Flight of Passage, the newest addition to Animal Kingdom is amazing! There, now that it has been said, let me tell you that the line to get in is overwhelmingly long. During our recent trip, we followed the age-old advice regarding Disney in the summer: Early into the park, back to the hotel for swimming , lunches, and possible naps (adults need these) then back to the park in the cooler evening temps. The photo above was taken on our second trip riding through the Pandoran skies. You may notice that there are empty cues, and wonder, “How did they do that?” We did it by waiting until the evening rain was down to a sprinkle and headed into AK about 8:30 p.m. Since so many people were getting in line for the River of Light show, it gave us the opportunity to jump into a shorter, faster moving line. *During our stay Animal Kingdom was staying open until 1:00 a.m.
As a matter of fact, when we got to the Stand-By line for Flight of Passage, so many people had failed to show for their Fast Pass times (it really was pouring), that they sent us directly into the Fast Pass line!! By riding at night, we maximized our vacation time, our health, and our enjoyment of the ride. Daytime lines were running close to three hours during the ninety-something temps, with 90% humidity, and neither of us was interested in a line that long with no bathroom easily accessible (really, NONE!). Our first night waiting in line was predicted to be 1.5 hours, and we were in and out in just about an hour. Nocturnal Disney is the way to go! In the photo to the left, above, you can see the crowd behind us seems never-ending, but it moved pretty quickly.
As usual, the staging was great. Imagineers created the feeling of being underground, surrounded by the unseen, but often-heard banshees (kind of like being in a dark alley and hearing the rats skittering about) ! About one-third of the que was twisty-turning little pathways with enough width for a scooter to move through fairly easily. There were pockets of air conditioning throughout the wait. The second third I’d call the climb to the laboratory. This is where you come out of the cavern-style surroundings, covered in Na’vi art and artifacts, and find yourself corralled by pipes, blocking your view to the lab. The lab is very impressive, if not downright scary inside, with all kinds of specimens visible. My favorites are the three, shiny, black blobs reacting to the level of pollution in the water. The blue ‘vent’ overhead pulses and blinks, like a transporter, making you wonder what’s going to happen next.
Before you enter the final third of the que, you’re matched to an Avatar with whom you will later be ‘synced’. Once you stow your gear, and put on your safety glasses, you are securely restrained on the cycle-like ride. I was very worried about getting into the ride, as I am a substantial piece of womanhood, and had heard of some disappointing experiences however, I fit! What follows is an intense, single-rider flight throughout Pandora, riding on the back of a banshee. The sensations can be very overwhelming. After the ride, I found my throat sore, from screaming. The smell of the rich dark soil of the Na’vi jungle, the wind against my face as I soared downward, and the visual stimulation had me fully involved in the journey. At one point, I found myself holding my breath as my banshee and I squeezed between branches, trying to make our escape.
Was it worth the wait? Only you can decide that for yourself. But, in the high heat of summer, if you head out in the evening when it is cooler, you may find that YES, it really was worth it!
Trish and Bob Barker are Authorized Disney Vacation Planners with Main Street Adventures. They welcome the chance to book a fantastic journey through Disney, and remind you that all of their Disney planning services are free! Email them now, about your family’s amazing adventure. Upcoming events like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween, Very Merry Christmas Party, and the Epcot Food and Wine, or Flower and Garden shows are booking now!Rates for 2018 packages have been released, too!
Email Trish or Bob, and give them an idea of when you’d like to travel, who you’d like to take, and what you really want to experience.