Pandora: Our First Impression of Avatar Flight of Passage And Na’vi River Journey

The biggest current craze at Disney World is Pandora, World of Avatar.  Inspired by the movie Avatar, Disney developed a new “land” in Animal Kingdom dedicated to all things Avatar.  Avatar Flight of Passage consistently shows some of the longest wait times I’ve ever seen at Disney World.  I’ve seen wait times over 3 hours for the ride. Recently, our family was in Animal Kingdom 20 minutes before the park closed and the stand-by wait was still over 2 hours.

So, What’s The Big Deal?

I’m usually not one who buys into hype.  I certainly can’t imagine any ride being worth a 3-hour wait.  That being said, Avatar Flight of Passage is awesome.  It’s awesome to a level even I couldn’t have imagined.

We were lucky enough to score a FastPass for the whole family, so our wait was brief.  I wouldn’t mind walking through the stand-by line at some point.  We could see parts of it and it looks incredible.  Maybe someday the wait won’t be 2 or 3 hours!

There’s a decent amount of prep to get on the ride.  The seat is unlike any other I can recall on a ride.  The best thing I can compare it to is a motorcycle without wheels.  You sit down and safety restraints come up from behind your legs and back to keep you in place.  From there, you’re flying!

The video quality is amazing.  Smells, wind, water and other effects make this an incredible experience.  We were completely immersed in the ride.  The kids were screaming with enjoyment, as were the adults.  And then, it was over.  While the ride is plenty long, it’s nowhere near long enough for how awesome it is.

If you don’t do well on motion rides, you’re still probably okay on Avatar.  I say probably because there are a few moments where you’re “diving” on your banshee.  You’re actually not at too sever an angle.  But, the vivid nature of the video screens contributes to the brief weightless effect.

Did I mention it was awesome?  It probably seems like I’m overselling it.  I still can’t get over how great every element of the ride was.  Nothing short of incredible.

What About Na’vi?

Na’vi River Journey is the other ride in Pandora.  It also sports some of the longest wait times at Disney World.  It’s not quite as popular as Avatar, but it consistently runs over an hour (and frequently as much as 2 hours) wait on the stand-by line.  And, that just doesn’t make sense to me.  Don’t get me wrong, the detail on the ride is incredible.  But, the ride itself isn’t terribly exciting.  It’s a slow-moving ride through a river (get it, river journey?). For folks who have visited Disney World before, it’s similar to the Frozen ride in EPCOT or a smaller version of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Unless you’re a hardcore Disney geek, there’s really no reason I can see to wait in line that long for Na’vi.  Here’s a short video clip of the ride:

The Final Two Pennies

Here’s a quick overview I posted on Instagram of our spin through the Avatar world.

I’ll also have a quick food review of Satu’li Canteen, a pretty decent restaurant located next to Avatar and Na’vi.  Bottom line?  Our family are buyers when it comes to Avatar Flight of Passage.  We’re sellers when it comes to Na’vi River Journey.

What do you think of Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey?

Have you tried them yet?

The post Pandora: Our First Impression of Avatar Flight of Passage And Na’vi River Journey was published first on Pizza in Motion

13 Comments

  1. The FoP line is definitely worth seeing. Best option is get on line about 15 minutes before the park closes. We did that last time when the posted wait was 80 minutes but turned out to be only 35 minutes which was a perfect length to enjoy the design of the queue. You’ll often find posted wait times that are double or more the actual wait for the major rides at the end of the evening as they’re trying to discourage people from getting on it since as long as you’re on line 1 second before closing, you will get to ride the ride.

    1. David, we’ve done exactly what you suggested in the past. That’s how we were able to ride Ratatouille in Paris. We’ll have to try that one night when our kids have gotten a good night’s sleep the night before. Thx!

  2. I think it’s the best theme park ride in the U.S. by far. The visuals are amazing. We rode it four times last trip thanks to some stalking/refreshing the app to get multiple fastpasses. It’s a definite must see now on our future trips.

  3. I rode Flight of Passage twice just a little over a year ago, a mere several weeks after World of Avatar opened. No FastPass availability since I didn’t commit to the work trip that brought me to Orlando until just a couple of weeks earlier.

    Waiting at the park’s gate with the masses to speed walk (not run) to World of Avatar, the posted wait time when I got there was 45 minutes, pretty accurate. Then early evening I got in line again with the posted wait time at 1 hour, also pretty accurate.

    Both waits were totally worth it.

  4. Hey Ed. Instead of taking your kids to Disney for the millionth time, why not take them to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park (Hunan Province, China), the actual incredible park that the Pandora Mountains are based on? I was just there last month and the scenery is breathtaking. There’s even a Crowne Plaza and a Pullman at the entrance to the park. The only thing that could possibly be better than the Disney ride is the real thing, live in person. Best of all, you won’t need to wait in three-hour lines because Zhangjiajie is in the middle of nowhere.

    1. Daniel, we haven’t quite gotten to the millionth time yet. 🙂
      We’re staying close to home this summer for some personal reasons. But, we’ll be back on the international road soon.
      I love your suggestion and wasn’t aware of the information. Thanks for that!

  5. We got to ride FOP and River Journey during the DVC events at DAK. FOP was amazing, by far the most amazing Disney ride I’ve ever experienced. For river journey, there was just too much use of video screens and not enough animatronics to make it interesting. Nice, yes. 90 min wait nice, nope!

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