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

Image: Disney 

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.

Image: Disney

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.

Image: Disney

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…



Why would it matter if there was a story or not? MOST DISNEY rides do not have stories, can somebody tell me the story on The Matterhorn or Space Mountain? Even Pirates of the Caribbean does not have a story. Pirates has different scenes with something going on, but there are no beginning middle and ends like a real story and who really cares.

Think of it like this, the Soarin over California and Soarin over the World rides are great attractions. There is absolutely NO story. Would the attraction really be any better if there was a set up of an eccentric inventor that just made a brand new flying machine and WE are going to test it!!! We get in the ride and it takes off while we hear the eccentric inventor shouting how the ride was not supposed to fly yet, and we must land it NOW!!

I really don't think the story is as important as so many like to think it is. So when talking about the Na'vi River ride, it never even occurred to me that there was not a story and I think it happens to be a fantastic attraction.

In a lot of ways I'm more excited for this ride than Flight of Passage as Disney and boat rides go hand in hand. I wish they would build more of these C ticket attractions. One of the reasons why the Magic Kingdom is so great is because of all the attractions there are to do. Not everything has to be an E ticket adventure. Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studious could really do with a few attractions of this caliber just to beef up their attraction count.

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