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4 Things You Need to Know Before You Ride Avatar: Flight of Passage

With only a few days to go before the grand opening of Pandora – The Land of Avatar, Disney has been conducting a number of technical rehearsals for this new land, allowing hundreds of guests to visit at a time while they test rides, procedures, and other facets of this new land before its grand opening on May 26, 2017.

During one of these technical rehearsals we got the opportunity to check out the new E-Ticket attraction, for this new land, Avatar – Flight of Passage. And we can confidently say that this attraction is unlike anything else at Walt Disney World. If you are planning on checking it out sometime soon, here’s everything you need to know.

1. You’re probably going to wait a long time in line

Though the jury is still out regarding whether Pandora – The World of Avatar will be a hit or not, Disney is expecting big things from the Avatar – Flight of Passage ride specifically, and has made what is almost certainly the longest queue in Walt Disney World history (which is split between inside and outside areas) to cope with this.

The actual ride capacity has been estimated to be around 1500 guests per hour, which isn’t too bad (it’s in the same ballpark as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad) but because interest in this new land is likely to be high, Disney is preparing for a lot of interest in this new land, and it has been estimated that the labyrinthine queue (which is expertly themed and has a lot to look at ) can hold an over four hour wait time. 

There’s also the issue of downtime. Like any new ride (especially those that use new technology), Avatar – Flight of Passage will likely encounter a number of issues in its opening weeks. During our recent visit, the ride was down for nearly an hour, which sent the line for the FastPass+ queue (the only queue that was being used) out of the building and backed up nearly 1000 feet away from the entrance. 

Though we absolutely recommend Avatar – Flight of Passage (more on that in a minute), keep in mind that if you are going to try to experience this attraction any time in the near future, chances are good you’ll wait at least two hours or more, unless you sprint for it right at park opening or are visiting during Extra Magic Hours. 

2. The restraints are a little restrictive for guests with certain body dimensions

Image: Disney/ABC 

The main ride vehicle for Avatar – Flight of Passage is a “link chair” that looks a little bit like the middle part of a motorcycle, with a seat that you can straddle. Unlike other attractions, this ride has automatic restraints which are built in to the seat and engage automatically right before the ride begins. These restraints secure your legs and back, and you’ll definitely feel some pressure when they engage.

And while the ride experience should be comfortable for most, we have seen some guests not be able to ride because of body dimensions. Much like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey over at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the ride vehicles aren’t very accommodating for larger guests, which could be an issue.  As of right now it doesn’t look like there is a modified seating option available, which is a bit of a disappointment, and is hopefully something they address in the future. 

SPOILER WARNING: Though we’ve refrained from discussing the actual ride experience on this first page, we will discussing what happens during this ride in general terms on the next page, so if you want to experience this attraction with absolutely no knowledge of some of the ride elements, turn back now!

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There are 5 comments.

So let me get this straight. This ride is just a lame motion simulator with 3-D glasses.
I will 100% pass. I remember the hype with Body Wars and Sourin. And I also remember waiting in 3 and 4 hour lines and being completely disappointed.
And considering I thought Avatar was an absolutely horrible movie (that, by the way has nothing to do with anything Disney), my wife and I will stay far from this ride que and take advantage of the fact that everyone else is waiting in this crazy line so that we can hop on every other ride in the park in no time flat.

For larger guests concerned about fitting in this ride - I will say that I had problems with HP Forbidden Journey when it first opened. But I had no problems fitting in the Avatar - Flight of Passage ride.

It was restrictive in that once the back & leg restraints were locked in. But it was like that for everyone. It has to lock your lower body in place to stay on the ride.

The difference between Harry Potter & Avatar size limitations is where the restraints hit. I had issues with HP because of my chest. Even though I do have large hips and calves, I had no problems with the Avatar ride.

I don't like the sensation of free fall. I do both Star Tours and Soarin' just fine as there isn't a "drop" - it doesn't sound like this will have an actual drop (just simulations of one), but can you confirm? Thanks!

We went to a preview last night (5/15). Fortunately it was not crowded at all. We got to ride Na'vi River Journey twice and Flight of Passage once. Flight of Passage was by far the best. It very unique. Not sure either ride is worth a multihour wait come 5/27. Will probably wait for the newness to die down some before going back.

I'll be checking out Avatar - Flight of Passage on May 28 and 29, so I can't comment on this specific ride until then. Having said that, it seems misleading to indicate it's "easily" the best new Disney ride in the past decade... You specifically say it's better than Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and Frozen, so I know you mean it's Disney's best in the United States in a decade. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I have my doubts that even if the ride is jaw dropping it would be "easily" considered better than Mystic Manor (Disney ride from 2013) or Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure (from 2016). I just got back from China on May 2 so these are fresh on my mind!

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