I can't be sure, but I think "Pongu" means "line" or "cue" in Pandoran because there are two cues leading up to the new Pongu Pongu beverage kiosk, which is located just between Satu'li Canteen
and the Windtraders gift shop in the new "World of Avatar" in Disney's Animal Kingdom
There is a life-sized "power suit" from the movie Avatar standing directly in front of the large kiosk (which makes for a great photo opportunity by the way), and there are in fact two lines. One is slightly hidden directly behind the power suit. If only one line is open, you can say to yourself "Oh Pongu". If both lines are open, cheers of "Pongu Pongu" can be heard across the land!
Okay, I have no idea what I'm talking about. No matter how many lines are open, plan on standing in the direct sunlight for at least 10 minutes if there's even the slightest hint of a line. The good thing about there being two lines is that one of them is bound to be shorter… pick that one… it's a good tip.
Pongu Pongu serves beverages and one snack. There are two ales, one "adult" margarita, and one non-alcoholic beverage. The beers are of course, in liquid form… the two other cocktails are served frozen (i.e. slushy style). There are all kinds of souvenir mugs and glowing plastic bits and whatnot available as well, which means beverages can range between $6 and $19 depending on how many chachkies you order along with it.
For this visit, I tried the "Night Blossom" which is a non-alcoholic frozen beverage… mostly because everyone can order and drink one. It has three layers of frozen multi-color goodness. There's Limeade, Apple and Desert Pear. Now… I'm pretty sure the green layer in the middle is Limeade. Desert Pear is not actually "pear" but is part of a Cactus, so from a flavor standpoint (for those of you that don't spend an disproportionate amount of time drinking cocktails) is a little earthy, usually mixed with a bit of actual pear, and a ton of sugar. If you're familiar with dragon fruit, you're getting closer to the flavor profile.
The "apple" is the one I'm having trouble identifying with. As far as I know, there isn't a commercially available "purple" apple syrup, so I'm not sure how they get purple, green, and then purple again out of apple, limeade, and desert pear.
It's all good though, because there's passion fruit boba pearls floating on top of the mix. They provide the only real flavor contrast here, and let's face it… they're just fun. If you've never had a drink (or frozen yogurt) topped with boba pearls, they're basically little balls with punchy juice in them. In the case of our "Night Blossom" cocktail, you'll get a giant straw, and those little guys will spontaneously get slurped up when you take a drink. Popping them in your mouth provides a split second flavor contrast with the rest of the mix.
If you haven't tried boba pearls before… this really is one of the best drinks to try them out. In Asian beverages, you'll see these mixed with tea or coffee and dairy (or frozen yogurt in trendy American yogurtariums)… which to me, is an odd flavor contrast.
Also available at Pongu Pongu (for the time being anyway… this may change seasonally), there is one snack… a twin pack of "Pongu Lumpia"… which are warm cream cheese and pineapple filled spring rolls.
If you've ever had the "Cream Cheese and Pineapple Fried Won-tons" at the Yak and Yeti Restaurant
… you would be close… flavor-wise. The difference here being, there's nothing really crunchy to offset the semi smooth warm cream cheese and pineapple filling. I have a sneaking suspicion that mine were a bit under-fried. Had the outside been a bit darker and crunchier… they would have gotten a higher score from me.
The Pongu Lumpia are very sweet and are topped with semi-coarse sugar. Come to think about it, the drink was quite sweet as well. I'm beginning to wonder if the reason those Pandoras are so blue, is because of a dietary in-balance toward sweet things, and their love of boba pearls.
I may go back to Pongu Pongu (after the sun goes down, or the lines are shorter) and try the frozen "adult" margarita. The "ales" here are mostly food color enriched, flavor added, micro brew-like beers. As far as I know, both are being brewed by the Terrapin Beer Company located in Athens, Georgia… which is a subsidiary of Coors, Inc. … which is wholly owned by Molson Coors, which surprisingly hasn't been purchased by AB InBev… yet. My point being, they make a boatload of green and carmel brown beer everyday.