa perjalanan yang menyenangkan pun sontak berubah menjadi mencekam.Baca Juga: Bermasalah di Mesin, Airbus A330 China Eastern Terpaksa Return to BaseBerdasarkan lansiran yang dikutip KabarPenumpang.com dari sejumlah laman sumber, maskapai SpiceJet yang hendak lepas landas dari Bandara Internasional Chennai pada Kamis (8/2/2018) siang mengalami masalah pada landing gear mereka. Sayangnya, masalah pada perangkat utama pendaratan ini baru terdeteksi ketika pesawat sudah berjalan di landas pacu.last_img read more

Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championships round two…

first_imgVieira, truelove snatch pole as Guyana makes positive startMark Vieira and Matt Truelove will start on pole for the first races of the Group 4 and supersport races respectively in the second round of the Seaboard Marine Caribbean Motor Racing Championships this weekend in Trinidad.Vieira posted a blistering 39.5 second time to take the pole for the first race later today ahead of the Trinidad duo of Kristian Boodhoosingh and Christian Bourne. They are followed closely by Guyana’s Andrew King.On the superstock end of things, Matt Truelove lead the pack after posting a 40.6 with the local hero Kiel Abrahams (41.6) and Guyana Matthew Vieira (42.1) qualifying second and third respectivelyThe first race is set for this afternoon at 13:00.last_img read more

Permaul anxious to work with Botha

first_imgFORMER South African captain and all-rounder Johan Botha will face the same mountainous expectation that every other Guyana Amazon Warriors coach has when he takes over as the local franchise head coach, for the sixth edition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).In Botha’s case the pressure will be even greater, given that the franchise owner has for the first time announced a foreign coach. Botha replaced Roger Harper, who has coached the Warriors for four seasons.Johan BothaHarper, a former West Indies player, coached the Warriors for the first two editions, until he was replaced in 2015 by fellow Guyanese Carl Hooper. In 2016, he was reunited with the team.The 36-year-old Botha, who will arrive in the country prior to the team’s encampment from August 2, can at least have his workload somewhat relaxed, since he will coach a squad, which is a well balanced unit.Botha was a part of Islamabad United’s support staff as fielding coach in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and as recent as January 2018, he played for the Sydney Sixers in Australia’s Big Bash T20 League, so there is definitely a new thinking that he will bring to the Warriors unit.While the change can be seen as welcome news for fans, seasoned left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul is anxious to see what the new coach will bring to the table.“I never worked with coach Botha (Johan). I don’t know anything about his coaching style.I only know him as a player by looking at him playing and captaining South Africa. He plays cricket at the highest level, and I know for sure he has good cricketing knowledge. I am anxious to see what he brings to the table,” Permaul told Chronicle Sport yesterday.Meanwhile, Permaul pointed out that as a Warriors player from the inception, he is overjoyed that matches will eventually be staged at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.Guyana is set to host five games; St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on August 9, St Lucia Stars on August 11, Barbados Tridents on August 12, Jamaica Tallawahs on September 8 and Trinbago Knight Riders on September 9.However, it was also announced that there is a possibility of two playoff matches here, on September 11 and 12.“It is always a privilege to play at home. I know it is also a big relief for fans. Home games are always important because every team will know and want to utilise their home advantage.“Over the years we did well playing at home and this year it is five home games, so we will be looking to win as many as possible. Home support is always a big factor for our team. Seeing the fan come out in large numbers and support us always drives us as players, to go out and give them what they come to see,” Permaul concluded.Meanwhile, Chronicle Sport was reliably informed that Guyana Jaguars assistant coach/manager Rayon Griffith will replace Esaun Crandon, as assistant coach of the Warriors.This year’s showpiece will bowl off on August 8 and conclude on September 16. The Amazon Warriors have made it to three finals to date but are yet to lift the title. They finished third on the other three occasions.last_img read more

