What is the Flight of Passage Ride? (Definitive Guide)

Riding rides you have never been on can be both thrilling and scary. For some thrill-seekers, the surprise is part of the fun, but for others, the unknown can suck all the fun out of a ride.

If you identify more with the later, this article will tell you everything you need to know to prepare for riding the Flight of Passage ride in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Flight of Passage Queue Outdoor Area at Disney Animal Kingdom

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

History

In 2012 Disney decided that they wanted to design a ride around the movie Avatar; they wanted to make a banshee ride. A banshee is a creature the characters in Avatar rode around on for hunting and traveling long distances.

Flight of Passage Queue Outdoor Area at Disney Animal Kingdom

It was then that they approached the director of the movie, James Cameron. He wanted the ride to be made very similar to Disneyland’s Soarin’ over California (which is also similar to Epcot’s Soarin’ Around the World).

Cameron wanted a “Soarin’ over Pandora.”

And in many ways, the ride is just that, as Flight of Passage utilizes very similar technology and effects as the popular Disneyland ride.

As the ride was being developed and the prototype was created, it is said that Avatar producer rode the ride hundreds of times and gave lots of feedback.

Flight of Passage Waterfalls in Outdoor Area at Disney Animal Kingdom

Additionally, James Cameron was, of course, one of the earliest people to get to ride the prototype and he helped the developers get the Na’vi language just right.

Since the ride’s release, it has been one of the most popular Disney rides. Millions of people have ridden on it, and there is often a several hour wait.

Flight of Passage Queue Outdoor Area at Disney Animal Kingdom

You definitely do not want to miss out on this one.

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What to Expect While on the Ride

The experience of Flight of Passage begins before you even get to your seats.

It starts with a walk-through Pandora’s beautiful wilderness and caves covered in Na’vi paintings that lead you into a banshee research facility that was previously a mining sight for the “Resources Development Administration” (the antagonist group from the movie).

Flight of Passage Queue Banshee Ecosystem Chart at Disney Animal Kingdom

Inside the research facility, you will see various experiments and even little amoeba-like creatures scurrying about.

However, the most impressive part of the first room is a Na’vi Avatar floating in a tube that actually twitches and moves.

Flight of Passage Queue Giant Avatar at Disney Animal Kingdom

When you have finished the wait, you will be moved into a chamber room to prepare you for the flight.

Here, a video will play that will explain what an avatar is, guide you through a “Pandora parasite decontamination” process, and some other secondary video.

Flight of Passage Queue Researcher Area at Disney Animal Kingdom

Finally, you will be genetically matched with your avatar.

Avatar Flight of Passage Ride Experience

Now it is time to actually ride the ride.

You will go into yet another room filled with chairs that “link” you to your avatar. After you receive a pair of 3-D glasses, you can swing your legs onto the ride seat and scoot as far forward as possible.

Flight of Passage Queue

There are a few things you need to keep in mind about the chairs.

One, there will be padded restraints along your calves and lower back during the ride so you cannot fall off.

The restraints and sitting position are very comfortable, but if you suffer from claustrophobia, the restraints may prove to be a challenge.

Flight of Passage Queue Corridors at Disney Animal Kingdom
Flight of Passage Queue Corridors at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Second, while the seats are close enough that a rider could reach out to the person beside them, this ride is a solo experience, so it may not work great for younger children or those who prefer to ride with another person.

When the ride actually begins it is a beautifully designed experience from the physical effects such as airbags that allow you to feel your banshee’s breathing to the beautiful sights of floating mountains.

Flight of Passage Queue Outdoor Area at Disney Animal Kingdom

You’re also able to look all around at (to be specific, you can look about 90 degrees left and right and 45 degrees up and down).

There are so many details that you will have something new to see and experience every time you ride.

Additionally, the ride is very smooth.

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Does Flight of Passage Cause Motion Sickness?

If you get motion sickness easily, you should keep that in mind as the feeling of flying is very real, but there have been many reports of people who get motion sickness on other rides not getting sick on Flight of Passage.

Flight of Passage Queue Banshee Skeleton at Disney Animal Kingdom
Banshee Skeleton in Queue

Of course, if the ride becomes too much, there are Disney employees nearby that can help you.

Hipster Power Tip: You must be 44 inches tall to ride. So, keep this in mind if you have small children.

Fun Facts About Flight of Passage Ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Flight of Passage Queue Worker Equipment at Disney Animal Kingdom
Flight of Passage Researcher Equipment at Disney Animal Kingdom

Here is just some good/interesting information about the ride that you may like to know.

  • Flight of Passage has one of the longest recorded wait times at Disney World
  • One thousand four hundred forty people can ride the ride in an hour.
  • The “genetic match” actually does a body scan, and the avatar you get may change your ride slightly.
  • It is Disney’s first fully augmented reality (AR) ride.

