Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Epcot Attractions: Soarin' | A Disney Mom's Thoughts

Soarin' is an attraction inside The Land Pavilion in Epcot's Future World. It opened in May 2005. The original attraction, "Soarin' Over California" opened at Disney's California Adventure in February 2001. Currently, this attraction in Epcot is closed for refurbishments and a remodel. They are adding a third theatre, new digital screens and projection system, and a new film which will be "Soarin' Around the World".  This new film will include scenes from The Great Wall of China, the African savannas and Monument Valley in the USA.

The original attraction "Soarin'" was about 5 minutes long, but the lines can be over 100 minutes! (In the video above, you can see the screen from the actual ride starting at 6:00 minutes.) Soarin' took guests on a journey over the state of California as if you were hang gliding.  While "flying" you will see and smell many different things. You'll fly over the Golden Gate Bridge, kayakers, the ocean, ski slopes, orange groves, the redwood forests and more landscapes. My favorite part was the end when you "fly" down Main Street USA towards Sleeping Beauty Castle while the fireworks are showing.

Imagineers created this attraction using a 180 degree IMAX projection dome and filmed aerial footage to be shown on the screen. Guests are sitting in individual seats on three different rows. They are lifted 40 feet in the air as they view the beautiful scenes of California. The first row is lifted a bit higher than row 2 and row 2 is higher than row 3. As the cameras swoop over the landscape, the seats also swing and sway the direction of the camera to help give you an even more realistic feel of hang gliding.

While waiting on this attraction in the stand by line, you can participate in several interactive games. Using infrared technology, you can participate in up to 5 games such as: 
  • Train your bird for a race.
  • Collect treasures as you pilot a hot air ballon.
  • Pop the Blobs to find a picture underneath.
  • Create a virtual landscape.
  • Make FastPass+ reservations or head straight to this attraction as soon as the park opens to get in the stand by line.
  • Guests must be 40in or taller to ride.
  • This attraction is enjoyed by everyone, as long as you are tall enough to ride.
  • Children under 7 must be accompanied by a person 14 years or older.
  • Rider Switch is offered for this attraction.
  • Guests who experience motion sickness may not want to ride! While this is a very slow moving, gentle ride, the movement of the seats along with the huge screen may make you queazy. 
  • Try to get in row 1as it is the highest and the other rows are under you and slightly back. When you are on rows 2 and 3, you sometimes see the feet of other guests dangling above your head.
  • Guests who use wheelchairs must be able to transfer to the ride vehicle seat. Melissa at Rolling with the Magic has more to share about this Accessible Attraction.

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