Jimmy Kimmel, Kathy Griffin, more defend Michelle Wolf for controversial monologue at White House Correspondents Dinner

first_img Related Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Comedian Michelle Wolf is taking a lot of heat after hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner, and her fellow comedians are coming to her defense. During her monologue Saturday, Wolf focused on press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, comparing her to the antagonist in The Handmaid’s Tale and commenting on her eye shadow, The Hollywood Reporter reports.  “Every time Sarah steps up to the podium, I get excited because I’m not sure what we’re going to get: a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams,” the comedian said during the event. Her speech was met with immediate backlash and criticism. But, Wolf’s comedy community came to her defense. Kathy Griffin wrote on Twitter, “Please point us to the tweets where you said something like this about the President of the United States when he was attacking people at rallies and his supporters were laughing… IT WAS A ROAST.”Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel tweeted: “Dear ‘the media’ – @michelleisawolf was FUNNY. Hire a juggler next year.”Billy Eichner joined in, writing, “Sarah Huckabee Sanders lies to the American people almost every day and defends the lies, incompetence and cruel behavior of the most unqualified and embarrassing President in modern times. You think the jokes last night were harsh? Wait until history has its way with her.”Rosie O’Donnell even came to her defense, tweeting, “Wolf was perfect, prepared, and poignant. Comics r truth tellers – deal with it.”The president of the White House Correspondent’s Association Margaret Talev issued a statement denouncing the host. “Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people. Unfortunately the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission,” the statement reads.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more

More misery for Tottenham? Italian side set to swoop for Spain starlet

first_img Almeria 1 Tottenham will face stiff competition from Juventus if they want to land Almeria centre-back Antonio Marin in January.According to Spanish newspaper AS, Spurs could be flanked in their interest by Juve for the highly-rated 18-year-old, as the Bianconeri want the defender to strengthen their side as a replacement for the injured Andrea Barzagli.Spurs have struggled defensively this term and Mauricio Pochettino’s men are under pressure after Sunday’s defeat at home to Stoke, which is likely to force the north London club to dip into the transfer market.Sources close to Marin, who is still in the early stages of his development at the La Liga club, have revealed the Spain under-19 international would prefer to learn his trade in Spain.However, if Juve were successful in their pursuit of the teenager, Marin could become the second young Spanish defender to make the move to Turin, following former Barcelona youth star Carlos Blanco Moreno’s switch to the Juventus Stadium last summer.last_img read more

Mauricio Pochettino aims to temper Tottenham title expectations after battling Watford win

first_imgTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino attempted to temper their season expectations despite a dramatic 2-1 victory at Watford that took Spurs within three points of Premier League leaders Leicester.Heung-Min Son struck in the last minute of normal time against the ten-man Hornets after Odion Ighalo had cancelled out Erik Lamela’s clever finish in the first half.Spurs have lost just twice this season and, while the top four remains their initial target, the title seems feasible with their main rivals all hugely inconsistent.But Pochettino was refusing to get carried away after the win in front of a vociferous Vicarage Road crowd.“We need to keep inside our real aims and I think that the most important thing is to keep working hard,” said the Argentine.“This is our philosophy and at the end of the season we hope to achieve good things.“I think this is the value of the victory that we have got today. It is massive for us and we should be very proud.”Watford full-back Nathan Ake received a straight red card for a lunge on Lamela early in the second half which ultimately changed the course of the game, but Pochettino wasn’t convinced it was a sending off.He added: “It’s a little bit nasty but I don’t think it’s a red. It’s orange because it’s more than a yellow.”last_img read more