Read: 32 Fantastic Animal Kingdom Secrets You Must Discover

Flight of Passage Wait Time

The Flight of Passage ride is one of the most popular rides in the Animal Kingdom park at Disney World and therefore has one of the longest wait times there is.

Flight of Passage Queue Outdoor Area at Disney Animal Kingdom Flight of Passage Queue Outdoor Area at Disney Animal Kingdom

The ride has a range or a one and a half to a six-hour wait time. The most it has ever had was six and a half hours.

Additionally, unlike other new rides, the wait time for this ride did not die down after the original buzz did, but it is finally starting to drop after the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance experience.

Pandora Flight of Passage Outdoor Queue with Floating Mountains

The good news is the Disney Imagineers of the ride prepared for this by making one of the longest and most intricate waiting queues there is.

As you wait in the long line, you will walk through the world of Pandora, see beautiful sights including the floating mountains, head into caves covered in Na’vi paintings, and finally through the research facility itself.

Flight of Passage Queue Worker Equipment at Disney Animal Kingdom
Researcher Station

During all stages, you will learn lots of interesting information about the Na’vi’s history. The sights and information make the long wait time much more bearable.

How to Get a Shorter Wait Time for Flight of Passage?

If the long wait time is not for you, there are a few times that will be better to try and ride it.

Flight of Passage Queue Outdoor Area at Disney Animal Kingdom

One, if there is rain or inclement weather, the line will quite possibly be shorter. While the ride itself is completely indoors, some of the waiting takes place outdoors, so the lines will probably be shorter on these days.

Two, if you can get to this ride first thing when the park opens, the wait will be shorter.

Flight of Passage Queue Outdoor Area at Disney Animal Kingdom

If this ride is really important to you, doing it in the morning before the park gets busy will save you lots of time.

Securing that Coveted Disney FastPass

Because the wait time for this ride can be so long, it is a great option for your FastPass selections, but availability goes fast, so make your reservation as soon as possible.

Pandora Flight of Passage Outdoor Queue Entrance with Floating Mountains

If you are unable to get your reservations before the day of, there are new spots released every hour, so check the app consistently to try to get a reservation.

It is rare for FastPass wait times to get above fifteen to twenty minutes, but it can happen.

Nevertheless, you can save hours of time by using Disney FastPass for Flight of Passage and other busy rides.

Flight of Passage Gift shop Wind Traders at Disney Animal Kingdom
Flight of Passage Gift Shop

Keep in mind that both Avatar rides, Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey can have fairly long wait times, so you will have to prioritize with your initial FastPass booking as they are both on the list of rides you can only pick one of.

Pandora Flight of Passage Outdoor Queue Entrance with Floating Mountains

Flight of Passage is usually harder to get and has the longest wait time, so you may want to start with it, but the day of if you consistently check your app, you may be able to reserve FastPasses for both as you complete your first selections.

Read: Ultimate Disney FastPass Guide (Your Cheat Sheet with Tips)

3 Top Tips for Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Discovery Island
Tree of Life Hub at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

1 – Use Extra Magic Hours

If you are staying in select Disney World Resorts and Hotels, you will have access to Extra Magic Hours on certain days.

This means you can enter any of the parks an hour earlier or stay an hour later than most guests. It also means there will be fewer people and less of a wait.

Pandora Flight of Passage Gift Shop Avatar Maker 2
Pandora Flight of Passage Gift Shop Avatar Maker

If your Extra Magic Hours are in the morning, try to show up an extra thirty minutes early as you will then be one of the first people in the park.

On the other hand, if you do not have extra magic hours, come to Animal Kingdom on a day where those hours are not available as there will probably be fewer people in the park, and if you get there early, you can still be one of the first into the park.

2 – Bring a Water Bottle with You

If you do have to wait in the long line, especially the outdoors part when it is hot, you will want to make sure you are not dehydrated.

Pandora World of Avatar at Night Disney Animal Kingdom Waterfall
Pandora World of Avatar at Night Disney

Of course, Disney thought of that too. Halfway through the line, there is a water bottle refill station, so do not worry about trying to stockpile your water before getting in a huge line.

3 – Look for Hidden Secrets

Before you get on the ride, you will be grouped into different chambers, and while there is no difference between the experience of each chamber, you ask to be in chamber A or B.

Pandora Flight of Passage Gift Shop Avatar Maker

You will be able to find the red hand prints when you get off.

On the concrete wall, as you exit the ride from those two chambers, you will spot three red hand prints with initials underneath.

These are the handprints of the director, producer, and executive designer of the movie.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I give this ride, on a hipster scale of 1 to 10 a 10 plus! It is a must do attraction.

When you have the chance to book your FastPass+ do it as soon as possible for Avatar Flight of Passage.

I hope you enjoy your magical trip to the Animal Kingdom and the world of Pandora!

What is the Pandora Flight of Passage Ride with Tips and Guide

Ready to experience Pandora: World of Avatar? If so, you can read the full guide here!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!

(Original Article Date: May 23, 2017/Updated January 24, 2020)

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