We check out the highly anticipated Gardens by the Bay’s Avatar: The Experience at Cloud Forest!
If you are an Avatar fan and are excited to see Avatar: The Way of the Water movie, which will be released in December, then this experience could be for you! Set at Cloud Forest amidst waterfalls, and stunning flora and fauna, Avatar: The Experience is an immersive experience with impressive storytelling that takes you through the world of Pandora with its bioluminescent environments, mystical creatures, flora, and the captivating culture of its indigenous people, the Na’vi. Exclusively premiering in Singapore, it’s the first major transformation of the Cloud Forest for an immersive experience in 10 years – the first in Southeast Asia too – and will be open daily from 28 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, from 9am to 9pm.
What to expect at Gardens by the Bay’s Avatar: The Experience
Avatar: The Experience has five different zones in total and you will see many mystical creatures and mysterious plants throughout these zones. Encounter a full-scale animatronic Banshee in motion and a Viperwolf pup, see a Pandoran celebration, plus other creatures from the upcoming film, Avatar: The Way of Water in this walkthrough experience.
Avatar-inspired sculptures at Cloud Forest
Upon entering the Cloud Forest, you will be greeted by a Juvenile Mountain Banshee in front of the iconic indoor waterfalls. On the opposite side, you will see a glowing tall stone with the carving of the Tree of Life.
More plants from Pandora world from fiddleheads, scorpion thistles, vein pods and Viperwolf Den are all on display in Zone 2 of Avatar: The Experience.
Create an Avatar-inspired photo
If you only have limited time at Avatar: The Experience, be sure to check out this section! This is one of my personal favourites where you can turn into an Avatar-inspired version of yourself! Simply stand in front of the screen and watch yourself being transformed into one of Avatar’s indigenous people, the Na’vi.
At the end of the experience, you can scan the QR code and download the photo to your mobile afterwards for an Avatar: The Experience souvenir.
Enjoy the Fire Pod as one of the Na’vi
On your way towards the Fire Pod, you will be able to see the Na’vi along the Cloud Forest, which is a super cool sight.
Experience the Fire Pod and its interiors as an animated 2D Avatar creature by moving your body! Through the reflection of your shadow, you will see yourself as a Na’vi with a distinct pair of ears and a tail! Little ones will really enjoy this immersive experience.
Check out the animatronic mountain banshees
This was my personal favourite in the entire Avatar: The Experience! You can see a full-scale animatronic “Ikran” (mountain banshee) in action at Zone 4. Perched on a rock that’s central to the space, the banshee is a large, dragon-like aerial predator that is native to Pandora. Its wings can reach 12m on each side, and it reacts to the crowd while putting on a show. The banshee moves and makes mountainous roars from the top of the mountain.
Another highlight of this section is an almost real-life experience of being a mountain banshee yourself! You can stand in front of a screen that showcases a banshee and it will move according to your body movement. It’s almost as if you’re an aerial predator yourself, flying high across the mountains and through the air. Don’t miss out on the photo opportunity at the end of this experience!
Did you know baby banshees can fly as fast as 260km/hr? That’s the speed of an F1 car! At specific times, the Baby Banshee puppet will also make an appearance to greet parents and children; you’ll get to interact with the Baby Bashee in proximity. The Baby Banshee pup is handled by expert docents who provide a special experience.
Meet the Ilu from Avatar: The Way of Water
A new creature from the upcoming film, Avatar: The Way of Water, the Ilu is included in Avatar: The Experience at Gardens by the Bay. The Ilu is an intelligent, sociable and easily domesticated creature that is common in the ocean. You will be able to view an artist’s sculpture representation of the Ilu in this exhibition.
Pandoran Celebration and the Path of Transition
Located at Zone 5 of Avatar: The Experience at Cloud Forest, you’ll enter a space with an abstract representation of Pandoran plants that glow with bioluminescent energy. Your body movements will activate the bioluminescent particles around them. The final portion of Avatar: The Experience is an immersive hallway called the Path of Transition. Here, you’ll see luminous branches from the Tree of Souls cascade down as you walk by.
So are tickets to Avatar: The Experience worth it?
Overall, I believe it’s a fun experience for the whole family and money well spent. I’d certainly recommend Avatar: The Experience for primary school-age children and above, especially if they have watched the movie Avatar themselves or are thinking of watching it. My kids aged 7 and 10 years old really enjoyed the experience, especially meeting Baby Banshee in person. While I also loved that, I thoroughly enjoyed the “Avatarize Yourself” experience as well as watching the full-scale animatronic Banshee in action.
‘Avatar: The Experience’ at Gardens by the Bay
When: From 28 October 2022, 9am to 9pm (Last admission at 8pm)
Where: Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay
Non-residents: $53 (adults) & $40 (children aged 3-12 years).
Residents: From $27 (adults) & from $23 (children aged 3-12 years & senior citizens)
This is a special ticketed event. Gardens by the Bay’s Avatar: The Experience admission ticket is required for entry into Cloud Forest from 28 October 2022.
Avatar: The Experience, Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, #03-02/03, Singapore 018953, www.gardensbythebay.com.sg