Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom have reopened earlier this week for special Cast Member and Annual Passholder previews and we’ve been bringing you along with us to explore both parks before their official grand reopening this Saturday!
We’ve already gotten to ride a newly reopened Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and took our first plunge on Splash Mountain since mid-March! But now we’re hopping over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to ride one of the most popular attractions at Disney World — Flight of Passage!
Our friend @allisonxella on Instagram let us know what’s was happening over at Animal Kingdom during the Cast Member preview that took place on Tuesday, but today we were finally able to experience the ride for ourselves and a few things have changed!
First of all, we couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw Avatar Flight of Passage only had a five-minute wait time during the Cast Member preview! Was the My Disney Experience app broken or something? 😉 This ride usually has a least a two-hour standby line!
But the reports actually appeared to ring TRUE! Our friend pretty much walked straight through the line in record time!
And when we arrived this morning, we got on the ride in only a few minutes too! But once we got off, we noticed the wait time for Flight of Passage had crept up A LOT! It seems you might only have a five-minute wait if you get in line first thing in the morning — but we’ll keep an eye on this situation and see what develops.
Waiting in Line
At present, every ride at Disney World is only utilizing standby queues during the initial phased reopening. That means there’s currently no FastPass option to ride Flight of Passage “and, uh… fly!” Check out how the Flight of Passage sign looks now– they’ve completely covered up the FastPass entrance sign!
Social-distancing markers have been placed at roughly 6-foot intervals throughout Flight of Passage’s rather lengthy standby line space. They’re prominently positioned outside along the winding mountain trail and continue the entire length of the queue!
We noticed the mid-queue restrooms were open for guests to use.
The drinking fountains were operational.
And the water bottle refilling station was also still working.
Plexiglass barriers have been installed in tighter areas of the queue area where switchbacks occur to keep guests socially distanced from each other.
As you can see, these barriers keep guests separated where the lines wrap around.
Guests were being moved quickly through the laboratory area of the queue. Normally we don’t mind spending a little extra time in this room to appreciate all the details and science experiments that are happening, but our friend said the line moved so FAST that the room was all a blur!
That was pretty much our experience today as well, although we did get to snap a quick pic of our snoozing Avatar friend!
Plexiglass barriers have also been installed in this section where the queues break apart and guests are assigned to their boarding groups.
There are also social distancing markers in this area so each party can spread out.
Flight of Passage normally has a two-part pre-show experience before your journey officially begins. Guests will either be sent to the Dr. Stevens briefing room or Dr. Ogden briefing room — not both. Both rooms will show the same pre-show video at the same time.
Only three parties were allowed in the room at one time and the part where you’re scanned for “Pandoran micro-parasites” and paired up with an Avatar is skipped over for now.
The Ride Experience
Cast Members hand out 3D glasses (like they normally do). Two link chairs are left empty between each party and up to three parties are seated per row.
Aside from having to wear a face mask the entire time, Flight of Passage looked and felt just as she remembered it! You know — breathtaking visuals, lots of swooping and diving, all while feeling your banshee panting and flapping its wings! At the end of the ride, 3D glasses get returned in the same bins they normally use for sterilization before being redistributed.
Hand sanitizer was also available to us as we exited.
We still exited through the Windtrader Shop.
And it looks like adopt-a-banshee is still available, although you might have to wait for assistance.
We’ll keep monitoring the wait times of Flight of Passage since we know many of you guys are excited about riding this popular attraction with a minimal wait. Stay tuned for more info which we’ll be posting shortly!
What’s your favorite attraction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!