Pandora – Everything You Need To Know

first_imgWhile we got a glimpse of some dishes, the tours did not enter the actual dining locations, the Satu’li Canteen and Pongu Pongu. Also, Disney hasn’t shown the Windtraders gift shop or its merchandise beyond an illustration.We’re anxiously awaiting Pandora’s previews and will be have more information as it comes in.Stay tuned.Robert Blaszkiewicz is on Twitter @RobertBlaszk and Facebook. Share This!Pandora – Everything You Need To KnowDisney’s collaboration with James Cameron, Pandora – World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom park is the biggest expansion we’ve seen at Walt Disney World since New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. It was first announced in 2011 (yeah, it blew our minds that it’s been nearly 6 years too).Want more Pandora, and then some? Listen to The Disney Dish Podcast with Jim Hill, produced by TouringPlans. Find episode 123 on iTunes or on all fine podcast apps.We also recommend this video from Brian McNichols on Pandora touring strategies. It was made before we knew details about how FastPass+ will work with the new attractions, but the advice is still sound.Check out our Pandora page for the latest news on Animal Kingdom’s newest land and attractions.When will Pandora open?The official opening date is May 27, 2017. However, media is invited on the 22nd, and the land should be in soft open. When an attraction is in soft open, it’s accessible to guests, but can be closed at any time for testing. This lets Disney work out the kinks of something new before its grand opening. Disney Vacation Club owners, Annual Passholders, and Cast Members can expect their own previews of Pandora, possible as early as the last week of April. We will post more information to the blog when we hear it.What attractions does Pandora have?Pandora will open with two major attractions AVATAR – Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. Flight of Passage is similar to Soarin’ except you’re on a “banshee” not a hang glider, and you’re “soarin’” over Pandora, not Around the World. There is a 44″ height requirement to experience this attraction, which is higher than the 40″ required for Soarin’ indicating a slightly more intense ride. Unlike Soarin’, this attraction will use 3D goggles to enhance the visual effects.Na’vi River Journey is a boat ride attraction (“it’s a small pandora?”). Previews on ABC feature shows that this is the most technically sophisticated attraction of this type at Disney World. Both attractions are housed a single show building.Then what’s the “Valley of Mo’ara” I’m hearing about?This is the non-attraction part of Pandora with bioluminescent plants, water features, and general atmosphere. If you’re familiar with Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, Flight of Passage and River Journey are to the Valley of Mo’ara as Escape from Gringott’s is to the rest of Diagon Alley. You’ll definitely want to allow time to experience this.Valley of Mo’ara ©Disney (David Roark, photographer)What About FastPass+ at Pandora?Both Flight of Passage and River Journey will offer FastPass+. These are not currently available to reserve in MyDisneyExperience. Look for FastPass to come up 30 days before the opening of Pandora.Smart money says Animal Kingdom will move to a tiered FastPass+ system.Wait, what’s a tiered FastPass+ system?Basically it means when you’re initially picking your three FastPass reservations for the day, Disney asks you to choose 1 from the most popular and 2 from the less popular attractions. This could mean you’ll be asked to pick either Flight of Passage OR River Journey. As an example, here’s how it works at Epcot, where you need to choose between Soarin’ and Frozen Ever After.How do I get in and out of Pandora?Pandora will have two entrances – one close to Tiffin’s, Nomad Lounge, and Pizzafari as you leave Discovery Island and head toward Africa, and the other from Africa’s new Harambe section (where Festival of the Lion King now plays). If you haven’t been to Animal Kingdom in a while, Festival of the Lion King moved from Camp Minnie Mickey (current site of part of Pandora) to Africa in 2013.What’s the best plan for seeing Pandora?Because the two attractions in Pandora are inside show buildings, the time of day won’t impact your experience. The rest of Pandora, on the other hand, will be different before and after dark, and we definitely recommend experiencing both.Here are three plans – one for guests who want to see Pandora and experience the rest of Animal Kingdom, and one for those who ONLY want to see Pandora.I want to do all of Animal Kingdom including Pandora AND I have a