E - Headliner/Super Headliner
44 inches (112 cm)
For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure.
Supervise children at all times.
Children under age 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older.
The seating and restraints on this attraction may prohibit guests of certain body shapes or sizes from riding.
This flight is a highly immersive 3-D experience. Those who have a fear of heights should not fly.
Flight of Passage allows guests to link with their own personal Avatar and ride through Pandora on the back of a banshee.
Fly high above the vast landscape of Pandora on an exhilarating flight filled with suddend rops and acrobating aerial maneuvers.
Located in Pandora: The World of AVATAR, to the right of Na'vi River Journey.
Teenagers, Young Adults, Thrill Seekers
Times Guide – Opening/Closing
This attraction opens with the park.
Flight of Passage is one of the high demand Fastpass+ reservations in the park. Same day availability will be limited and guests will typically save at least 60-90 minutes using Fastpass+ even on low crowd days.
The Animal Kingdom doesn't utilize the same "Tier" system used at Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, but guests can only choose one of Na'vi River Journey or Flight of Passage. If a guest does not choose a Fastpass+ for either of those two attractions, they are able to make 3 selections of all other Fastpass+ attractions.
Na'vi River Journey and Flight of Passage are the highest demand Fastpass+ attractions in the park.
Before you Ride
Once the attraction begins, the ride simulates significant heights. Some guests that have a fear of heights may be bothered by this sensation. Guests prone to motion sickness should also use caution.
The queue begins outside in a series of winding paths that travel underneath the floating mountains. Exotic foliage lines the path. The plant life is an extension of that found elsewhere in the land and features a mixture from Earth and Pandora. The root structure of the floating mountains is integrated into the queue and a view of additional floating mountains, rivers and waterfalls can all be seen from the outdoor portion.
As the path winds through the environment, the elevation changes gradually. Large woven totems are integrated into the landscape as the queue continues to wind towards the prominent rock work. At night, parts of the exterior queue are illuminated with bioluminescent plant life. Before going inside the rock work, a look back at the floating mountains reveals young Great Leonopteryx (a creature from the movie) along some of the mountains.
The queue continues inside a cave where Na'vi drawings line the wall. The drawings depict the Na'vi themselves, as well as many of the creatures and symbols of their culture. The queue winds through the caves with woven artwork lining the expansive ceiling. Breaks in the rock work offer a glimpse outside into the rest of the land and the attraction queue.
As the queue continues to wind through the caves, the ceiling gets lower before ultimately connecting into a research facility. The research facility is lined with worn down concrete walls before entering into a bioluminescent forest. This area was a former mining facility of the Resources Development Administration (RDA) that has since been taken over by the Pandora Conservation Initiative and Alpha Centauri Expeditions.
RDA played a significant role in the original Avatar movie as the mining company responsible for stripping Pandora of it's chief natural resource, unobtanium. The time frame of the land is set generations after RDA's destruction of Pandora, and that is best reflected in this queue.
The bioluminescent area inside the former RDA facility represents work being done by the Pandora Conservation Initiative that is allowing nature to reclaim the area it formerly occupied. Signage in this area for the "Mountain Banshee Project" indicates that Pandora Conservation Initiative is, "Working to study and reverse habitat destruction caused by unregulated RDA operations in the Valley of Mo'ara."
The path winds through the reclaimed forest into the research facility. Signs explain the Mountain Banshee Ecosystem and the various threats to the species. Exhibits include a center cylinder and several animated creatures. Not all items being studied are native to Pandora. One such item, the Velocivirus is a spiny type creature that has survived space travel on one of many RDA transport vehicles. The scientists are looking for ways to eradicate this invasive species from the alien land. As the lab continues, a single Avatar is visible floating in a chamber for observation.
Following the figure, a sign explains how guests can link to their own personal Avatar. It reads:
From Link to Flight
Projecting Consciousness from a Human to an Avatar
- Sit on Link Chair. Clear Your Mind.
- Link Psionically to Avatar. (up to 400km range)
- Fly and Experience. - Hold on!
A link feels real because it is!
