You may have heard that there is an exciting new land in Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. It’s called Pandora- the World of Avatar. If you liked the movie, Avatar, that came out in 2009, you really must go and see this amazing place. And even if you never saw the movie, it’s a really interesting place. When Pandora opened in Animal Kingdom in May 2017, it was an instant success. People have flocked to Animal Kingdom like never before. There are two new attractions that opened in Pandora- the Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage. Of the two, Flight of Passage is the most thrilling and the more popular if wait times and FastPass+ availability are any indication. The Na’vi River Journey is just what it sounds like- it’s a float down a river through Pandora at night. It’s peaceful and very cool as you see the “native animals”, the “bioluminescent flora”, and even catch a glimpse of a Na’vi Shaman toward the end of the attraction. Flight of Passage is anything but peaceful. It’s exciting and fun and will make you wonder at the technology that makes this attraction possible. It’s been compared to Soarin’ on steroids. So, if you like Soarin’ in Epcot at Walt Disney World or in Disneyland’s California Adventure Park, you may want to consider booking a trip to Walt Disney World and including Pandora in your plans.
Let’s start at the beginning, though. If you remember from the movie, Pandora was a moon in space that was being mined for a valuable mineral. The movie ended with the miners being escorted from the planet. The native people, the Na’vi, were exploited and some of the scientists from Earth had become sympathetic to the Na’vi. The scientists assisted the Na’vi to overthrow the military-like threat of the mining company and restore peace to the planet. The story of the current land at Animal Kingdom is that you are able, as an eco-tourist, to cross a bridge into Pandora for a visit.
One of the rites of passage for the Na’vi warriors is bonding with a mountain banshee for a thrilling ride through the beauty of the mountainous planet. On Disney’s new attraction, Flight of Passage, you get to take part in this coming-of-age experience.
As far as qualifications for the ride, you must be at least 44 inches tall to enjoy this attraction. There have also been discussions online that many people have been turned away from the ride because they don’t fit on the motorcycle like apparatus. You climb onto the “mountain banshee” and a panel is raised up behind you. I was nervous while waiting in line that I wouldn’t fit because I’m no small woman, but was pleased that I was able to experience this great attraction. If you have any doubt about your size precluding you from riding, my advice is give it a try and just know there’s a chance you’ll be turned away. You’ll never know if you don’t try.
Once you’re on the attraction with your 3D glasses firmly in place, hold onto your hat because it is a thrilling and exciting ride! You’ll be rocked and turned and see sights you’ve never seen before. The scenery itself is spectacular. You’ll see mountains, rivers, and other Na’vi warriors like yourself. I was pleased with the length of the ride. With some attractions, you feel like you’ve just gotten started and then it’s over, but not so with this one. It will leave you wanting more and perhaps that’s why the lines have been 3 and 4 hours long, but it will satisfy you enough that you won’t feel like you’ll want to brave those lines again.
And speaking of lines, my best advice is to get a FastPass+ for this attraction. If you have a good travel agent like me and have your Disney Resort booked at least two months out, you will probably be able to snag one of these coveted FastPasses. But even if you aren’t able to get one at first, ask your travel agent to keep on the lookout for FastPasses to open up before your visit. It does happen occasionally.
My overall experience with Flight of Passage was excellent. I highly recommend this new thrill ride.
If you’re looking for a travel agent to book your next Walt Disney World adventure (or any other Disney Destination, for that matter), you can reach me at Jeri@TravelwiththeMagic.com or by phone at 1-800-670-4312 x147. My name is Jeri May and I’d love to help you make some great memories on your next vacation – either in this world or in worlds imagined like Pandora!