Kaltxì, interplanetary adventurers! No doubt you've hopped here for the latest intel on visiting Pandora — The World of Avatar. Departures from Disney's Animal Kingdom are well underway. Since the Pandora rides debuted in 2017, they have been some of the hottest tickets in Walt Disney World. This is toadally true of Avatar Flight of Passage, which remains one of the most in-demand rides in all of the resort's lands.
It lives up to the hype, and yes, you must experience it on your trip! That said, the lines are still long, and getting an Avatar Flight of Passage Individual Lightning Lane reservation isn't easy. Not to worry: We frogs are here to help! (If you're looking for the full scoop on everything inside the Avatar-themed land, hop to our full guide to Pandora.) Read on for our best tips for getting Avatar Lightning Lane reservations and more hopful hints.
Tips for Riding the Attractions in Pandora — The World of Avatar
1. Make sure your crew meets the Flight of Passage height requirement!
There is a Flight of Passage height requirement of 44 inches. This is the same as Expedition Everest, one of Disney World's wildest coasters. You'll want to make sure your tadpoles measure up and communicate it in advance if they don't. There is nothing worse than a child walking up to the height requirement sign and not being tall enough to ride. Even if your tadpoles aren't tall enough, you grown-ups can take advantage of child swap and take turns riding without having to queue twice!
2. Make getting an Avatar Flight of Passage Lightning Lane your top Animal Kingdom priority.
If you want to significantly cut down your wait time for this mega-popular attraction, consider booking an Individual Lightning Lane. Individual Lightning Lanes (which are not included with Genie+) are available for the most in-demand rides at Walt Disney World Resort. (There's only one or two in each park.) You can pay an additional fee to skip the line at these attractions, à la carte. The average cost of Individual Lightning Lane attractions typically range between $7 and $22 per frog. These prices vary depending on day or season. You can only book a maximum of two Individual Lightning Lanes per frog, per day, and you can't book the same attraction twice, so plan accordingly. These selections cannot be modified at any time.
If you're staying at a Disney Resort hotel (or other select hotels, such as Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels and Shades of Green), you can make your first purchase starting at 7 a.m. on the day of your visit. All other guests may book once the park opens for the day. That means, if you're hopping to Animal Kingdom mid-day but not a Disney World hotel guest and want to book an Individual Lightning Lane for Avatar Flight of Passage, you'll have to wait until Animal Kingdom opens for the day to purchase it.
The good news is you don't have to be in the park to make your selection AND, unlike Genie+ where you can only book Lightning Lanes for the next available timeframe, you can pick individual selections for any timeframe that is available throughout the day. Plus, you can overlap your Genie+ and individual attraction selections. So, if you don't want to be hopping all around the park, you can book your Lightning Lane for Na'vi River Journey and your Individual Lightning Lane for Avatar Flight of Passage at the same exact time!
It's important to note that Individual Lightning Lane attractions can sell out, so be prepared to book your slot for Avatar Flight of Passage as soon as you're able to (depending on where you're staying)! Once all the available add-on ride slots are filled, the Individual Lightning Lane box will say "Not currently offered."
3. Visit Pandora — The World of Avatar during Early Entry if you're staying at an on-site hotel.
If you're staying at an official Disney World Resort hotel or one of the Disney Springs hotels that offer the benefit, you should consider visiting during Early Entry for Disney's Animal Kingdom. This strategy requires getting up extra early, so it's not for everyone. However, the inconvenience can pay off big time. Early Entry allows Disney World Resort hotel guests to enter the theme parks half an hour before official opening every day! If you're utilizing this benefit, make sure you arrive 30 to 60 minutes before that morning's Early Entry begins so you'll be one of the first ones in! Valid theme park admission, a park reservation and Resort ID are all required to enter the park early.
4. Prioritize Avatar Flight of Passage over Na'vi River Journey.
While you no doubt want to experience both Pandora rides, Flight of Passage is not to be missed! Therefore, your priority should be Avatar Flight of Passage. If you're a Walt Disney World hotel guest, book your Avatar Flight of Passage Individual Lightning Lane at 7 a.m. before booking a Lightning Lane with Genie+ for Na'vi River Journey (or any other ride in Animal Kingdom). If you're visiting during Early Entry, go to Flight of Passage first.
One Disney Avatar hint you'll want to remember is that there are two Pandora entrances. The main entrance — and only entrance for those of you rope dropping or there for Early Entry — is right past Tiffins and Nomad Lounge. The second available pathway into Pandora is off of Harambe Bridge near Festival of the Lion King in Africa. Both locations are entrances and exits. If you are not rope dropping or there for Early Entry, a good route for less traffic later in the morning is the path less followed at Harambe Bridge. This path will lead you straight to the dining area and closer to Avatar Flight of Passage … the perfect combo. (Not to mention, Harambe Bridge is a beautifully serene hidden gem in Animal Kingdom with a gorgeous view of Discovery River. I especially doing the walk from Africa to Pandora via the bridge at night close to park close when Africa is practically empty!)
