Even while still waiting in the queue for this epic Disney Animal Kingdom ride at Walt Disney World, you’ll already embark on a fantastic journey. This queue is anything but a tedious wait as you begin with an uphill trek around a massive root structure. You’ll then cross a bridge and look down on some majestic waterfalls.
Next, you’ll reach an authentic totem garden. After that, you follow some winding passages that open into a cave where the Ikran – the huge winged banshee – adorn the walls in art form. Sound like fun? Then you’re in for a ride because the Avatar Flight of Passage experience hasn’t even truly begun!
Flight of Passage Build-up
The most incredible part of waiting to delve into the Flight of Passage flight experience is the growing anticipation you’ll experience. Moving through the fantastical lead-up to this thrill ride, you get a realistic sensation of actually being on the planet of Pandora. If it’s happening to you, imagine what it’s like for the kids!
But we digress. What’s already been described in the introduction isn’t even the beginning. You’re still in the queue!
From the cave of the Ikran, you’ll move into an old, partially-restored Resources Development Administration laboratory. It is now used as a research center by Pandora’s Mountain Banshee Project.
Afterward, you’ll move on to the Genetic Matching Room. You’ll decontaminate against Pandoran parasites, and they’ll scan your genetic material. You’re then matched with a personal avatar to prepare you for the flight of passage itself.
Flight of Passage Ride
After you reach the theater, you’ll board a single-seat simulator ride vehicle that feels like a real live banshee. You’ll experience the swift and graceful movements of the Ikran and even feel the banshee breathing beneath you. These special effects create a multi-sensory technological experience enthralling for the whole family.
Flight of Passage whisks you away into an adventure only the Na’vi and visitors to Pandora’s alien planet experience. You’ll don flight visors for a full 3D encounter featuring sights of splashing whale-like beasts. You’ll see experienced Na’vi riding roaring mountain banshee, and you’ll endure a fearsome meeting with the predatory Great Leonopteryx.
The smell effects of the flight of passage in Pandora will overwhelm your nasal passages. You smell a stampede, the forest from a rooftop canopy, the aromatic perfume near bioluminescence, and a familiar but different ocean scent. You will feel the mist of a waterfall, experience flying under a wave, and marvel at the spectacular ending overlook.
Backed by a London Symphony Orchestra score, this is a thrilling four-minute Avatar flight experience through an incredible sci-fi world. When you climb breathlessly from your motorcycle-like ride vehicle, you’ll want more but will also be thankful it’s over. For now.
The Flight of Passage Ride Vehicles
The ride vehicle for the Avatar Flight of Passage ride is much the same as a motorcycle. There are 48 ride vehicles in the theater, all lined up side-by-side. You’ll be assigned your own bike near enough to touch and speak to the person next to you.
When you climb on the bike, you need to angle yourself forward and push your chest out. You’re then harnessed in, feeling strap pressure on your calves and back. You’ll feel safe.
Every vehicle has a cubby to store your personal stuff, and you’ll be given 3D glasses – a massive part of the experience.
Is Flight of Passage Suitable for Kids?
There’s no doubt that Walt Disney World has created a proper thrill ride with Avatar Flight of Passage. There is a distinct realism to the experience. You’ll feel like you’re upside-down, falling and spiraling upwards at times.
The height restriction is a minimum of 44 inches, and it’s noted that kids under seven must be accompanied by somebody who is fourteen or older. The potential problem is that nobody is with you during the ride. You get strapped onto an individual ride vehicle and experience the flight solo.
Parents with young kids should first let them try the test vehicle outside the Flight of Passage venue. Once a child is on the ride proper, there’ll be nobody to hold their hand or comfort them if they get scared. A child is all alone on the bike for the duration of Flight of Passage, so if your youngster is timid or nervous, it may be better to give this one a miss.
If you battle motion sickness, it’s also a good idea to try the test vehicle.
Flight of Passage Ride Health and Safety Guidelines
If you are prone to motion sickness or are afraid of heights, you should not ride on Avatar Flight of Passage. The 3D flight experience provides a realistic sensation of traveling on a vehicle a long way off the ground. It’ll undertake acrobatic birdlike maneuvers and will fall rapidly at times.
You should be healthy and free from any health problems that the Flight of Passage experience might affect. People with neck or back issues, heart problems, high blood pressure, or motion sickness should not undertake the journey. Pregnant mothers should certainly give Flight of Passage a miss.
If you use an electric conveyance vehicle (ECV), you’ll need to transfer to a standard wheelchair while queuing. From there, you will be assisted onto the ride bike in the theater. Video captioning, audio descriptions, and assistive listening are available during the flight. Due to the nature of restraints and seating, your size or body shape may restrict your access to the ride.
Flight of Passage Reception
Since its opening in May 2017, Flight of Passage has fast become one of Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s most popular rides. It draws highly positive reviews from guests, with over four million visitors experiencing the ride to date. Flight of Passage is still rated at the very top of available rides in the Disney parks at Walt Disney World.
Queuing times for guests without FastPasses range from two to six hours, so bear this in mind if you have your family with you. Flight of Passage has even encouraged certain Disney fans to produce merchandise based on the ride. These include candles that enhance the ocean’s scent during the experience.
Flight of Passage Awards
Since its inception, the ride has won and been nominated for several awards:-
- The ride won the Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Attraction.
- It also won the 2018 VES Award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project.
- It was nominated for the 2018 Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Production.
Is the Flight of Passage ride rough?
The banshee you ride takes twists and turns, but it’s all in a smooth motion. It’s a thrill ride that immerses you in Pandora’s sights, smells, and sounds. You ride your mountain banshee through and over floating mountains, waves, and oceans.
How long do you walk to reach Flight of Passage?
The walk from the turnstiles to reach the queue for the attraction is approximately 15 minutes. You’ll need at least a few hours to queue and experience the ride itself.
Do you need to book a reservation for Avatar Flight of Passage?
As with everything at Disney World nowadays, you will undoubtedly need a park reservation for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Book before 2 pm if you want to stand any chance of riding the attraction.