By Pink Diva
Soarin’ in EPCOT at Disney World recently received an upgrade and is now flying all around the world. Previously, Soarin’ flew you all through California-over oceans, citrus trees, desert landscapes and through Disneyland’s nightly firework display. The view was impressive, but what put it over the top was that you are seated in a hang-glider with your feet dangling from 40 feet in the air.
The ride is still basically the same. You strap into your hang-glider and are lifted 40-feet into the air facing a 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX screen. There are now three concourses instead of the original two. This increase allows more people through the attraction faster.
The movie has also changed. Instead of travelling all over California, you travel all over the world. The screens look newer and the movie is much smoother and clearer than before. The transitions are still sharp, but don’t have the stop and go feel as they did before.
Be on the lookout for the two hidden Mickey’s during your trip. One you won’t miss, but the other is a little trickier. Keep an eye out for the hot air balloons in the top right corner.
My daughter and I found the ride amazing. She rode it first with her dad while I sat out with our son, then her and I rode it. After we both rode it we compared our thoughts. I loved it. I thought the scenery was beautiful, the castle was breathtaking, and the ride fun. The only negative I had was that I missed the citrus smell. There is one part where it smelled slightly like oranges, but it wasn’t the same. I sat in the middle of the ride-middle section, middle hang-glider, middle of the row. My husband sat in the lower left hand side and was not thrilled with the ride. He said the movie wasn’t crisp, he thought there was less movement, and he hardly smelled anything.
We had FastPasses+, but the opening week the wait was no more than 40 minutes. The queue has been enhanced so that you can have some pre-flight fun. With your Smart Devices you can login to the Soarin’ Challege website and join the trivia game. Test your skills on culture, food, landmarks, and more. You can gain points and get your name on the leaderboard.
If you are planning on riding, here are a few basic guidelines. You must be 40 inches to ride. You must transfer and service animals are not permitted. It is a motion-sensor ride and contains small drops. I suffer from motion sickness and normally can’t do motion-sensor rides. Soarin’ I don’t have a problem with. I’m not sure if it is the openness of it all or the smoothness of the ride, but not only am I able to ride it without feeling sick, I also enjoy it.
The one thing I wish they would have included in the upgrade is a play area near the exit. Soarin’ is located in The Land and there is a big, open area where the ride exits out to. You can always find the rider switches and kids under 40 inches running around there. It can get loud and a little chaotic, but it is a good place to let the little ones run off some energy, enjoy a snack, or play with other little kids.
My son without shoes is 39 1/2 inches tall. We really thought he would be tall enough to ride. The first time we measured him, he was. The second time the Cast Member flattened out his hair and realized he wasn’t tall enough. He wouldn’t stand straight so it was hard to get a good reading. We did the rider switch and I tried to measure him a third time since they had a measuring stick away from the lines. He didn’t measure up, but was given a card that works as a FastPass when he is finally tall enough to ride. If you have a little one with your party ask for the Born to Soar card. It may be a while before you get back, but this way you will always have a FastPass for it!
Tell us what you think! Do you like the new movie? Anything you miss about the old one?
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