A new Avatar Flight of Passage update could blow up Animal Kingdoms wait times

New Attractions And Entertainment At Walt Disney Parks And Resorts
New Attractions And Entertainment At Walt Disney Parks And Resorts / Handout/GettyImages

Avatar: Flight of Passage has been open since May of 2017 and it remains one of the most popular attractions at any Disney World park. What if the attraction was updated?

There has been a lot of speculation that Avatar the motion picture, could bring more to the current Animal Kingdom ride. Director and creator James Cameron spoke about that very thing in 2022 ahead of the release of Avatar: The Way of Water.

It seems that Disney may be on board with it as well but nothing has been done in terms of upgrading the visuals of the attraction. Over on Allears.net, they reported a new construction permit has been filed for work at the building that houses both Flight of Passage and Na'Avi River Journey.

They speculated that perhaps this could lead to a new visual but they too offer caution. It is possible that this could be something that has to do with the current show. Recently I was in Animal Kingdom and rode the attraction three times during my week long trip to Disney World.

I noticed that the visuals were off during the ride. The 3D glasses that bring the attraction to life were not working the way they had in the past. It wasn't crystal clear like before, and there were many times that halos and double imagery were seen quite clearly that shouldn't have been.

It would make a lot of sense that this is something they will be working on and the permit could be nothing more than working on the matrix of the ride to get things aligned back to normal. I'm not sure if they would need to file an actual permit that covers construction and electrical work if they were simply going to change the motion film. While I don't know how that is projected, I would assume you could easily change out the reel so to speak.

As for the prospect of a new 3D immersive film for the attraction, we have to believe that it might just blow up the attendance at Animal Kingdom. F.O.P. has consistently been one of the longest waits for any ride at any Disney park since it opened. In the early months and first year, wait times easily exceeded 3 hours and a few times four.

Today, it still remains a 70 minute plus wait on a good day, and rarely will it dip below that number even if the actual wait time comes in less. The ride is extremely popular.

One reason the ride remains an attraction that guests are willing to wait for is the length. The ride is just over 4 minutes long and the visuals are stunning along with the 4D aspects of the attraction.

Add to that the simple fact that there are a total of 9 different angles to view the attraction from. Each ride has three top rows of 8 "avatar" seats, three across the middle, and another three sections on the bottom. The ride can take as many as 72 guests per run.

Depending on where you are slotted, the ride can have a slightly different feel with a viewing angle that allows you to see things a bit differently and that can make the ride feel fresh. As many times as I have ridden it, sitting in a different section will make me feel like I missed something from the previous time I rode it.

A new 3D film would put that ride's wait time over the 3.5-hour mark easily for most of its first year. It would increase the Genie+ purchases for Animal Kingdom and may even roll out with a queue system similar to Tron and Guardians of the Galaxy.