How Na'Vi River Journey Works and Other Awesome Ride Facts

When planning a family getaway, especially to a popular destination such as Disney World, it is vital that you plan ahead. Not only because of the popularity of the park but because there are simply so many attractions that are considered “must see,” you don’t want to end up missing something great!

The Na’vi River Journey is one of those attractions, and here’s why.

Enter the World of Pandora

Disney is always improving on its many theme parks and attractions. After the amazing success of the movie Avatar in 2009, it came as no surprise that the theme park would want to create some extra magic for their guests.

In order to truly create a one-of-a-kind experience for park visitors, Disney decided to recreate the world of Pandora. This meant creating the world from the ground up as in the plant life, wildlife and the people of Pandora, aka the Na’Vi people.

Located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, the park is known as Pandora – The World of Avatar draws in public with both visually appealing scenery and attractions that would allow guests to become one of the Na’Vi people truly. Within this area are three different attractions for visitors to experience, along with multiple different entertainment features and food experiences.

The three main attractions include the Na’Vi River Journey, Avatar Flight of Passage and Valley of Mo’ara. For this article, we will be focusing on the Na’Vi River Journey attraction.

Fast Facts on The Na’Vi River Journey


Source: Theme Park Tourist

Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park; Pandora – The World of Avatar

Age Interest: All Ages

Thrill Level: Slow Ride

Ride Length: 5 Minutes

Na’Vi River Journey Uses Advanced Animatronics

Sure, Disney has been known for their advancements in many aspects of their parks, such as ride improvement and an increase in food options throughout each of their theme parks.

What makes the Na’Vi River Journey so noteworthy is the fact that Disney went above and beyond with their animatronics used within the rid.

Riders begin by boarding one of two raft-like vehicles. These rafts have two rows of seats that can comfortably seat up to three adults. From there, riders head off on a journey through the jungle setting.

Make sure to really soak it all in because riders get to experience not only actions shots displayed on semi-transparent screens,  but also get to view beautiful, glowing plants and other creatures that call this world their home.  

The ride ends by visitors coming face-to-face with the Na’Vi Shaman of Songs. She shows the visitors her special connection to the life force of all of Pandora by sending out positive energy, which viewers can see as she touches various plant life around her.

While the scenery throughout the ride is rather stunning, it is the animatronic Shaman that really stands out. Thanks to Disney’s advanced abilities in animatronics, the Shaman of Songs is easily one of the most lifelike creatures in not only this ride but throughout the theme park.

Fun Facts from The World of Pandora

Valley of Mo'ara

While rider’s get a good feel for the world of Pandora during their ride through the Na’Vi River Journey, it’s important to explore the entire world of Pandora in order to get the full experience.

Visitors get some great background of the lands of Pandora thanks to the Pandora – The World of Avatar theme park, and below, we have listed only a few of the facts that seem to stand out most for visitors.

Bioluminescent Lands

Does the world of Pandora really glow all the time?

That would be a yes.

The world of Pandora is full of bioluminescent plants. This means that these plants have a glow to them in the evening hours while the sun isn’t out.

However, if visitors actually shade the plants of Pandora with their hands during the daytime, those plants do glow. The reason they don’t visibly glow during the daytime is that the sun is too bright for the natural glow of the plants to be seen.

It is this bioluminescence is featured quite predominantly during the Na’Vi River Journey.

Natural Air Purification

Like our own planet, our plant life helps to purify the air that we breathe in naturally. One notable plant that helps to purify the air of Pandora naturally is the Vein Pod.  

While there are a wide variety of different plants on Earth that help to purify the air, the Vein Pods are said to be an essential plant that helps to sustain life on all of Pandora. How do they do this?

They are said to stabilize the environment by collecting methane from the atmosphere in order to prevent it from collecting there.

Rite of Passage

Just like many other species throughout the universe, the people of Pandora have their own rites and rituals. One of those rituals has the young Na’Vi (the blue creatures that make up the civilization of Pandora) proving their strength and fortitude by taming a while banshee.

This is an important rite of passage because the bond between the Na’Vi warrior and the banshee is needed for a wide variety of reason, including hunting and fighting.

Floating Mountains


Yes, you read that correctly. In Pandora, the mountains actually float.

How can that happen?

Thanks to the presence of unobtanium. In the world of Avatar, unobtanium is a highly valuable mineral found throughout the planet. This mineral is said to be highly magnetic, and because it is found in high concentrations both in and below the mountains, the amounts repel from one another. This is how the mountains float above the ground.

Man-Eating Plants

After finding out that there are floating mountains on Pandora, is it really all that shocking to find out that there are also carnivorous plants as well? The Challis Plant is indeed carnivorous, so yes, it can be a man-eating plant if provoked.

Okay, maybe not man-eating, but it sure can munch down on small animals that get too close to it. Thanks to its pitcher-like shape, this plant is great for collecting and holding water. Because this plant also holds sweet nectar, small animals are attracted to it.

That’s when this plant strikes. The small creatures crawl into the plant and can’t get out, so they end up drowning in the water. The enzymes in the plant are also found in the water, and that is how the animal is broken down for the plant to absorb.

What Is a Helicoradian?

A Helicoradian is a plant that has an animal-like nervous system. This plant is the perfect representation of nature on Pandora because it helps to show visitors that the plants are just as full of life as the animals and other creates of the planet.

The Helicoradian has a single orange leaf that can grow to be as tall as 26 feet and as wide as eight feet. Because of its animal-like nervous system, this plant can coil and retract to the ground when it is touched.

Pandora – A World of Wonders

World of Pandora

The world created by the movie Avatar really is one that has captivated millions. Because of its unique world filled with stunning plants and animals, it has helped to open the minds of visitors, and the fact that Disney has dedicated a whole park to the world of Pandora helps visitors get a real feel for what it would be like to visit.

Let’s face it, a movie can help you imagine what it would be like, but a real recreated world is a totally different experience.

Thanks to the development and creation of Pandora – The World of Avatar, attractions such as the Na’Vi River Journey help put park visitors right smack dab in the middle of everything. This helps give fans a truly immersive experience, one that they may have craved since they were first introduced to the world of Pandora.

If you are planning to add a trip to Pandora – The World of Avatar to your Disney itinerary, make sure to plan ahead as this is one of the hottest attractions in the Animal Kingdom.

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