We’re heading out to the moon of Pandora to check out the Na’vi River Journey Ride ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. In this alien world, mountains float, plants glow, and you can take a relaxing ride through the bioluminescence landscape of Pandora. Check out our Na’vi River Journey ride guide below!
|Opening Date||May 27, 2017|
|Type||Slow boat ride|
|FastPass+||Yes, Tier 1|
|Extra Magic Hours||Yes, morning|
|Ride Length||5 min|
Na’vi River Journey Ride Location
Na’vi River Journey is located within Pandora – The World of Avatar. Located peripherally to Flight of Passage and the floating mountains of Pandora, you’ll find Na’vi River Journey tucked away in a corner of the themed land.
Just like Flight of Passage, you’ll be looking for a small circular tarp to signify the entrance to the attraction. You won’t find too much signage in the area and there is no flashy entrance.
If you’re having some difficulty finding the queue entrance, look for the large Shaman of Songs woven totem that denotes the entrance.
Na’vi River Journey Queue
Compared to Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey has a more modest queue, nearly 100% outdoors, but majority of it covered. The majority of the queue that you’ll likely be waiting in is a switchback under cover from the elements.
While there are some nice, woven elements in the queue, you won’t be blown away by any means.
FastPass+ is offered at Na’vi River Journey. While a good rope drop strategy would negate the need for a FastPass+, we really don’t like waiting around in this queue. Your first choice at Disney’s Animal Kingdom should be Flight of Passage, but securing Na’vi River Journey will free up your options and ensure that you don’t have to wait upwards of an hour or more during the middle of the day.
FastPass+ bypasses a lot of the frankly boring switchback sections of the queue and should allow you to get on the attraction in about 10 minutes.
Grouping and Seating
As you can see in the photo below, your reed boat ride vehicle consists of two rows that Cast Members try to fill up at all times. Each row can typically fit 3 or 4 guests and Cast Members will attempt to put groups together to hit full capacity.
Na’vi River Journey Wait Times
Na’vi River Journey has an average wait time of about 75 minutes. Waits are typically very low at rope drop and into the first hour of the day, but shoot up just before lunch and stay high until after sunset.
If you have a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage, you can comfortably rope drop Na’vi River Journey and walk right on to the attraction. If you don’t have a FastPass+ for Flight of Passage, we recommend rope dropping Flight of Passage and you’ll still experience low waits at Na’vi River Journey if you’re able to get onto it in the first hour of the day.
If you want to ride Na’vi River Journey with some of the lowest wait times, we recommend visiting during the first hour or last hour of the day.
Na’vi River Journey Ride Review
While Flight of Passage remains the magnet that draws guests into Pandora – The World of Avatar, we think Na’vi River Journey is just as beautiful of a ride and worth your time.
At the end of the day, Na’vi River Journey reminds us of the parts of Pirates of the Caribbean before any of the action. It’s a peaceful 5 minute ride through the Pandoran jungle with the payoff being a really impressive “Shaman of Songs” audio-animatronic.
Your enjoyment of the ride really depends on the expectations you set going in. While Flight of Passage is an action-packed, story-driven ride, Na’vi River Journey has no discernible storyline or conflict. That said, the ride is a beautiful extension of the rest of Pandora – The World of Avatar and provides a wonderful opportunity for Imagineers to create the bioluminescent moon of Pandora in a controlled environment. There are a couple of set tricks that work pretty well on the first few ride throughs, ultimately making it a relaxing and enjoyable re-ride.
As we said earlier, there really isn’t much of a storyline here beyond a slow ride through a bioluminescent forest on an alien moon. That said, here are some of the details released of the story from Disney.
As guests approach the iconic floating mountains and waterfalls on Pandora, a towering totem beckons. Paying homage to the mystical Shaman of Songs, the massive totem was delicately woven by the Na’vi, the indigenous people of Pandora, and celebrates the shaman’s deep connection to the life force of Pandora.
The totem also invites guests to venture further into grottos that lead to the mystical river – and an eventual encounter with the shaman.
At the water’s edge, guests board those reed boats. Barely have the boats cut the first ripples of water when a Na’vi warrior appears. With a nod, he grants passage to the human voyagers, and soon an amazing scene unfolds. A spectacular bioluminescent rainforest surrounds guests. By day or night, boats pass through this darkened world, pushing deep into a jungle alive with exotic glowing plants and traversed by Pandoran creatures.
Keen observers will notice that the animals and Na’vi are moving in the same direction as they make their way to see the shaman. Music is heard, which means the shaman is not far off.
“Na’vi River Journey is a very sweet, lyrical adventure through a spectacular visual environment that just becomes more and more spectacular as you go on,” explains Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering portfolio creative executive. “The bioluminescent activity of the plants around you unfolds in richer and richer scenes in really just a very uplifting, wonderful kind of journey.”
The journey builds to an encounter with the remarkable Shaman of Songs. Like most Na’vi, she is nearly 10 feet tall.
Music is central in Na’vi culture. Guests observe the shaman in the midst of a musical ceremony, playing an instrument and singing. This mystical journey culminates in an encounter with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs, who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora and sends positive energy out into the forest through her music.
“There is a real edge to our Pandora,” he said, “just like the rest of Animal Kingdom. When guests get here and really look around, they will see there’s this edge, this little adventurous edge on the land. Na’vi River Journey helps complement that edge.”
Na’vi River Journey Ride Ride News
Here is the latest news about Na’vi River Journey Ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
In an effort to decrease wait times for Na’vi River Journey, Disney has installed plexiglass on all of the ride…
Guests taking a leisurely trip down a Na’vi river came across quite the sight recently as the impressive Na’vi Shaman…
With Disney’s Animal Kingdom now open, we wanted to take a closer look at the Na’vi River Journey safety measures…
We’re heading out to the moon of Pandora to check out the Na’vi River Journey Ride ride at Disney’s Animal…
After an early closure of Pandora – The World of Avatar last night, Cast Members stayed well after Animal Kingdom…
Na’vi River Journey is closed again today, the third day in a row where the attraction isn’t operating. Nearby, Flight…