5. Consider a second day at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
It’s safe to say with the additions of Pandora that Disney’s Animal Kingdom has become a full-day park. For guests determined to experience the Pandora rides, especially during the busy summer months and holidays, visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom over two days is another option. This gives you more chances to score an Individual Lightning Lane for Avatar Flight of Passage (especially since you don't have to be in the park to make a reservation) ... OR, if you want to save your money for some Night Blossoms, you'll know you have more time to conquer everything else, so you can spend time waiting in the Standby Line.
6. Use our Disney's Animal Kingdom Park Plan.
Our Disney's Animal Kingdom park plan on the site and our Orlando planning app for iPhone include the Pandora rides, and they're optimized so you see when to visit. You can use the app to see all Animal Kingdom wait times for easy planning!
7. Consider going standby for Avatar Flight of Passage if you're a hardcore fan.
The amazement of Avatar Flight of Passage starts long before you get on the ride. With the queue … wow ... there is a lot to take in! The first portion has a very natural Na’vi vibe as you walk through caves covered in paintings. There is even a hand-woven banshee outside!
But as you go further, you’ll be in ACE territory. After all, flying on a banshee is all part of an experiment … so you’ll walk through a lab straight out of the movie. All of the experiments are REAL. Toadally. Take your time to gaze at all of the experiments and test tubes, and especially the Avatar itself, floating in a tube ready for transport. You’ll spot a banshee skull too … I never knew how big those things were! Even the handrails are ACE-branded.
THIS PART CONTAINS SPOILERS. The great part about Avatar Flight of Passage is that there’s not a bad seat. There is just one row — so no pressure to get in a certain position. Once you’ve been counted off and let through to the ride portion, be ready to wait. But don’t worry, it’s fun! You’ll get a couple of how-to videos on the fascinating process of linking to an Avatar for your banshee flight and get a little bit of background on the experience. The seat for this ride is very much like a motorcycle (I imagine, anyway … Mommy Frog won’t let me ride one!) so it’s like you are really riding a banshee. If you aren’t too distracted by the mesmerizing views of Pandora as you’re soaring around, you’ll even notice that you can feel the banshee breathing below you. It's so CRAZY … and so cool. Be sure to look in every direction rather than just straight ahead to truly take in the environment. OK, SPOILERS DONE.
Anywho, as mentioned above, using an Individual Lightning Lane can definitely help alleviate waits, but if you want to geek out on all of the deets, do the standby line for your very first experience.
8. Find the handprints.
A friendly ACE Team member clued us into a hidden gem that most people pass by. Flight of Passage features four Link Chambers — A, B,C and D. Before being grouped for your link chamber, ask the ACE Team Member if you could use Chamber A or B. Don't worry, there is no difference in the experience using any of the chambers.
After your ride on Flight of Passage, you'll head down a staircase and head down a large cement-walled hallway. On the right side of this hallway, you'll see three red handprints with initials underneath.
These handprints belong to the three creative minds behind the creation of Pandora — The World of Avatar. JC = James Cameron, writer/director of "Avatar," JL = John Landau, producer of "Avatar" and JR= Joe Rohde, executive designer and vice president, creative with Walt Disney Imagineering. It was so cool to see this neat easter egg planted by three great creatives! Legends!
9. Know where to sit on Na'vi River Journey.
All of the cool visual effects of the "Avatar" movie come to life in Na’vi River Journey. On your way onto this slow boat ride, take note of the unique queue. When you enter the covered area, you’ll notice that the ceiling is woven by the Na’vi themselves. There is a center portion that is woven blue and leads you to the entrance, with neat displays along the way. This is representative of the journey you are about to take on the ride as you travel to meet the Shaman. You’ll find similar handmade, woven Na’vi art throughout Pandora.
I recommend snagging a front row spot so you can have an unobstructed view of every creature, bioluminescent plant and special effect that consumes this ride. There are two rows per boat, and two boats loading at a time … which means rows one or three are your best options when they are loading. It’s worth asking the last ACE Team Member (the one who asks how many are in your party) if you can have a front row. Each row of the boat holds three to four people, depending on how fully grown your frog squad is! Sivako!
Whew! We know that's a lot to take in, but trust me when I say all the preparation will be toadally worth it. Have you been lucky enough to snag a Avatar Flight of Passage Individual Lightning Lane? Share your tips!
Related: Visitor's Guide to Pandora the World of Avatar