FastPass+ for one of the Pandora attractions:In the morning when the crowds head to Pandora and Africa, head to Asia to ride Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids (bring a change of clothes if you plan to ride Kali, because you’ll get wet and there are few things more miserable than walking around a theme park with wet clothes and shoes).After Asia, head to Dino-land for DINOSAUR.Afternoon, go to Africa for Kilimanjaro SafarisAt your FastPass time, experience PandoraEvening, see Rivers of Light (arrive at least 30 minutes before showtime).Return to Pandora after Rivers of Light if it’s still open after the show.I want to do all of Animal Kingdom including Pandora and I DON’T have a FastPass+ for one of the Pandora attractions:Arrive at Animal Kingdom an hour before park open.Go straight to Pandora and do Flight of Passage, then River Journey if you’re among the very first to enter the land. Reverse this if you’re not. (Why? Because the line for Flight of Passage will grow more quickly and for River Journey)Then as crowds continue to fill Pandora, head to Asia to ride Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids (bring a change of clothes if you plan to ride Kali, because you’ll get wet and there are few things more miserable than walking around a theme park with wet clothes and shoes).After Asia, head to Dino-land for DINOSAUR.Afternoon, go to Africa for Kilimanjaro SafarisEvening, see Rivers of Light (arrive at least 30 minutes before showtime).Return to Pandora after Rivers of Light if it’s still open after the show.I only want to see Pandora:Arrive at Animal Kingdom an hour before park open.Go straight to Pandora and do Flight of Passage, then River Journey if you’re among the very first to enter the land. Reverse this if you’re not.Return to Pandora after dark to experience the rest of the Valley of Mo’ara.For adding moving parts to these plans – incorporating Extra Magic Hours, dining reservations, and adding your FastPass+reservations after they’re available –  just check out our custom touring plans and plug in your info. This will come up with the best solution for you. Note – adding FastPass+ for the Pandora attractions won’t be available until Disney announces how they are handling these. Using the custom plans requires that you register an account with TouringPlans.With Rivers of Light, The Awakening, and the nighttime effects of Pandora, it’s going to be very difficult to experience all that Animal Kingdom has to offer in one day.How crowded will Pandora be?Very. May 27 is already a peak day for Disney tickets, which means they expect higher crowds. Before the official opening, when word of soft openings comes out, expect every blogger in Central Florida with a camera phone and a WordPress account to be out there to be #First (maybe even us). This is the biggest thing to happen at Disney in years. Get to the parks early.What’s there to eat and buy in Pandora?There will be a quick service dining location, Satu’li Canteen, and a lounge, Pongu Pongu, for your dining pleasure. Tiffins’s and Nomad Lounge are also nearby.Windtraders is Pandora’s main gift ship.What else do we know about Pandora?ABC/Disney has been advertising Pandora very heavily (though perhaps not the results they were looking for), and we’ve been scouring the press materials to see what else we can find out before Pandora’s soft open. ABC’s news division and shows “The View” and “The Chew” featured sneak previews the newest land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.Opening May 27, 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora – The World of Avatar will bring a variety of new experiences to the park. (Disney/Handout)Rikki Niblett covered many of the details in her comprehensive post on the various shows. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to go read her piece first. What I would like to do here is to drill down to some of what you may have missed if you weren’t watching closely. We’ll see what questions were answered and what questions remain.Grand entrance(s)Late last year, Disney released an image of the bridge that will take you from the Tiffins/Nomad Lounge area into Pandora. A recent ABC News video takes you along on a walk from the Tree of Life over to the bridge and into the very edge of the land. Here’s a screen grab of the area of Pandora closest to the bridge, dubbed the Valley of Mo’ara. In this image, you can see lush foliage, both real and man-made.Valley of Mo’ara sign, just over the bridge to Pandora (ABC News)Initially, the walkway looks fairly wide to accommodate crowds. You can see a large pod to the right, one of the many sculpted plants that will