I’ll never forget the first time I experienced the ride Soarin in Epcot. I was on a trip with my sister and when the seats rose in to the air I thought I would die. Where were we going? Why are we up in the air? Wasn’t this a movie?
Oh, it’s that and so much more…
On that trip alone, and we were only there for four days, we rode it three times. On my next trip, I rode it four and the same with the following trip. This is one of the reasons I get a park hopper pass because sometimes I could be in Hollywood Studios and find myself needing to soar over California!
If you have not experienced this ride, the long wait it totally worth it. Located in the Land Pavilion, there is always a wait for this. The key is to grab a fast pass, go ride the Seas with Nemo and Friends next door at the Living Seas Pavilion and then come back to the land, grab some lunch at Sunshine Seasons or the Garden Grille and then get in line.
The concept is simple: you are hang-gliding over the state of California. Your ride vehicle simply looks like a couple of rows of seats (three sections of three rows of seats). Our friends over at Allearsnet.com describe Soarin like this:
The unforgettable experience combines cinematic artistry and state-of-the-art motion base technology. You are literally lifted 40 feet inside a giant projection screen dome and completely surrounded with the beauty and wonder of the state of California as their elevated theater seats take them on a scenic tour over the Golden Gate Bridge, the Redwood forests, Napa Valley, Yosemite and more. The free-flight experience intensifies as guests feel the sweeping winds and smell fragrant orange blossoms and pine trees around them.
I thought that this was an amazing concept. For every “scene” that you are flying over, you smell the scents of the area. When flying over an orange grove, you smell oranges, you feel the wind in your hair! As you go over the ocean, you actually smell the salty air! I constantly lift my feet up in that scene because I think my feet are going to get wet! You’d think I’d catch on to that by now!
As you approach the final section of the queue, you are greeted to a TV pre-show or pre-flight by your flight attendant, Patrick. He is the actor who was the voice of Kronk in “The Emperor’s New Groove”. You’ve got to love his voice! He explains all of the safety issues and he just makes you laugh.
For an attraction with such a long line, the cast members get you loaded and unloaded rather quickly.
If you are prone to motion sickness, you may have a little trouble here. The lifting up of the seats in to the air and bringing you back down at the beginning and end of the movie will make your stomach dip a bit. My husband had an issue with that.
This is just a great attraction no matter how you look at it. The movie itself is beautiful, the effects are amazing and on my trip in 2008 when no one else wanted to ride, I took all of their fast passes and kept going back!