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Is Avatar Flight of Passage Scary?: Everything to Know

Are you planning a trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom and wondering whether Avatar Flight of Passage is worth the hype? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

Avatar Flight of Passage is a 3D motion simulator ride located in Pandora, the World of Avatar.

The ride takes you on a thrilling journey through the fictional planet on the back of an Ikran, also known as a banshee.

So far no ride has topped the first time I rode Avatar Flight of Passage.

I wish I knew how they made it all happen because it is so unbelievably realistic. You truly feel like you are Na’vi flying on the back of a banshee!

As a massive fan of this attraction and Avatar in general, I’m here to answer all your questions about this thrill ride.

In this post, I’ll cover everything you need to know before taking flight on Avatar Flight of Passage, including best time to ride, its future, as well as answering the ultimate question: Is Avatar Flight of Passage scary?

Is Avatar Flight of Passage scary?

Photo of artwork depicting Na'vi, including one flying on an Ikran or banshee, along the queue for Avatar: Flight of Passage at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

The answer to the question on everyone’s mind really depends on everyone’s personal fear threshold.

Sometimes people don’t like dark rides but love fast ones or hate getting motion sickness but love jump scares.

Overall, Flight of Passage has some intense moments, with simulated movements that can feel quite real.

But in terms of it being scary, I would say it’s more thrilling than scary – especially after you’ve ridden it a few times.

The first few times I rode it, I had to close my eyes here and there to help avoid motion sickness and dizziness. And [SPOILER ALERT] there’s a jump scare moment in there as well.

That being said, if you’re prone to motion sickness or worry about other people getting sick, you may want to sit this one out.

The ride’s movements can be quite intense and the 3D effects may exacerbate motion sickness symptoms.

Now that we’ve gotten my thoughts out the way, let’s go over a few more facts about this ride that might contribute to scariness so you can decide if it’s too scary for you.

How long is Avatar: Flight of Passage?

Photo of amnio tanks with avatars and screens show sample "DNA scans" as part of the ride queue for Avatar: Flight of Passage.
Kent Phillips / Disney

The ride experience itself lasts just over 4 minutes, but there is a pre-show, as well.

The time it takes for the pre-show really depends on crowds and how many rooms they are operating.

What is the Flight of Passage seat like?

Photo of the Flight of Passage ride seats with numbers in front of each one.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

The Flight of Passage seat is shaped a bit like a motorcycle or bike. The seat positions you in a way that your torso and chest is pressed against the bike. A restraint comes from the back and holds you into place.

Due to the restraint, plus size riders might find it difficult or uncomfortable to ride. There are no seats that you can sit on to try it out, like TRON, unfortunately.

Suggesting a weight limit or height isn’t helpful because all bodies are different even if they are the same height and weight!

So if you’re worried about this, you may have to give it a try to see if it works for you.

Regardless of size, the restraints hold you pressed to the bike for several minutes. So if you have anxiety around being pinned down without an easy out, you’ll want to skip this ride.

Accessibility accommodations

Photo from the pre-show of Flight of Passage, showing closed captioning above the video presentation.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Avatar Flight of Passage offers several accessibility features that are readily available, such as audio description and closed captioning (as seen above).

Guests with mobility aids, such as a wheelchair, must be able to transfer to the ride vehicles on their own, as cast members cannot help with this.

In addition, service animals cannot stay in the ride room with you, but cast members can direct you to a private, secure spot where they can wait for you.

One of the last times I rode, someone had a service pup with them who was the goodest boy.

We actually had to abandon the ride room before we could ride, so the cast member helped the owner get their dog so they could wait in line with him until the ride was back up.

Overall, if you need further accommodations, check with a cast member at the attraction for more information and assistance.

Health and safety restrictions

There are a few health and safety restrictions for Avatar Flight of Passage.

First, there is a minimum height requirement of 44 inches with no exceptions.

Also, guests with certain medical conditions, such as heart, neck, or back problems, motion sickness, or high blood pressure may want to skip this ride as it could aggravate their conditions.

Lastly, if you are pregnant, Disney strongly advises that you skip this ride.

Is rider switch available?

Photo of sign outside the entrance to Pandora - World of Avatar that says "Welcome to the Valley of Mo'Ara - Pandora," along with a map and other facts for visitors.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Yes, rider switch is available for Avatar Flight of Passage.

If you’re traveling with a small child who isn’t tall enough or is too scared to ride, you can take turns riding while an adult waits with the child.

Genie+ and lightning lane info

Flight of Passage is not available as a Genie+ selection.

However, a lightning lane pass can be purchased individually, regardless of whether you have Genie+ or not.

According to Thrill Data, the average wait time for this ride is over 90 minutes, but it is known to creep into the several-hour range.

If you can’t or don’t want to rope drop Animal Kingdom, then I highly recommend getting a lightning lane for this ride to avoid the drastically long lines!

Is there a ride photo?

Photo looking down at feet in sandals with a glow-in-the-dark banshee carved into the pavement at Pandora - World of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Unfortunately there isn’t a ride photo on Avatar Flight of Passage. However, this area of the park is impeccably themed with lots of spots that are perfect for photos.

Occasionally there are PhotoPass photographers that take photos nearby the ride as well.

Best time to ride Flight of Passage

Photo of a cozy nook next to a pond and plants at Pandora - World of Avatar.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

The lines for Avatar Flight of Passage can be quite long, especially during peak season and holidays.

To avoid crowds and a long wait, try visiting the ride early in the morning or late in the evening.

If you have early morning magic hours with your resort stay, definitely take advantage of it and head straight to this ride right when Animal Kingdom opens.

If all else fails, snag a lightning lane pass, which becomes available at 7 AM on the dot.

The pass for this ride almost always sells out! However, you can usually still get it after the park opens, so it’s not 100% necessary to get it right at 7 AM unless you have a specific time in mind.

Another option is to hit up the line close to when the park closes. Often times the wait time will start going down as far out as an hour before!

This is my preference of all these options. I love to close out the park with a ride on Flight of Passage and then head back to my resort for a quick nap before closing out another park.

What’s next for this ride?

Photo still from the ride film portion of Avatar: Flight of Passage showing banshees flying through Pandora.

Nothing set in stone has been announced for the future of this ride.

Disney announced that it will be bringing an Avatar experience to Disneyland Resort. However, they stopped short of confirming which of the two parks and what exactly that entailed in their quarterly earnings call back in February 2023 (source).

At the very least, it’s exciting to know that something from Avatar will be coming down the road on the West Coast.

In addition, with the Avatar sequel out and another 2 Avatar movies on the way, director James Cameron has talked to Disney about it!

In an interview with Variety, he mentioned that he has pitched ideas to bring new simulation experiences to riders.


How cool would it be to be able to swim through the ocean on a Tulkan like in Avatar: The Way of Water? Or perhaps it could be a choose your own adventure type ride where you can ride the original experience or go through new ones, like with MISSION: Space?

Are you ready to ride Avatar Flight of Passage?

So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about Avatar Flight of Passage, from the ride’s features to its scariness level.

Whether you’re a die-hard Avatar fan or just looking for some thrills and adventure at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Avatar Flight of Passage is an attraction you won’t want to miss.

So, strap in and take flight on the back of a banshee – your adventure awaits!

This post was originally published July 9, 2023. It was last updated October 14, 2023.