Posts Tagged ‘Flight of Passage’

Five Things You Need to Know About Flight of Passage

by on June 26, 2017

Animal Kingdom’s Pandora – The World of Avatar officially opened on May 27th; and apart from the floating mountains, Flight of Passage has generated most of chatter and acclaim. This new attraction grants guests the experience of flight aboard a banshee. Flight of Passage has been described as a combo of Soarin’ and Star Tours, which is a fair comparison. Sort of. Flight of Passage uses both 3D and simulation, but is so unique and advanced that it’s changing the theme park game. After a flight or two on a banshee at Pandora, I’ve compiled a list of Five Things You Need to Know About Flight of Passage for those of you about to take flight and rise to the challenge!

1. You Are Riding Solo

Unlike other attractions at Walt Disney World, each guest riding Flight of Passage has their own ride vehicle or link chair. Guests straddle the link chair as they would ride a bike and both leg and back restraints keep guests sitting securely. The link chairs are positioned in rows and situated close to another; however, Flight of Passage is very much an individual experience. I believe this is worth noting for guests apprehensive about certain attractions or who are claustrophobic and for kids. The height requirement is 44″, about the average height of 7 or 8 year old. Be sure your child is prepared for the restraints, which limit movement, and riding relatively separate from you and others.

Note: Some larger or taller guests have had difficulty with Flight of Passage’s ride vehicle restraints to the point where some haven’t been able to ride. A test seat of the ride vehicle is located outside the attraction for guests to try out; however, it only provides an idea of the ride vehicle’s seat. This means guests who had no issues with the test seat may experience difficulties with the actual ride vehicle and still could be prevented riding.

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Review: Pandora – The World of Avatar

by on May 15, 2017

How We Got to Pandora

The success of Universal’s Harry Potter lands – Hogsmeade Village at Islands of Aventure and Diagon Alley at Universal Studios – put the fear of God into Disney’s theme park management. The idea that their closest competitor could turn a worldwide film franchise into an immersive, immense tourist draw probably caused more sleepless nights than a warehouse full of wool pajamas. What Disney wanted desperately was to make sure they got the next big franchise for their own parks.

Valley of Mo'ara in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom

The problem that Disney faced was that only a handful of writers like J.K. Rowling can produce globally beloved stories worth billions of dollars: Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, and James Cameron are on the short list. With Spielberg and Lucas nearing retirement, however, and Peter Jackson reportedly non-committal, Disney signed Cameron to a theme park development deal for his Avatar film franchise in September 2011.

That Avatar deal puzzled many Disney theme park fans, including us. Yes, Avatar is the second-highest grossing film of all time (Gone with the Wind is #1), earning more than $3 billion in inflation-adjusted ticket sales since its release in 2009. But it did so because of its then-revolutionary 3-D digital effects, not its writing. Avatar, we joked, was the film everyone saw about characters nobody liked. For Disney, whose motto had always been “It all begins with a story,” building rides based on Avatar was going to be its own kind of alien experience.

Disney tapped Joe Rohde, now an industry legend, to bring Avatar to life at the Animal Kingdom. Camp Minnie-Mickey was demolished to make way, its Festival of the Lion King stage show moved to the park’s Africa section. Five years of construction ensued – long enough for Universal to build a couple more hotels, several new rides, and an entire water park. Disney’s gamble on the Avatar franchise seemed riskier by the day.

Is Pandora Better than Diagon Alley?

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SATURDAY SIX: 6 Disney references in James Cameron’s AVATAR you might have missed

by on April 1, 2017

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at 6 Disney references in James Cameron’s AVATAR! Longtime readers of the SATURDAY SIX know we are pretty much obsessed when it comes to Hollywood movies or TV shows having references to our beloved theme parks. We’ve done articles on shows such as Roseanne and Boy Meets World going to Walt Disney World. We looked at movies such as Sharknado 3 and Ace Ventura Pet Dectective Jr. (yes, it actually exists) that were filmed at the Universal Orlando Resort. Remember when The Simpsons made all those jokes about theme parks over the years? We do. Let’s be honest, which blog series in the entire internet is brave enough to watch the ENTIRETY of Hulk Hogan’s Thunder in Paradise series just to find out which scenes were shot at WDW? Only us.

