Wheelchair Users Will Need To Disembark To Ride Attractions at 'Pandora - The World of AVATAR'

In the movie “Avatar,” the main character is a man confined to a wheelchair who can experience moving by linking his mind to a human-Na'vi hybrid.

So some are finding it ironic that in Walt Disney World’s Avatar land opening May 27, boarding the two rides will require visitors to get out of their wheelchairs.

Both the Flight of Passage simulator ride and Na’vi River Journey, a slow-moving dark boat ride, require people to sit in the vehicle’s seats themselves.

Disney said the vehicles are too small to accommodate wheelchairs but did not provide details about why the boats could not have been designed differently. Disney said the ride has tiered transfer benches available for disabled riders to help them descend from their wheelchairs.

Disney has a variety of procedures for its rides.

On the Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom or Journey into Imagination at Epcot, guests can sit in their own wheelchairs.

Elsewhere in the Magic Kingdom, on the Haunted Mansion guests must be able to walk into the ride vehicles. On It’s a Small World, they have to transfer into a different wheelchair.

“I'm very surprised that Disney didn't install at least a couple of boats that could accommodate wheelchairs — that should be standard practice these days for slow-moving boat rides without drops,” said Robert Niles, editor of Theme Park Insider, in an email.

"Let's not overlook the irony that the main character in Avatar was someone who used a wheelchair".

Source: Orlando Sentinel

Banner Photo Credit: Disney