Rites of Passage on Avatar’s Flight of Passage
Six years ago this last weekend Disney premiered its newest land, Pandora: World of Avatar. Based on James Cameron’s successful film, this land set a new level of experiences not seen anywhere else. The centerpiece of this experience was Avatar’s Flight of Passage. It is called Flight of Passage because the flight is a rite of passage. We will look at what exactly are those rites of passage that play out in this attraction. Moreover, we will talk about how we are ourselves have our own rites of passage that we must observe. Our focus on this attraction will take on a new level of understanding and insight as we not only see the fruits of a well Imagineered Disney experience, but see how those same concepts play out personally and in our professional lives. Join us as we continue our celebration of Disney’s Animal Kingdom as we study the Rites of Passage on Avatar’s Flight of Passage.
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Rites of Passage
To understand this attraction is to understand the traditional rites of passage people often go through. The ride itself is structured around the following four rites:
- Disorientation. This is when everything seems new. This is when change is facing you in a whole new way. Confusion sets in as this new transition takes place. Chaos has emerged.
- Challenge. You realize that what you are about to undertake is daunting and overwhelming. It’s going to take facing considerable effort—even courage. This opportunity builds character, but not without sweat equity.
- Revelation. “Aha” or “Eureka” moments begin to occur. This is an opportunity to work through the challenges and create for real transformation. Revelation occurs as you see pieces slowly come together and make sense. You begin to see the big picture through the tiniest details.
- Release. It’s when you have arrived at a level of completion. You have reached a new plateau and you can feel the accomplishment of having achieved what seemed impossible. It is the joy of giving birth to something new and special. You’ve not only learned lessons but have renewed confidence in facing what lies ahead
We’ll explore how each of these show up in the attraction’s experience. Then we’ll look at how these same moments show up when creating an attraction such as Pandora in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Souvenirs for You and Your Organization
Consider how these rites of passage show up for you in your own life or your own work experience:
- Is there a project or a situation which you didn’t expect, or you didn’t expect to become so difficult?
- Is there a situation where change has suddenly brought you to a stand still? How do you breathe and take the next step?
- How do you get out the gate?
- How do you begin to look at things differently from a bigger picture?
- How can you break the challenge down so you can see how it can come together?
- What are the puzzle pieces for putting this together? Where do you start?
- What are the milestones that help you to see where you’ve been and where you’re going?
- What insights are you gaining at each key juncture along the way?
- How can you tweak or improve the way you are approaching your work?
- How are you celebrating what you’ve accomplished?
- How do you share what you’ve learned for the benefit of others?
- How do you let go and move on to the next rite of passage?
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