Inside Flight of Passage, Disney World's newest ride

By Ashley Carter, Attractions Insider
Last Updated: Thursday, May 18, 2017, 5:06 PM EDT

Flight of Passage is one of the new attractions inside Disney World’s newest land, Pandora-The World of Avatar.

It’s the most anticipated ride to open at Disney World this summer, or at least the one at the park generating the most buzz.

Pandora is currently in previews, meaning only a limited number of people have been allowed inside (media, cast members and annual passholders).

Flight of Passage is amazing. Using simulators, Disney Imagineers have created an attraction that makes riders feel as though they're riding on the back of a banshee — a flying creature in the world of Avatar.

From beginning to end, it’s an immersive experience.

Walking through the queue, riders will encounter mountains, waterfalls and a cave filled with Na’vi drawings.

Riders will also walk through a research facility, catching a glimpse of a life-size Avatar.

Riders are then taken to a room to be paired with an Avatar. It’s a two-step process, but in an effort to avoid spoilers, it won’t be mentioned in detail here.

After riders are paired, they climb aboard a mountain banshee (a motorcycle-type chair) positioned in front of a large screen. Once the ride restraints are locked, the world of Pandora comes to life as riders dive and swoop across the sky.

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Special effects — such as water, wind and smells — help immerse riders in the experience.

However, some visitors who have been to Pandora previews have not been able to ride Flight of Passage.

In some instances, seats were not able to accommodate larger riders — those who are very tall and those who are heavier.

The issue seems to be with the locking mechanism. As previously mentioned, riders have to sit on a “link chair,” which resembles a motorcycle, and lean forward. Restraints then lock down on riders' backs. But, for some larger people, the mechanisms may not lock, which is a safety issue.

And it’s not uncommon for theme park attractions to list certain restrictions for safety reasons — height, for example.

If you're concerned that you might not fit on Flight of Passage, test seats eventually will be placed outside the attraction, a Disney spokesperson said Thursday.

It’s important to note that attraction has only been available to people attending previews, not the general public. So adjustments to the ride could be made between now and opening day.

Pandora-The World of Avatar opens May 27 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.