Pandora World, the new section of Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom dedicated to James Cameron’s Avatar, is now open to the public. Which means, of course, the public is now posting video of the inside of the two big rides — a 3D motion simulator called Flight of Passage and a boat ride called Na'vi River Journey.
According to The Verge’s Bryan Bishop, who visited Pandora World last week, “the premise is that visitors are on a tourist trip with a company called Alpha Centauri Expeditions, or ACE.” One hundred years have passed between the events of Cameron’s 2009 film and your time in the park, and “as part of the tourist package, visitors can use the movie’s namesake mind-projection tech to take control of an avatar and fly a wild Banshee (the flagship 3D simulator attraction Flight of Passage), or take a gentle boat ride through a bioluminescent landscape and meet the sacred Shaman of Songs on the Na’vi River Journey.”
You can see all that in the video above. The “lab” waiting area in the Flight of Passage ride is particularly detailed — there are informational plaques, “simulations,” and interactive exhibits to introduce Disney’s youngest tourists to the world of an eight-year-old movie they likely haven’t seen.
Na’vi River Journey looks like a solid attempt at a Disney World standard — the chill, air-conditioned ride through a neon reinterpretation of a popular fictional world. It’s not unlike the The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot, or Peter Pan’s Flight in the Magic Kingdom, until you get to the incredibly life-like Shaman of Songs. (She moves like a person and she’s singing!) As Bryan reported, she’s Disney’s most advanced animatronic ever — built off of years of accrued knowledge from experiments in improving the Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride and Hall of Presidents — and it shows. I’m a little afraid of it? It’s okay, I’m not a child anymore and I don’t have to go.
Here is a slightly more intimate POV than the first embedded Flight of Passage video, though it’s not in 4K: