First, complete darkness.
Then in one quick blink: I was emerged in the land of Pandora. Holding on tight, flying my own banshee with quick dives up to the sky and down to the rivers, I saw it all instantly become my reality. With the wind in my face and the smell of fresh air, one more quick blink later… I was riding through the floating mountains. And finally, I was in the peaceful luminous river of the Navi.
Welcome to Pandora’s Avatar Flight of Passage!
Being a Disney Annual Passholder gave me the opportunity for a special guest preview of Disney’s Animal Kingdom newest land, Pandora – The World of Avatar. With an email sent out and limited spots available, that could only mean one thing: spots filled up in minutes!
As for me, a request off from work and I was on my way. The opportunity gave me the chance to have an intimate experience without the hustle and bustle of other Disney lovers pouring out on every crack and non-shaded part of Animal Kingdom. Side note: sunblock is a must! Comfortable shoes a must! Hats a must – unless you want to go mad. (In that case, hop over to Magic Kingdom with Alice and her friends instead.)
Back to Pandora – The World of Avatar!
As soon as the Cast Members gave me the go, I (along with 100+ other Passholders) rushed to the newest attraction. I told myself not to become distracted by the beautiful scenery, as there would be time for that after the ride. We were warned by Cast Members that the seating and restraints for Flight of Passage were unlike any other ride in their four theme parks. Hearing that and knowing it was a thrill ride intrigued me.
Starting at the beginning of the queue, you instantly yearn to go in deeper and deeper. Each holding area resembled a scene from the movie. Flowers, glowing lights, and even the laboratory scene from the movie came to life! Finally, after speed-walking my way through, I came across a room of rows that would lead us into the ride. Sixteen of us walked into a small pre-show room that gave us instructions and a safety spiel. Then, wait for it, we entered another pre-show room that gave us insight on what it was going to be like to ride a banshee. Can we get on already?! My excitement to ride was at an all-time high!
After we were given our 3D glasses, a door opened that led us to a chamber of sixteen linked seats that resembled motorcycles. “Connecting to your Avatar,” the screen read. The emotion! Sit up straight because BOOM, the restraints on your legs and back are lifted, locking you in an upright position. No time to think, complete darkness, and a blink later—I was there.
Being the curious person I am, I took my eyes off the screen to observe the ride fully. I could not believe how many chambers there were! This wan’t even noticeable unless you took the time to take your attention off the screen. Getting off the ride, I was on level 5! I didn’t even know there was a level 2!
With the attraction officially opened, FastPasses have been booked up for weeks. Those of you contemplating the dreaded 120 to 180 minute wait you see on your MyDisneyExperience app, let me tell you—it is worth it! Side note: the app will do wonders for you when planning your trip. Despite being a pro-level FastPass-booker, I would still wait in the line just to see the queue again.
Disney has completely outdone themselves with this attraction. If I had a third thumb and a neural queue (Navi “tail”) to put up, I would.
Hayalovay! (Translation for those humans who don’t speak Navi: Until next time!)
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