Soarin’ Over California is essentially the same ride in both Disneyland and in Walt Disney World.
The only difference between the two is the way the ride is entered.
At Walt Disney World, the ride in located inside the Land building in Epcot. In Disneyland, the ride is located in a free standing building in the Golden State section of the California Adventure park.
This ride is amazing and should not be missed! I once read that the ride was cooked up by an Imagineer on a Sunday afternoon using an Erector set.
Riders enter the ride and site in one of the three rows of seats. They buckle up and listen to some safety information. When on the ground, seats hang above the “flight deck”.
Once you “take off”, the seat are lifted about 45 feet into the air, and hoover in front of an 80 foot doomed screen. The seating mechanism works as an arm that swings up and out when the ride is in motion, and then back down for loading.
Once in the air, row one becomes the top row and row three becomes the bottom row. The motion of the ride is very smooth and gentle. There are no jerks or sudden moves in this ride. Riders feet dangle as they experience the sensation of flying.
Diva Tip: If you or your little one is afraid of heights then I suggest you ask to be on the THIRD row. You want to be on the row closest to the floor. I’ve heard many people say they are afraid of heights but say they weren’t nervous at all when they were on the ride, and then others who don’t get scared claiming they were very afraid. So make sure you know your party.
Once “airborne”, riders are treated to all the famous sites of California–Yosemite, Napa, Death Valley, the San Diego harbor, Los Angeles, orange groves, golf courses, beautiful coast lines, and of course, Disneyland–all from the view of a hang glider.
The music and even scents match the terrain being traveled over. When traveling over the ocean, riders hear seagulls and smell the salt water. When soaring over the orange groves, riders smell the oranges. This ride is truly amazing!
This ride is appropriate for everyone, but there is a height requirement so small children can not ride. Because of the smooth movements, most people will feel comfortable on this ride. Please be aware that the ride does go fairly high in the air, so those with severe fears of highs may not be comfortable.