Avatar: Flight of Passage is one of Walt Disney World’s newest and most popular attractions. It has been high on my bucket list since I first learned about it, but was it all up to the hype?
It’s Been a Crazy Ride
I know it’s been awhile, but here I am again, sitting down, stretching my fingers and writing another post for the Footprints blog. It has been a crazy ride since I last collected my thoughts for this, full of multiple transitions and adjustments. As you all know, the family recently moved from New England down to central Florida and I have spent the last few months getting settled into my new high school and new surroundings. There have been new teachers, new classes, new homework – but, the best part, has been taking advantage of my new proximity to Walt Disney World!
One of the first things my mom did when we arrived was work diligently to score some FastPass+ times for the new attraction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s new land, Pandora: The World of Avatar. FastPass+ is the way to go for this ride because the wait time is usually no less than two hours and can go as high as five! I will say, though, FastPass+ times are hard to come by because they go fast…like warp speed fast!
FASTPASS+ TIP: GET ONE!
If you don’t know what a FastPass+ is, it’s like a reservation time for an attraction. By securing one, you have a one hour window to arrive to the FastPass+ entrance and make your way past the crowds standing by to enjoy the same ride you are.
Our First Passage into Pandora: The World of Avatar
For some members of our family, the first FastPass+ we ever used on this attraction was the first time we had ever stepped foot into The Valley of Mo’Ara. To be honest, I thought I had a general idea of what it was going to look like. I had seen the pictures and thought that I wouldn’t be too surprised by what I saw. This was a Silly Aaryn Mistake. At first sight, I was caught up by the masterfully constructed floating mountain, which literally took my breath away.
As I looked around The Valley of Mo’ara, I had to remind myself that I was still in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and not transported to the alien moon of Pandora. The amazing scenery and attention to detail was so lifelike and realistic that I got the feeling that I was actually a part of the movie set itself. I half-expected to see some Na’vi come running by, whooping war cries and firing off arrows. Sadly, this didn’t happen. (Wouldn’t that have been fun?)
We found the entrance to Avatar: Flight of Passage and we made our way through the shorter queue. I will admit, I allowed myself one brief moment of smugness as I passed the lengthy standby line (FastPass+ is simply an amazing tool). As we entered the ginormous building, I was once again amazed by how real my surroundings felt. The trickling water, the high rock ceiling, the damp smell – all of these things enhanced the experience and gave me reason to believe I was realistically on Pandora.
Time to Take Flight
After a short wait, we entered the “genetic testing room,” where we were briefed regarding the flight of passage program, given the rundown on the Ikran, or banshee, and were “genetically matched” to an avatar. From there, we entered another briefing room for routine safety talks. It was there we were given special 3D glasses and then ultimately ushered down a hallway where we were instructed to mount our “banshees” as we would a bike. We placed on our 3D glasses and waited for the “scientists” to finish their final testing and matching (wink, wink). When all seemed in order, the lights went dark and the wall in front of us lifted. We were in for an even crazier ride than our move!
Words honestly and truly cannot describe it. I don’t want to spoil the ride for anyone who has not had the opportunity to ride their own “banshee” yet, but the majesty of Pandora combined with the incredibly realistic feeling of simulated flying…it blew me away. You literally feel as though you are connected with the Ikran and soaring through one of the most beautiful landscapes ever created. In fact, I was so infatuated with the attraction that, since that first ride, I have enjoyed Avatar: Flight of Passage four more times!
I have STILL not tired of it!
(Mom, when is our next FastPass for this???)
Well, I’ll be honest. The guy in the initiation video may annoy me…just a little.
Final Words Before Taking Flight
So, in essence, Avatar: Flight of Passage receives an A++ rating from this teenager.
Though I’m glad Mom did the solo two-and-a-half hour wait the first time to ultimately spare us , I must confess that it actually would be worth the standby line for Guests who may only visit once in their lifetime. However, PLEASE try with all your might to secure a FastPass for this attraction! Try every day, three or four times a day. Seriously – keep looking for that pixie dust. It truly is an incredible, must-do experience. In fact, it was such a phenomenal experience, I may have to consider going in and adding an edit to my top five WDW attractions post. I wonder where I would rank this attraction (hmmm…).
A few quick notes about the attraction:
There are clear precautionary signs for those with certain medical conditions. For instance, if you have motion sickness, use discretion when it comes to riding. this attraction. For those concerned about the “bikes,” there is a one right outside the FastPass entrance for you to try. I figure it would be good to “know before you go.”
Otherwise, enjoy your flight and remember to breathe!