I had the great pleasure of attending the Press Preview of Pandora: The Land of Avatar as part of the Disney Parks Moms Panel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Wow. Just wow. My reaction to Disney ‘s Animal Kingdom’s Pandora is tangible amazement. The new land, Pandora: the World of Avatar, is an alien planet based on James Cameron’s movie, AVATAR. The land contains more lush greenery than you could ever imagine, from a picturesque photo opportunity around every turn, to floating mountains, to a giant Flaska Reclinata, which spits and glows in reaction to guest’s touch. The land contains a merchandise location with exclusive items, a beverage stand with themed offerings, a delicious quick service restaurant, two large restroom locations and two incredible attractions. One of those attractions, Flight of Passage, is an immersive 4-D experience in a simulator, allowing you to link with an Avatar and ride a Banshee. The Flight of Passage Rider Seat, which is similar to a bike, has come under much scrutiny as guests strive to understand how to seat themselves.
I used a good bit of my time in the preview (I was invited as a special part of the Disney Parks Moms Panel) to understand exactly how the seats work and possibly help to sway guest’s fears of using the seat. According to other sources, the Flight of Passage Rider Seat was not accommodating to guests of a certain size, and preview audiences clamored for a test seat in order to prevent guests from entering the queue, which can hold plenty of guests, and avoid wasting time if they could not be seated correctly. The ride does have a height requirement of 44″, which is the first thing a guest (or parent) needs to consider.
Secondly, Disney has placed a very colorful version of the Flight of Passage Rider Seat outside the queue for guests to test, experience, and decide if the ride is for them. After riding Flight of Passage itself a few times, I decided to partner with Lauren of Motherhood and Beyond to show you how to get in, out of, and around the Flight of Passage Rider Seat.
The seat, when fully engaged, feels like a big, strong hug. Your arms, shoulders, and head are free to move (though you should keep your hands on the handlebars!) and your legs are comfortably bent. Cast Members recommend that your feet should be flat on the ground, but I personally found it more comfortable to rest my knees in the nooks and have the balls of my feet on the ground. I’m 5′ 3″, so the short factor may be at play, here. Lauren did speak with a guest who was 6’10”, and he had no issues with the Flight of Passage Rider Seat, and felt comfortable. There were also guests of varying size and shape enjoying the attraction multiple times. I did not personally encounter a guest with an issue.
Here, you can see me entering, locking in, and exiting the Flight of Passage Rider Seat. The bike inside the attraction works exactly the same way. After the initial surprise of how snugly the harness fit, it was very encapsulating and comforting. When you get to experience the wild ride on the banshee, you’ll understand just why you need to be so tightly wrapped.