Ten Things You May Not Know About Flight of Passage
1. An Unassuming Entrance
The entrance to the Flight of Passage is completely different from what most Disney Guests are accustomed. Instead of grand marquees or towering architecture that can visually draw Guests from the entire land, the entrance to Flight of Passage is very understated. This minimal theming helps to blend the attraction into the surrounding environment rather than create an unwelcome visual intrusion.
Look for the pair of “ACE” signs at the attraction’s entrance. “ACE” stands for Alpha Centauri Expeditions, and as you would expect, the Imagineers at Disney have crafted an elaborate backstory for ACE: “Until recently, deep space travel was only an adventure traveller’s dream. Now, Alpha Centauri Expeditions, together with Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, has made it possible to travel light years across space to Pandora – a world of beyond-belief expeditions and new possibilities for those seeking interplanetary travel. Our dream is that all those who crave exciting adventures in nature can find that with ACE. We look forward to helping you discover the wondrous beauty that the World of Pandora has to offer.”
3. Cave Art
Throughout the queue, be sure to closely examine the walls of the cave, where you will find numerous primitive drawings of the “Ikran,” the Na’vi word for banshees. These caves eventually transform into the long-abandoned barracks of RDA (Resource Development Administration); the company formerly responsible for the mining operations that took a devastating toll on the Pandora environment.
4. Is He Alive…?
However, the most dramatic portion of the Flight of Passage queue is the ultra-realistic Na’vi Avatar that is floating in a massive water tank. The Avatar is incredibly detailed, and appears to actually be breathing, complete with periodic twitching of his arms and legs.
5. Meeting Your Avatar
You’ll eventually enter an area where you will be genetically matched to your respective Avatar (a character that looks like the Na’vi but is controlled by you). But why is this necessary? Simple! Humans cannot ride banshees, only the Na’vi can by virtue of a special mental and spiritual connection. (But you knew that all along of course!)
6. How to Ride a Banshee
The ride “vehicles” for Flight of Passage are unlike any other in Walt Disney World. The best way to describe them is to say that they look like futuristic motorcycles, with each Guest having their very own “bike.” You board the ride vehicles by swinging one leg over the center of the vehicle in much the same way as you would ride a motorcycle or bicycle. You’ll then rest your chest against a central support.
7. Take Off!
A video screen is located directly in front of you, which displays a multitude of information about the linking process and other information about the attraction experience. When all Guests in the group are ready, the wall in front of the ride vehicles disappears, and the incredible sensation of flight aboard a massive banshee immediately begins! The visuals are displayed on a massive screen that curves around your line of sight, with almost no break in the visual continuity.
8. A Sensory Experience Like No Other
Like Soarin’, Flight of Passage also utilizes wind effects, water, and scent to further immerse you into the attraction experience. However, Flight of Passage utilizes these effects in a much more effective manner. For example, the wind effect matches the particular environment, with stronger gusts coming during faster paced moments.
9. Take a Deep Breath…
One of the best features is that the ride vehicles feature an air-bag type mechanism in the seat that expands and contracts periodically throughout the experience, which replicates the breathing of the banshee!
10. Music to Calm the Savage Beast
Although the visuals of the attraction alone are enough to make this is a true headliner attraction, don’t forget to listen amongst the eye candy. The London Symphony Orchestra recorded a captivating score for Flight of Passage, and it is a perfect fit for the setting, mood, and feel of the attraction.