With Avatar: The Way of Water about to be released, I thought I’d address the rumor that Avatar Flight of Passage is going to be updated. This rumor didn’t start on a satirical site like some of the recent rumors. Instead, the idea reportedly started at the top, with James Cameron himself!
Here’s what was reported in Variety (it’s in the final paragraph):
“When Bob Iger came back a couple weeks ago, I did send him an email and say, ‘You know, we can do “Avatar 2” and 3 motifs and put them into the physical hardware of “Avatar Flight of Passage” [a ride in which visitors can experience flying on a banshee],’” he reveals. “He liked that idea. So nothing has been decided. But, you know, we would like to carry that along and update it from time to time with things that flow back out of the new movies. Because I think there’s a good synergy between the physical base where you can go and just kind of meditate and be on Pandora and how the movies progress the story and bring in new imagery.”
In other words, James Cameron likes the idea, but that’s as far as it’s gone. He mentioned it to Bob Iger. End of story.
If there is an update to Flight of Passage in the future, expect it to be minor. There could be some tweaks to the film, but I doubt it would change the overall flight. Pandora – The World of Avatar is set a generation after the films, which means that it will always be relevant.
An update to Flight of Passage would not necessarily mean a long refurbishment. Since the ride uses a screen, the film could be edited and switched out overnight. When Star Tours – The Adventures Continue received new scenes the ride never shut down. If a change is made to Flight of Passage, something similar might be done. It’s unlikely that the queue would change.
Then again, why mess with perfection? I’ve ridden Avatar Flight of Passage dozens of times, and I see something different each ride. Your seat’s location makes a difference, the top row feels like a separate story than if you’re at the bottom. While change can be good, in some cases it just isn’t necessary.