Though Avatar: Flight of Passage is the clear headliner of the all-new Pandora – The World of Avatar land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (and will be sure to have multi-hour waits this summer), there is also a smaller, more family friendly attraction in this new land as well. The Na’vi River Journey is a fairly simple boat-based attraction with no height restriction that serves as an accessible way for guests to experience the wonder of Pandora without climbing on the back of a Banshee.
While this attraction certainly isn’t as thrilling as Avatar – Flight of Passage, it is still absolutely worth checking out while you’re in Pandora. And here’s why:
SPOILER WARNING: Though this attraction isn't open yet, Disney has already posted a number of sneak peeks inside this new ride, so we'll be discussing this attraction a little more in depth than we normally would. However, if you want to experience this attraction with absolutely no knowledge of some of the ride elements, turn back now!
1. There’s no real story, but that almost doesn’t matter
As mentioned previously, the Na’vi River Journey is a four-and-a-half minute boat ride that brings guests through the dark jungle of Pandora. After boarding a small raft (which holds two adults and potentially two (very) small children for a maximum of four per row), guests will set off on a slow-moving cruise that will bring them up close with the flora and fauna of Pandora.
Along the way, guests will see a Pandoran hunter (who grants them safe passage into the jungle) as well as dozens of unique insects, plants, and animals, who call this lush environment home. The ride is very quiet, with the “natural” sounds of Pandora emanating all around guests as they take this slow moving journey.
While it’s not a perfect comparison, the Na’vi River Journey is a lot like a fictional version of Living With the Land over at Epcot, just without the narration. There isn’t really a clear story, and the idea behind the ride seems to be to wow guests with the “natural” wonder and beauty of Pandora.
And while guests will spend most of the ride taking in the sights of this scenic attraction, the attraction’s final moments (which Disney has actually posted video of online) see guests coming face to face with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs, which is the most technically impressive (and dare we say, lifelike) animatronic ever created for a Disney park.
While this final moment is certainly exciting, the ride as a whole has a very tranquil and relaxing vibe, which is a big contrast from the thrilling Avatar: Flight of Passage. However, while some may see this as a “boring” ride with no recognizable characters or story, it serves as a nice counterpoint to Pandora’s other attraction. And there’s actually another reason you should check out this attraction as well…