The final room in the queue shows equipment used by the Pandora Conservation Iniative to track visitors on their Avatar throughout their journey. A video shows banshees flying over a map while a large mural of a Na'vi on the back of the banshee fills one wall with the RDA logo fills the other. This room leads into the attraction pre-show.
Guests walk into the pre-show room hearing instructions from a female voiceover. The pre-show has a few different versions with various transitions, but the basic pre-show is as follows:
Voiceover: Once you've found your number, please make sure that everybody can see the screen.
Voiceover: OK, seal genetic matching room.
The pre-show begins with a live feed of a Pandora Conservation Initiative scientist on a monitor. On either side of the monitor, other screens are used at various points of the pre-show.
The scientist is seen in a lab similar to the research facility found in the queue.
Voiceover: Ok, Dr. Stevens, they're ready.
Dr. Stevens: Can everyone see me?
Dr. Stevens: Great, welcome to the Avatar program. Soon, you're gonna have a chance to undertake an amazing Na'vi Rite of Passage: Flying on the back of this powerful animal called an Ikran, or as we call it, a Banshee.
Dr. Stevens: The way you're gonna do this is by being matched to something called an Avatar, and I'm here to help you guys get ready.
During this narration, the monitor shows an Avatar riding on the back of a Banshee before transitioning back to Dr. Stevens. The monitor than switches to a close up of parasite cells with the adjacent monitors showing numbers from 1 through 16 representing every member of the pre-show group. Dr. Stevens continues:
Dr. Stevens: But first, we have to scan you for Pandoran micro-parasites.
Dr. Stevens: Alright everyone, stay on your number and move your arms a bit. Okay, start scan.
The monitor shows a digitized version of the guests in the pre-show room as each of the 16 numbers on the adjacent screens change from white to red. The central monitor reads, "Contamination detected".
Dr. Stevens: Hmm. You've all got them. But don't worry, uh, they're very common around these parts.
Dr. Stevens: Uh, let's start the decon.
Voiceover: Initiating GMR Decons.
Dr. Stevens: Stand still over your number. You're not gonna feel a thing.
The numbers on the monitors change from red to green indicating the parasites have been neutralized.
Dr. Stevens: You're doing great. Almost done here.
Voiceover: They're all clear
Dr. Stevens: Great, now let's go over how all this works.
The main monitor now shows images of Avatars as Dr. Stevens continues.
Dr. Stevens: Like I said before, you're going to be matched to these things called Avatars which look a lot like the Na'vi. They're created by blending Human DNA and Na'vi DNA.
Dr. Stevens: Once we match you to an Avatar, thanks to a special Link Chair, your mind will be able to control that Avatar.
The monitor shows an image of an Avatar on top of a banshee.
Dr. Stevens: Using Avatars to fly this way was all figured out by my boss Dr. Jackie Ogden. She leads her science team, which is part of the Pandora Conservation Initiative, and we're here in the Valley of Mo'ara studying banshees and their environment.
Doctor Stevens returns to the monitor in his lab before the video switches to show the mining destruction of the Resources Development Administration (RDA).
Dr. Stevens: Over a generation ago this enormous company called the RDA created a lot of damage to the area through their bad mining practices and conflicts with the Na'vi. Just like on Earth, it can take decades for eco-systems to recover.
The video cuts back to Dr. Stevens in the lab, before images of animals and then Dr. Jaclyn Ogden and her book about the Ikran are shown on adjacent monitors.
Dr. Stevens: One way to understand what's going on with an eco-system is to study what are called "Keystone Species". These are animals like tigers, jaguars, seals. The banshee is one of these important animals.
Dr. Stevens: Dr. Ogden is the foremost expert on studying the Ikran and has spent years researching them. Unfortunately, banshees live high in rookeries and humans can't get anywhere near them without (ha ha) becoming their lunch. But the Na'vi and Avatars can.
After images of banshees flying, the monitor transitions to a cave with artwork on it similar to that found in the queue.
