The protagonist of the movie Avatar is an injured soldier who relies on a wheelchair for mobility, and can only navigate the inhospitable landscape of a foreign planet through the use of the titular “Avatar.” Disney’s Pandora – The World of Avatar, located in their Animal Kingdom park, is so realistically crafted that its attractions are also inhospitable to those reliant upon wheelchairs. Sadly, disabled guests are not provided a replicated alien body to explore the park in.
Our own Jackie Gailey has reported on size-restrictive aspects of Avatar Flight of Passage, the much anticipated simulated-motion attraction. Flight of Passage, and Pandora’s other attraction, Na’vi River Journey, will both require guests to move from their wheelchairs to the rides’ seats themselves.
Flight of Passage has a highly specific seating style, almost motorcycle-like, so disabled guests may have difficulties there. Na’vi River Journey is a slow dark ride, think Pirates of the Caribbean without the drop. Although Disney does provide tiered benches to make the transfer from chair to boat less difficult, they have not provided any reasoning behind the boats’ lack of wheelchair accommodations.
Disney has a wide range of attractions, some more convenient for the physically disabled than others. The fact that both Pandora attractions were not built for wheelchair convenience may leave some guests wondering why a land, based on a film centered around a physically disabled character, does not cater to physically disabled guests.
Source: The Orlando Sentinel