I want to share my experience as a plus-sized princess and the Avatar Flight of Passage ride. Since I am longer afraid of most of the thrill rides at Disney World, I was so excited to experience the Avatar Flight of Passage ride at the Animal Kingdom in the new Land of Pandora. I was a little worried for my husband since he does experience motion sickness and we were given a special Fastpass that basically gave us a time for the ride before his Dramamine could really get set in.
Avatar Flight of Passage: The Line
The land of Pandora is a little hard to navigate as there are not many signs. On the plus side, Pandora is not a huge land. Once you enter Pandora, the Na’Vi River Journey is straight ahead and the Flight of Passage is to the right of that. I went to the Fastpass section (the stand-by line was not available) and started making my way to the ride. Similar to the Safari the Fastpass line is still a distance from the start but with one difference, this line is very inclined.
The theming inside is amazing! I had refreshed my memory and had watched Avatar the day before. You actually feel like you are walking through the facility where the avatars were held. Even the pipes were themed and labeled like in the movie.
Once you make into the main line, you are divided into groups of sixteen and go into a room to get decontaminated and matched to a Banshee. This is a very cool experience, you stand there and your image is on the screen. When you move, your image moves. There is a blast of air while you get decontaminated. They explain the premise of the ride, so even if you have not seen Avatar you know what is going on.
Avatar Flight of Passage: Will I Fit?
Then you make your way into another room where you get some final instructions and get your 3D glasses. I was getting nervous again, but not because of the ride, but because like most plus-sized guests on a new attraction, I was worried about not fitting.
Next, we were called to board our banshee. We walked in and I mounted the seat, it is similar to a motorcycle. I made sure my legs and knees were to the front of the ride as much as possible. I still had room in front of my stomach and tried leaning forward so that the back restraints would fit, and it did not. Two cast members came over to try to get it to work and it was a no go. I think my legs were a bit too long or I didn’t bend my legs enough. I am 5’11”. This ride is weird in that some fluffier people can ride and some skinnier people can’t. It is all about where your height is and where your weight is. My husband thinks that once the test vehicle comes out in front of the ride that I will be able to find a way to maneuver so that I can ride.
I had to make the somewhat embarrassing walk out of the room as did another person in my group of 16.
Exiting the Ride
Once you get off the ride, you have to walk down a couple flights of stairs to get to another flight of stairs outside to get to the gift store exit. I have a bad knee and was not excited about that. I can walk all day long, but stairs give me trouble. They do have elevators for guests with wheelchairs and scooters.
Avatar Flight of Passage: The Best Ride at Disney World
My husband gladly told me about the ride. He said it was amazing and an experience to not be missed. It is a somewhat of a Soarin’ ride experience, but on steroids. Even without his motion sickness medicine being fully effective, he said the motion was doable and he only felt a little off. He wants to ride it again.
I think the ride probably is awesome, I am just disappointed that some people won’t be able to experience it. I have been waiting 3 years to experience the World of Pandora and I felt heartbroken it was not accommodating like most of the other rides at Disney.
Want to hear another fluffier guest’s experience? Check out this article from WDW Info http://www.wdwinfo.com/walt-disney-world/the-scoop-on-flight-of-passage-for-guests-who-are-of-a-certain-size/
My Advice: Try it! Don’t let the fear of not fitting prevent you from trying. Grab a Fastpasss if you can. Cast Members said that there is going to be a test vehicle outside. I am going to be going back and seeing if possibly sitting a different way will get me on the ride.