Everything You Need to Know About Na’vi River Journey

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You’re going on vacation to Walt Disney World! The only problem? You’re not sure which attractions are right for you and your kiddos and you have questions. Which attractions are too intense for little ones? What rides do I really need a FastPass+ reservation for? What’s the disability access like for certain attractions? We’re answering all those questions and more in our Everything You Need to Know attraction series with today’s focus on the Na’vi River Journey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

What Is Na’vi River Journey?

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The Na’vi River Journey is a slow-moving boat ride through Pandora’s bioluminescent rainforest. Guests float past Pandora’s exotic animals and glowing plants on their way to the Shaman of Songs. Na’vi River Journey is one of the two attractions found at Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Where Is Na’vi River Journey?

The Na’vi River Journey is located in Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

What Is the History of Na’vi River Journey?

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Pandora – The World of Avatar for Disney’s Animal Kingdom was officially announced in 2011. The land is a representation of the planet of Pandora seen in James Cameron’s 2009 Avatar film. The ambitious project was headed by Imagineer Joe Rohde, the original lead designer of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

Pandora – The World of Avatar and its attractions, Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey, both officially opened to guests on May 27, 2017.

What Do You Need to Know About the Queue for Na’vi River Journey?

There is an exterior and interior queue for Na’vi River Journey. The exterior queue winds through the exotic landscape of Pandora before leading into a covered queue which looks to have been constructed by the Na’vi and filled with totems and other Na’vi handiwork.  Even though it’s not enclosed or as extensive as the queue for Flight of Passage, it is impressively detailed and looks to have been crafted entirely out of natural materials from the light fixtures to even the switchback poles.

What Are the Ride Vehicles Like for Na’vi River Journey?

The Na’vi River Journey ride vehicles are boats which look to have been handcrafted out of reeds or grasses. The boats are smaller than what you typically find in a Disney boat ride. Each individual boat has only two rows and can seat about three adults comfortably per row.

What Do You Need to Know About the Ride Experience for Na’vi River Journey?

Na’vi River Journey is a 4 1/2 minute cruise through the colorful, glowing jungle of Pandora with a ride experience similar to “it’s a small world” or Living with the Land. There are no drops or thrills. Instead, the focus of the Na’vi River Journey is its colorful scenery and show elements.

Disney uses a combination of practical sets, transparent screens, and projection mapping to immerse guests in the lush, luminous plants and animals of the Pandoran jungle. It’s beautiful and highly detailed; however, some guests find this attraction confusing, as well as short, as there isn’t much of a plot.

The only progression in story is the music slowly becomes louder and clearer throughout the ride. At one point guests can see the Na’vi traveling together to a destination which guests later discover is the Shaman of Songs. This audio-animatronic is the highlight of the Na’vi River Journey and Disney’s most impressive to date! Her fluid motions, eye contact, and even off-key singing are truly lifelike.

What Do You Need to Know About Accessibility for Na’vi River Journey?

Wheelchair and ECV users must transfer to the ride vehicle.

What Do You Need to Know About the Health and Safety Advisories for Na’vi River Journey?

Thanks to this gentle ride experience, there are no health or safety advisories for Na’vi River Journey.

What Are the Height Restrictions for Na’vi River Journey?

There is no height restrictions for Na’vi River Journey. This attraction is suitable for all ages!

What Do You Need to Know About FastPass+ for Na’vi River Journey?

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Na’vi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage are both in a “choose only 1” FastPass+ tier, so for now you will only be able to reserve FastPass+ for one of the attractions in Pandora. Na’vi River Journey generates long waits so a FastPass+ will save you time. However, a Flight of Passage FastPass+ is the better choice if you can get it.

Does Weather Affect Na’vi River Journey?

Na’vi River Journey is located inside and out of the elements so weather will not affect the operation of this attraction. Still, since a portion of the queue is outdoors and the main queue is only covered and not indoors, the Florida heat and humidity can either be uncomfortable or a problem for some guests.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Ride Na’vi River Journey?

As is the rule for most Disney attractions, riding as soon as the park opens is your best bet for a short wait.

This chart shows you roughly how long you’ll wait for Na’vi River Journey when you visit on a day with a given Disney’s Animal Kingdom Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average “peak” wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it’s the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Na’vi River Journey Wait Times.

Did I answer all of your questions about Na’vi River Journey? Is this attraction at the top of your family’s vacation to-do list? Let us know in the comments.

Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

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