What many humans would have logically concluded as a monumental waste of time was instead training for our greatest achievement, discovering all the Disney references in James Cameron’s Avatar.

Avatar was a worldwide phenomenon making over $2.7 BILLION at the box office. To put that number in perspective, Star Wars: The Force Awakens barely crossed the $2 Billion mark and we all remember what a hit that was. However, when Disney announced it was building an entire land around the film Avatar, many people thought they were crazy. The movie just didn’t have the memorable characters that franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter, or the animated Pixar film Cars. Turns out Disney was crazy… like a fox! While all of us were marveling over the gorgeous 3D landscape of Pandora on the big screen Disney had tossed in a whole bunch of Easter Eggs into Avatar that have gone undiscovered until now. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the Disney references, and let’s kickoff the countdown with…

# 6 – Lapu Lapu

For those that remember (ah, who are we kidding?), after the wheelchair bound Jake is transferred into his N’avi “Avatar,” he immediately begins to run and test out his new body. Jake ran into the Avatar for the character played by Sigourney Weaver, and she threw him a piece of fruit that was indigenous to Pandora’s eco system. Turns out, that wasn’t just a normal fruit, that was actually the pineapple based Lapu Lapu from Disney’s Tambu Lounge! Like Jake, we the audience were so blow away by the new world we had entered that we didn’t see this small – but important – detail.

Jake holding a Lapu Lapu, which an indigenous drink to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. (photo by Matt Cleary)

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New Details and a Recap of What to Expect When Exploring Pandora – The World of Avatar

by on March 10, 2017

Pandora - The World of Avatar

©Disney

Wow! Yesterday was a flurry of new information all about Pandora – World of Avatar courtesy of a plethora of ABC shows -“The Chew”, “Good Morning America“, “The View“, and “Nightline.”  The goal of these spots were clearly to get excitement ramped up and it most certainly worked!

So if you’re looking forward to the official opening of this new land as much as I am, here’s what you should know courtesy of recent news developments. (If you want to avoid minor spoilers about the land, stop reading now. This is your only warning!)

According to James Cameron. The story is that we are found in a generation of Pandora after all the movies when the warfare between the humans and Na’vi is over. The Na’vi have welcomed us to Pandora to help us understand nature and ourselves better. Essentially, we are welcome because we are here to learn and educate ourselves.

There are two Pandoras that Guests will get to experience. Day and night. Trust me, you will want to see this place lit up at night!

Guests walk through an opening and will be immersed in the Valley of Mo’ara. Here, Guests can walk right under the enormous floating mountains. The land is lush and is a mixture of earth plants and Pandorian foliage that all helps to gives the idea that it’s a real ecosystem. Of course, these plants will come to life with beautiful bioluminescence each night.

The Valley of Mo’ara will also include a Na’vi-built drum circle that will contain instruments that are playable by all, Na’vi totems and other cultural items found. For those who are Wilderness Explorers fans, there will be brand new challenges and badges to collect in Pandora too! Guests who visit may even come across tour guides from Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative (PCI), or even an eclectic expat or two!

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Pandora – The World of Avatar to Open Memorial Day Weekend at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on February 7, 2017

Pandora - The World of Avatar Opening Date

©Disney

After YEARS of hype and build up, we officially have an opening date! Pandora – The World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on May 27!

This new land will transport guests to the visually stunning world of Pandora, straight from the film Avatar. In Pandora, guests will wonder at floating mountains and bioluminescent plants as they make their way through the enchanting land.

Walt Disney Imagineering has collaborated with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment is bringing to life the mythical world of Pandora, inspired the film, Avatar, to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

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