light up with bioluminescence at night. The area also includes a Na’vi drum circle with instruments to play and other cultural totems.From this entrance, the floating mountains are mostly hidden, but can be glimpsed in the distance to the right. I’m guessing that this setup holds back the full breadth of the structure until you get further into the land.The Valley of Mo’araThat brings us to an interesting preview shown on “The View” with “Avatar” director James Cameron taking Whoopi Goldberg on a tour of the land. The pair don’t enter from the bridge we’ve seen. Instead, they emerge from a small opening in a rock structure seen here in this screen grab.James Cameron gives the big reveal to Whoopi Goldberg. (“The View,” ABC)Here, Cameron makes a big deal of revealing the floating mountains, which could barely be seen from the end of the bridge. This indicates that, rather than being wide open, Pandora – The World of Avatar has structures to explore, which hide the floating mountains initially for a big reveal later. In a way, it’s reminiscent of what Universal did with the entrance to Diagon Alley in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.Chasing waterfallsNow, back to those floating mountains. If you’ve been to the park over the past couple years, you could see the structures being built with the framework holding those mountains skyward now camouflaged by “vines.” But what we had not yet seen is captured in these screen grabs: the waterfalls coming from the mountains.Waterfall feature in Pandora. (“The View,” ABC)Floating mountain waterfalls. (“The View,” ABC)It’s a pretty neat trick, managing to get water pumped upward and piped through the structure. The result is this majestic bit of Imagineering.From the clip, which also shows flowing brooks, it appears that water will play an important role in this area. The effects add a layer of realism and kinetic energy that can’t help but draw your eye. And, at the height of the summer, the waterfalls may also provide a cooling mist when you’re sweating down below.What about the rides?In segments on “Good Morning America” and “Nightline,” Paula Faris toured the land and experienced both attractions. She rode the Na’vi River Journey with Imagineer Joe Rohde and Avatar: Flight of Passage with “Avatar” producer Jon Landau.Viper wolves in the Na’vi River Journey. (“Nightline,” ABC)As you can see in this screen grab from the Na’vi River Journey, more than the traditional Disney audio-animatronics are at work here. The fluid-moving “viper wolves” seen here look like a projection effect. We do not see the Na’vi audio animatronic, whose face has been featured in other previews, in these clips.On the Avatar: Flight of Passage attraction, Landau guides Faris through a scanning process for the creation of an avatar, then a process where she is “decontaminated.” I’m not sure exactly what that involves.Jon Landau and Paula Faris seated for Avatar: Flight of Passage (“Nightline,” ABC)In this screen grab the pair sit in “link chairs,” individual seats with armrests and handles. They then put on their “riding goggles,” which I assume are 3-D glasses. That was as much as they would reveal, though. We’ll have to wait to find out what the visual look like and what kind of motion effects will be used to simulate riding on a banshee.And the food?ABC’s “The Chew” got in on the act, sampling one of the dishes to be served in Pandora. Here, you see Lumpia, pineapple cream cheese spring rolls to be served at the Pongu Pongu snack stand. The host described the dish as Chinese in origin, and popular street food in Indonesia and the Philippines.Lumpia from Pongu Pongu. (“The Chew,” ABC)On “Nightline,” Faris sampled a Na’vi blueberry cheesecake that will be served at the Satu’li Canteen. She also enjoyed a glowing specialty drink from Pongu Pongu. The chef described it as nectar of Pongu Pongu, topped with passion fruit boba balls.This post has more details on the dishes at Satu’li Canteen, which will have an option to order your meal using your mobile device.Na’vi blueberry cheesecake and Pongu Pongu nectar with passion fruit boba balls. (“Nightline,” ABC)Unanswered questionsThough we saw expansive daylight views, we didn’t see a wide shot of the bioluminescence at night. A few closeups, however, give us a hint of what we’ll see. Either Disney is saving the full effect for later, or they’re still putting the finishing touches on the landscape. We did get a glimpse of the bioluminescent effects in the pavement, which look like the fiber optics in Epcot’s pavement taken to a whole other level.Bioluminescent plants and pavement in the Valley of Mo’ara. (“The View,” ABC)last_img read more