Dr. Stevens: In fact, the Na'vi have been riding on the backs of banshees since their earliest history. Thanks to science, Avatars can ride on banshees too. That's why you're linking to an Avatar. It was Dr. Ogden who restarted the Avatar program. It's because of her that you're able to go through this rite of passage today.
Dr. Stevens: Pandora is a breathtaking natural world. I cannot wait for you guys to see it for yourselves.
The monitor reverts back to the digitized version of the guests with the numbers 1-16 on adjacent monitors. Below the image of the guests reads, "Genetic Sampler Malfunction."
Dr. Stevens: So, let's get ready for our next... huh?
Dr. Stevens returns to the monitor:
Dr. Stevens: I'll be right back.
Dr. Stevens gets up from his seat before the screen reverts back to the digitized versions of the guests standing on their numbers.
Dr. Stevens: Put the standby system on.
The video cuts back to Dr. Stevens in the middle of a sentence, explaining the process again:
Dr. Stevens: Okay, so to get you flying on a banshee we need to find each of you an Avatar. Um, let's, uh, prep the genetic sampling.
Male Voice: I'm on it.
Dr. Stevens: Okay, um, first we need to find a compatible match of your genetic material with the genetic material of one of the Avatar bodies that we already have. Once we do that, you'll be able to link to that Avatar. and, uh, fly.
The video cuts back to the digitizes versions of the guests.
Dr. Stevens: Help us out and move around a bit.
Dr. Stevens: Almost... Yes, got 'em! Now let's find you your Avatar matches.
The numbers are now connected with various Avatar faces by a graphic of DNA strands. The graphic switches between, "No Match and Match" for each guest before all 16 guests are matched with their own personal Avatar.
Dr. Stevens comes back on screen.
Dr. Stevens: Alright, you've all been matched with Avatars. Uh, ooh! It looks like they're ready for you in the next room. Uh, when the door opens, please go inside, all the way in, and stand over the same number that you're standing over now, and uh... and I'll see you in there.
The next room features another monitor with Dr. Stevens
Dr. Stevens: Great, you've all made it. It's important that you all see me, so move a little if you can't.
Dr. Stevens: Before we send you into the Link Chamber, let's watch this piece by Doctor Ogden, who runs the program.
The monitor shows Jaclyn Ogden in a room full of artifacts.
Dr. Ogden: Welcome everyone. I'm doctor Jackie Ogden from the Pandora Conservation Initiative. You're about to experience a ceremony that's very special to the Na'vi, flying on the back of an Ikran, or as we call it, a banshee.
Dr. Ogden: To the Na'vi, connecting to an Ikran and flying on its back is an incredibly important rite of passage they call Iknimaya. With permission from the Na'vi, and in partnership with Alpha Centauri Expeditions, we can now bring this amazing experience to you.
Dr. Ogden: The way you'll be able to fly is by linking to an Avatar that's already on the back of an Ikran. Let's see how this works.
The monitor transitions to show a "Driver" (guest) and their skeletal makeup paired with an Avatar and it's skeletal makeup.
Male Voice: We establish a link using powerful psionic amplification equipment. A human driver is connected to an Avatar, which could be physically hundreds of kilometers away. When you follow our technician into the Link Chamber, you'll see a series of sixteen Link Chairs. Please go to the number that matches the number you're standing on now.
The on screen visuals show guests what to do once they enter the Link Chamber.
Male Voice: First, you'll stow your gear in the provided storage containers on the back wall. This should include all bags, cameras, and other loose items. It's important to push them all the way in to the bin. Then, get onto the chair the same way you might get on to a bike. Put one leg over and straddle the seat. Step all the way forward and then sit down. Wait until you're seated before you put on your flight visors. Hold on to the hand grips as shown and slide forward against the chest pad. Soon after you're seated, back and leg restraints will be firmly engaged, and then you'll be ready to link. Please remember, for your safety, throughout this entire experience, always remain seated and supervise your children.
The video cuts back to Dr. Ogden:
Dr. Ogden: Once the link takes place, you'll be connected to your Avatar and sitting on the back of an Ikran. It'll feel like you're really there. Moments later, you will begin your flight. A Na'vi guide will lead you out. You'll experience the breathtaking beauty of Pandora. But you might also face some of its greatest challenges.
