Na’Vi River Journey Ride in Pandora for Children with Autism

Are you looking to watch the Pandora World of Avatar Na’Vi River Journey Ride at Disney?  The boat ride in Pandora: World of Avatar is called the Na’vi River Journey Ride.  The river journey is full of beautiful bioluminescence, realistic animals native to Pandora, and a blissful Shaman.  The ride is breathtaking- somehow, both serene and exciting.

The Na'Vi River Journey Ride written over a pink and blue Shaman of Songs audio-animatronic.

What are the age and height restrictions for the Na’Vi River Journey Ride?

This journey is open to any age and height and is enjoyable to the whole family.  We loved Pandora World of Avatar Na’Vi River Journey Ride at Disney and cannot wait to ride again.  Make sure that you use the My Disney Experience app to scoop up a Fastpass+ or use your DAS pass because this ride has long waits.  This ride was amazing and is our family’s new favorite in Walt Disney World.

What should children with autism expect during the Na’Vi River Journey Ride?

While there are a million guides on what to expect for the ride, my children’s perspective is a bit different.  The boat ride glides softly through the rivers of Pandora, allowing you to view the animals, lush plant life, and experience the peaceful and gorgeous land. While the scenery is surreal, it is another simple boat ride.  For us, it’s lovely- no thrills, no being crammed in with strangers.

It only lasts a couple of minutes (four and a half, to be exact), so you may feel shortchanged if you encounter a long wait- but thanks to the DAS, we never have.  We felt at peace throughout the ride and inspired to watch Pandora again.

What are the Sensory Considerations of the Na’Vi River Journey Ride?

Our son has autism and has been to Walt Disney World repeatedly, so we know what works for him.  However, you know your child better the best.  Prepare them for the rides with a video, a social story, and talk about expectations.

For children with autism, have them view this video and discuss the ride.  The only caution is that it is in the dark and has loud animal noises.

Near the end, the Shaman of Songs sings loudly.  Consider headphones if your child struggles with loud noises.  Our child will do well either with headphones or snuggled between two parents.  However, the Shaman is an audio-animatronic with some fascinating trivia.  We usually discuss trivia while we wait for the ride, which helps to entertain our kids until it is time.

The backstory of the Shaman of Songs is that she is currently the most technologically advanced audio-animatronic that the Disney Imagineers have created.  Her movements are fluid and lifelike-  she has so many details.  In fact, Disney created at least twenty new technologies to make her do what they wanted her to do. The Shaman of Songs sings a song embracing the life force of Pandora.

Our son finds this ride relaxing and colorful.  He says that this ride helps to calm his body because it is beautiful, interesting, and related to the jungle.

Are you looking to take a break from the crowds in one of Animal Kingdom’s top quiet places?

We’ve enjoyed our time at Pandora, the World of Avatar.  Check out the rest of our recommendations for this land.

Have you experienced the Na’Vi River Journey Ride in Pandora for children with autism?

What is your favorite part- the Shaman, the animals, or something else?

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