Avatar Fail? Some Larger Guests May Not Fit on the New Ride in Walt Disney World’s Pandora

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Are you looking forward to the new Avatar Flight of Passage ride in Pandora – The World of Avatar?

Well, let’s just hope you can actually fit on it.

According to Disney fans who’ve been to the preview, Avatar Flight of Passage might not accomodate larger riders. By larger, we mean those who are “Pooh sized” or “fluffy,” as well as those who are very tall.

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The problem seems to be the ride mechanism itself, which looks like a cross between an old arcade motorcycle game and a mechanical bull. Riders are strapped into these seats, but people who are heavier or taller apparently can’t have the restraints safely locked down on their bodies.

Here is a video of the pre-show as well as the ride vehicles.


Just how many people does this exclude from riding the new attraction? One poster on WDW Info estimates something like 22%.

I walked through the second room of sixteen people and saw four empty seats where “fluffy” people had to leave. I then sat down on a bench and had a great conversation with a very nice Cast Member while my kids enjoyed the attraction. She actually shared with me that they are keeping track of guests who have had to get off the ride because they couldn’t lock the seat. She told me that they have been taking note each time someone has to leave so that hopefully something might be able to change (…) I walked through two rooms of sixteen people on my way out. Of those thirty-two people, seven had to get off of the attraction because their seats couldn’t be locked. Just a little math here – that means that 22% of the guests within those two rooms could not ride because of their size. TWENTY-TWO PERCENT.

D’oh!

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But hey, if you can’t experience the attraction for yourself, here’s a complete POV ridethrough of what you’re missing…

“Seven Dwarfs Mine Pain”

Flight of Passage isn’t the first Disney attraction that has drawn criticism for being designed for smaller people. The Magic Kingdom’s newest attraction, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, is a “Mine Pain” for taller and heavier people.

I know this firsthand because I am over 6 foot 3 inches tall and had my one and only terribly uncomfortable ride last year. My legs are long and my feet could not touch the floor of the car. I literally rode with my knees on the headrest of the person in front of me, sort of doubled over in the fetal position.

The bucket seats, I’m told, are just as uncomfortable for heavier people as they seem to be designed for very tiny people… children, or ANTS!

Granted, it is a kiddie coaster. But I have had no problem with any other Disney ride, not even the Barnstormer. The BARNSTORMER.

Americans are just… bigger.

I don’t know if Disney Imagineering has just gotten in the habit of designing rides for overseas audiences or what. But the classic Disney rides didn’t have this issue, and frankly Americans weren’t as big as they are now back in the 60s and 70s.

So what gives, here?

Hopefully Disney takes larger people into consideration going forward and can find a way to make accommodations for Flight of Passage in the near future.

Have you ridden Avatar Flight of Passage? Is it a ride for ants? Or is all of this blown out of proportion?


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I've loved Disney as long as I can remember. As a former newspaper editor, web developer, and Disney comics freelancer, I'm able to combine that experience into writing about Disney online. I'm also the co-host of a Disney fan podcast called 'Pirates & Princesses.' Opinions mine.

5 COMMENTS

    • We come in all shapes and sizes and whilst Talliman’s opinion about the state of the world today is fascinating, Disney has made terrific attempts to accommodate everyone in it’s past rides. Clearly, the above poster either didn’t read the article in it’s entirety, or else they were so overcome with rage at the prospect of overweight people having fun, that they missed that it also affects taller people too. Hopefully, Disney can make the adjustments over the ongoing weeks and bring Flight Of Passage in line with all their other rides.

  1. After years of build up and anticipation…is anyone else disappointed that they only created a motion simulator ride and boat ride? All this new ride tech went into Shanghai and this is the best they could come up with for WDW? Sad.

  2. I’m not tiny by any means. I’m “average” or “within a healthy BMI” as my doctor says. I actually noted how MUCH room there was in the seat. My husband (5’11” and 300+lbs) wasn’t with us on this trip, do I can’t vouch for how the attraction falls for obese riders. I can remember specifically having to hold an arched back throughout the ride (both times), but I guess we will see how it pans out. I do think this may be blown out of proportion because, while there Sunday, I personally rode along side several larger guests.

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