Dr. Ogden: Some of this flight might be intense, but trust your guide and be brave. As the Na'vi say during this important rite of passage, "Sivako" Rise to the challenge. Good luck.
The video transitions back to Dr. Stevens in the lab.
Dr. Stevens: Alright, you ready? Let's get you into the link chamber.
The link chairs seats themselves are similar to bicycle/motorcycle seats. Guests straddle the chair and supports secure their legs and back. Each seat has a small monitor as well that is utilized during the attraction.
The vehicles pulsate during the attraction to simulate the movement and breath of the banshee and the link formed between the guest and their Avatar.
Guests enter one of four theaters, each theater has three levels, each level has one group/row and each group/row has 16 link chairs. The chairs are in groups of 8 with a slight angle change in each group.
The attraction doesn't have a true post show, but an exit ramp terminates behind the Windtraders gift shop.
The story of Flight of Passage is told largely in the queue. Scientists at the Pandora Conservation Initiative have setup the ability for Pandora visitors to connect with their own personal Avatar and ride an banshee/ikran. After walking through the bioluminescent forest into the research facility, guests are paired with their own personal Avatar in the attraction's pre-show. From there, each guest boards their own individual "link chair" to connect with the banshee.
The link chairs fasten guests in with leg and back restraints as they're positioned leaning forward in the seat. The attraction begins with the room fading to black and the wall retracting overhead like a garage door. The ride begins with the connection made from the link chair to the Avatar. The room appears to expand and lighting effects show the connection before emerging on the back of a banshee. Throughout the ride, the chair pulsates to allow guests to feel the banshee breathing. Scents and mist effects occur as well to enhance the experience.
After the connection is made, the opening scene opens above a jungle landscape with the floating mountains in the distance. Our Na'vi guide flies into view on the back of a banshee gesturing guests to follow. An initial dive down a tree brings guests closer to the landscape, gliding above and through the forest and along a river.
The flight turns at a waterfall before a closer look at the floating mountains before returning to the forest and flying between the trees. The banshee flies through the forest to an ocean where creatures are jumping out of the water. A larger creature breaches from the water directly in front of the flight, and the banshee narrowly avoids the breach.
The banshee flies alongside a cresting wave and through the mountains before Toruk Makto appears overhead. Toruk Makto is the large flying creature that Jake Sully rides in the original Avatar movie. Toruk briefly attacks the guests on the banshee before flying away and knocking floating mountains away with it.
The banshee dives into a cave and perches as the bioluminescence of the cave comes to life. The Na'vi guide leads us out of the cave, emerging back in the floating mountains, above a dense forest along the water. Many of the more acrobatic maneuvers take place in this sequence as the banshee performs a barrel roll through the mountain archways.
The banshee flies down to a herd of sturmbeest running through the landscape before diving down another mountain face. The banshee ultimately settles along the water to see the setting sun.
The banshee flies through the floating mountains, over a body of water, under a wave before culminating with an over view of Pandora.
The large screens are similar to Soarin' Around the World, but the seats have a larger range of motion.
The below video is used with permission from the YouTube channel Virtual Disney World. These videos allow users to manipulate the camera a full 360 degrees using their cursor or directional arrows on their computer. Users on a smartphone or tablet can also manipulate the camera by moving their device in the direction they wish to look.
The below video is used with permission from the YouTube channel SoCal Attractions 360. These videos are in 4K or 1080p resolution for peak quality.
- Joe Rohde: Portfolio Creative Executive Walt Disney Imagineering
- Zsolt Hormay: Creative Executive Walt Disney Imagineering (Rockwork)
- Stefan Hellwig: Executive Creative Director Walt Disney Imagineering
- Matt Beiler: Producer Walt Disney Imagineering
- James Cameron: Lightstorm Entertainment (Writer/Director AVATAR)
- Jon Landau: Lightstorm Entertainment (Prodcuer AVATAR)
- Richie Baneham: Lightstorm Entertainment