Our Ultimate Guide to the Na’vi River Journey takes you through the most beautiful attraction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Read on for all there is to know about this mystical river ride. We got all the information on accessibility, background information, and the ride itself.
Get ready for a trip to Pandora with us!
Na’vi River Journey: A Summary
Together with the Land of Pandora, the Na’vi River Journey opened its gates to Disney World visitors on May 27, 2017. The Na’vi River Journey is located in the Land of Pandora, which is part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
According to Disney the 4 1/2-minute Na’vi River Journey, it is the most complex audio-animatronics attraction in Walt Disney World.
It is easy to say that the mystical river ride alongside the bioluminescent forest is a captivating journey. It will leave a long-lasting impression on its visitors.
In order to create such an intriguing show, Disney uses semitransparent video screens that are coupled with 3D flora and fauna sets. The screens display moving items, and the static dense landscape creates a beautiful frame for everything that meets the eye during the Na’vi River Journey.
The visuals are absolutely enchanting. Guests glide along several cave structures and exotic plants, as well as familial mystical creatures from the movies.
The Na’vi River Journey is a very family-friendly tour. It takes guests down the Na’Vi river, which is a calm and winding river, in search of the Na’vi Shaman of Songs.
The Na’vi River Journey Ride
After the outdoor queue, visitors will enter a path that leads them through the flora of Pandora. Guests will also be introduced to the fauna of Pandora, which they are about to encounter through signs.
When approaching the waterfalls and floating mountains of Pandora, guests will encounter a large woven totem that pays homage to the Shaman of Songs. The totem indicates the entrance to the mystical river via several grottos.
The Shaman of Songs is of great importance to Pandora. It is connected with the life force that drives every living being on this planet and sends positive energy into their world.
As guests arrive at the water, they will board reed-woven boats. When the boat ride begins, one of the Na’vi warriors greets the visitors. With a nod, he grants them passage to venture to the Shaman of Songs along the mystical river ride.
At the end of the ride, guests will finally encounter the impressive 10-foot-tall Shaman of Songs. She is in the middle of a musical ceremony that is aimed at sending positive energy through the entire rainforest.
The Na’vi Shaman tells the story of the important bond between the Na’vi and the life force of nature. She also notes that this is something the Na’vi have in common with the human visitors.
For the size of the animatronic Shaman, she moves incredibly gracefully. This is another highlight of this ride as it gives every visitor in a boat the illusion that this is indeed a real living being.
Na’vi River Journey Accessibility
The Na’vi River Journey is accessible via Pandora Land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
We recommend fracturing in a lot of time as the wait times at the attraction are much longer than at some of the other rides in the park.
The boat ride allows for two rows inside each boat, which can accommodate 8 people. The boat ride is a relaxing ride along the Na’vi River.
Fastpass/ Lightning Lane: Yes
Rider Switch: Yes
Rider Switch is a system for taking turns on rides. Here guests that are visiting with small children can take turns with the other person that is waiting with the little child(ren).
Single Rider Lane: No
Wait times: between 45 minutes and 70 minutes
Time: 4 1/2 minutes
Height Restrictions: None
Age Restrictions: None, but very small children might be scared because of special effects or the size of the Na’vi Shaman.
- Visitors must step down into the boat.
- Must transfer from a wheelchair into the boat.
- Audio Descriptions and Handheld Captioning are available.
- If you suffer from motion sickness, we recommend taking medicine. But the Na’vi River Journey ride does not include sharp turns or any rough moments, so you should be alright.
Service Animals: Yes.
Guests must remain in full control of their service animal at all times.
Interesting Facts About the Ride:
After completion, the Dinsey team agreed that the Na’vi Shaman turned out even more impressive than they anticipated.
The Na’vi River is made out of real water. We, therefore, recommend moving with caution and not splashing other guests. Avoid sudden movements if you don’t want to fall out of the boat and get wet.
Does one have to have seen the Avatar movie in order to enjoy this ride?
While the Na’vi River Journey is a magical tour from beginning to finish, it can be a bit difficult to understand the plot if you have not seen the movie Avatar.
Especially the positive energy and life force that are predominantly addressed throughout the ride might be a riddle to some visitors if they are not familiar with the storylines.
What is the best time to go on the Na’vi River Journey?
Because of the long waiting times that guests can encounter when wanting to take a ride on the Na’vi River, we recommend going early in the morning and ticking off the Na’vi River Journey first thing as the park opens.
Is the Na’vi River Journey worth a visit?
Regardless of whether you are an Avatar fan or have never seen the movie, the Na’vi River Journey is an impressive work of art. The animatronics and 3D effects are definitely worth a visit and will leave even the most disbelieving guest enchanted.
Does the weather impact the Na’vi River Journey ride?
No, it doesn’t. The Na’vi River Journey is an indoor attraction in the park and therefore is not subject to any weather changes. On top of that, it is one park attraction that opens up as one of the first in the morning. This makes it easy to tick off at the beginning of your visit.
Will you get wet during the Na’vi River Journey?
The chances of visitors getting wet during the Na’vi River Journey are very low. Even though the Na’vi River Journey takes place on a boat and in real water, there are no rough rides or splashes involved. You will likely stay completely dry during the ride.
Is there a bathroom at the Na’vi River Journey?
There are no restrooms at the Na’vi River Journey. You will be able to find them at the Ride of Passage which is just around the corner from this attraction.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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