PHOTOS, VIDEO: New 6-Minute Behind the Scenes Look at Pandora Reveals More Than Ever Before; Banshee Is a Virtual Reality Ride

This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

If you stayed up to watch ABC’s Nightline last night, then you saw the most comprehensive and impressive preview to date of Pandora: The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The 6-plus-minute tour shows everything from Flight and Passage and the Navi River Journey, to the food and floating mountains of the land. Take a look:

Revealed in this video, it appears that the Banshee image that was leaked to us was just a test seat used at Walt Disney Imagineering during the early development of the Flight of Passage ride. Instead, guests will sit in a row in the seats pictured below and experience a “virtual reality” thrill ride.

In the interview, Landau states “This is where people will be able to link with a Banshee and actually fly across Pandora.” The pre-show experience matches you with your own personal Avatar. Guests then sit in the attraction in “link chairs” that connect to the Banshees virtually, which is all very similar to the film where humans become Navi people through Avatars. Nightline goes on to call the attraction a “Virtual Reality experience”, leading us to believe it will be a Soarin’-type ride system with 3-D and virtual reality technology at play to make you feel like you really are flying on the back of this creature. The link chairs do no have backs, so you will be seated as if you were riding a Banshee, but in the safety of seats with plenty of protection from falling.

The 6-plus-minute behind the scenes look is fascinating and shows way more than just these clips about Flight of Passage, so make sure that you check out the whole video above. You’ll even see more of the fantastic nighttime bioluminescent glow of Pandora… and its drinks…

Pandora: The World of AVATAR opens May 27th, 2017 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

I don’t know about you, but there are times when planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming! There are so many options, where to stay, when to go, is this the best price. So, I want to introduce you all to Cindy Minor and the team at Small World Big Fun. They will help you plan your Disney vacation for FREE. Contact them today!

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]


Click here to post a comment
  • IOW, Flight of Passage is just a knee jerk ditto reaction from Disney on Universal’s Harry Potter & the Scape from Gringotts. Got it

        • Hahahaha. DISNEY PETE is now taking on the name GregL…thats the same handle of the guy who basically made a complete fool of him in another post when Disney Pete posted over 100 replies. What a sociopath this Disney Pete is. I will agree the Flight of Passage isn’t very imaginative considering Potter, but Disney has gotten so cheap, we’re used to it. But Disney Pete, come on bud. You’re the laughing stock of this board!

  • Just like the whole Avatar land is a knee jerk ditto reaction to Universal’s Harry Potter land

      • You should cool it with the hyperbolic headlines then, your credibility with these “leaks” is pretty shot already. That article stated it was the ride vehicle, not that it was a prototype.

        • Face it Skippy, we live in the Trump era now. Tom can just say the most wild things and if he happens to be right he can boast and gloat and act like he’s greatest, and when he’s wrong he’ll just twist or outright lie about what he said to save face so he’ll always be “right”. It’s sad and pathetic that such petty stupid things are important enough to throw away integrity, assuming he even knows what that is of course.

    • The correct answer is Yes Andrew, it is not the real thing. The article in which Tom so readily points to is indeed wrong in that it is not a leaked image of the ride vehicles. If the article had pointed out at any time that it could be a prototype, than yes the article would have been correct. However, since the article states the picture is of THE ride vehicle that will be mounted onto the ride, than no it is not real.

  • I’m actually disappointed that the ride isn’t MORE like Forbidden Journey. It seems like it’s just soarin with a different chair and video.

  • It said it was virtual reality yet those were clearly not VR glasses. Do you think they mispoke and it is just 3d?

  • I wonder if the “glasses” connect to VR headsets. That would make it a lot easier to sanitize and speed up the load process if the people’s faces are not actually coming into contact with the headsets. That way they only have to clean the glasses.

  • I’m not currently somewhere that I can watch the video, do they mention the breathing of the banshees? This is starting to sound more like a cross between Soarin’ and Alien Encounter. I’m not really seeing a comparison to Potter other than the insane level of detail in the land as a whole. Which of course it would seem like a knee jerk reaction to Potter, what would you expect them to do, absolutely no detail? Oh wait they already did that with Chester and Hester.

  • I hope they eventually re-theme the dinosaur area so it does not look so junky. I wish they would make the dino area like you were going back in time and they had prehistoric plants and other things like they have the alien plants at Avatar. Why can’t they make the dinosaur area nice instead of it being junky Chester & Hester’s? They are so cheap sometimes.

Lost Bros

Latest Videos