• Na'vi River Journey

Na'vi River Journey

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Apr 17, 2024

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024

Na'vi River Journey
  • Year: 2017
  • Type: Boat Ride
  • Single rider line: No
  • Minimum Height: None
  • Ride Duration: 5min
  • Animatronics
  • Lacks Excitement
  • Long Queues

It looks like not much happens in this part of Pandora, after all

The world of Pandora is beautiful, isn't it? We have all seen it in the movies, and also in Avatar Flight of Passage, which is one of the best motion simulators in Disney World. Now imagine if you have the chance to take a boat ride in that world, encountering diverse alien fauna and flora, meeting the majestic Na'vi, and delving deeper into their rich culture. It would be an immersive adventure like no other, a dream come true, right?

Well, not exactly.

Compared to Avatar Flight of Passage, River Journey is just very passable. There is nothing wrong with it, though. It’s a traditional boat ride, which takes you through a bioluminescent forest in the world of Pandora. This means you will come face to face with all sorts of weird creatures as you explore this alien landscape. Yeah, it also means you will see animatronics based on those super tall blue guys known as the Na’vi. 

Animal Kingdom Navi River Standby lane.webp

Let’s start with the positives: the visuals are great. The animatronics are really well done, especially near the end, when you come face to face with a Na’vi shaman that ranks amongst one of the most advanced animatronics ever created by Disney. Everything is really colorful and pretty, just as James Cameron envisioned his precious Pandora. Thumbs up, guys!

Now, what is not-that-great? I have to say that the ride lacks a storyline and it’s not that exciting. Sure, boat rides (and even dark rides in general) don’t actually need any sort of excitement, but I do think that this ride lacks characters and something that we can feel attached to. Even if we ride something like Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid, we are looking forward to  coming face to face with Ariel. Or in Pirates of the Caribbean, with ships firing at each other and Jack Sparrow making an appearance near the end. Even something like It’s a Small World features a catchy song and you expect to find a dancing doll representing your country.

Animal Kingdom World of Pandora lake.webp
It's also beautiful outside Na'vi River Journey

There’s nothing like that in Na’vi River Journey. I don’t think guests can name a single character in that ride. If I’m being completely honest, I can’t even name someone from the movies, but that’s me. I think kids would even have a harder time connecting with the attraction. Sure, the animatronics are very well made, but they are just… there. Like, who are these guys?

And the worst thing about it? The queue times. Since the World of Pandora is still a relatively new area - and one of the best ones in Animal Kingdom - Na’vi River Journey gets packed very fast. Not as much as Flight of Passage, sure, but you will still need to face 50-70 min queues for a very typical boat road. If you’ve never been to River Journey, it might be fun to come once just to say that you explored every corner of Pandora.

Will Kids enjoy it?

This is a very safe choice for families with children that love to see something new and colorful. Honestly, Na’vi River Journey is a very meh ride if we are only considering a party of adults, but it can be a good choice for kids of all ages, especially toddlers. You can see a bunch of alien plants, creatures and the tall, blue Na’vi are exquisitely well made. 

This is also a very chill boat ride, even less intense than something like Magic Kingdom’s Pirates of the Caribbean. You won’t get wet, there aren’t any surprises coming out of nowhere and it features a grand total of zero drops. Just a chill ride to enjoy your time in Animal Kingdom with your family.

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