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View Full Version : WDW Rated & Reviewed - Soarin'



Red Randal
10-13-2006, 06:33 PM
After a few months off and a trip to Disney World, I have returned with a new series of ride reviews for you all to check out and debate. First on my list is (what was until today) Epcot's newest attraction!

Soarin'

Intro: Designed to increase traffic on the west side of Future World, Soarin' was "imported" from Disneyland as part of the "Happiest Celebration on Earth." It caused a complete refurbishment of The Land pavilion, moving it from a focus on food production to a focus on the wonder of our natural enviornment. A new (and really good) food court joined a refurbished "Living with the Land" for Soarin's opening summer.

Queue: Through the area once housing "Food Rocks" and into the show building, winds a rather boring queue themed like an airplane hangar of the future. It includes "entertainment" like flat-screen TV's showing trivia about the Earth. Once we finally make it into the pre-show area, we get to view a film starring Patrick Warburton (Puddy from Seinfeld!!) and get some pre-boarding instructions.

Ride: Once inside the actual ride room, all we see are "hang glider" seats (more like ski-lift chairs.) Once we are strapped in, the seats raise into the air, into what seems like cloud cover, and are positioned in front of an IMAX dome screen. Around we can see nothing but what is projected on the screen.

We move out of cloud cover as the beautiful, dramatic, Jerry Goldsmith score begins. We fly over the Golden Gate Bridge (I think I can see Bob Saget and John Stamos from here) and then into a tree-framed river. We fly over some kayakers, practically low enough to dip our feet into the water, and then turn to the side.

The scene changes from the river to a field where hot air balloons are taking off. We fly with them and have a chance to take in the amazing view just long enough before we move into the rocky ocean shore. We fly over the magnificent vista until heading into a snow covered mountain peak! Skiers whisk by below us as we soar over the peak of the mountain and get an exhilerating view of the summit below.

Then we move past a large waterfall cascading before us. Another hang glider flies by in front of us, it's occupants giggling like a little schoolgirl. I'd make fun of that, except that this ride is so cool that unrestrained giggling is a common emotion aboard.

Then we head over a golf course. Those darn Disney executive snobs! Glorifying the egregious wasting of water in the Southern California valley! Speaking of darn Disney executive snobs, Michael Eisner hurls a golfball at us from below. What a perfect metaphor for his tenure as CEO...hurling things at unsuspecting Disney park fans.

From there we move into an orange grove, where we get hit with the smell of citrus. It's like Horizons, only without the the outdated animatronic scenes and disillusioned fans clamoring to the hope that it won't be closed in 1999.

As I dodge garbage being thrown at me from angry Intercot readers over that last comment, we move into the desert for a moment, before fighter jets zoom by. We continue the theme to an aircraft carrier docked in San Diego. Ah yes, San Diego. The greatest city in the history of mankind. The Channel 4 news chopper flies by underneath us as we move through the harbor and over to the tranquil waves coming to shore at sunset in Southern California.

Then we fly over Los Angeles at night. The freeway traffic speeds by beneath us as we soar towards the highrises. Only, instead, we go to Disneyland! Awesome! Tinker Bell flies by and spreads some pixie dust. (Okay, that's not awesome and kinda lame...but this ride is so great that I can ignore little bits of goofiness like that.) We fly over the Christmas decorations on Main Street and right over Sleeping Beauty castle. The fireworks go off all around us and the ride comes to a close.

Thoughts: Soarin' is one of the greatest four minutes I have ever experienced. It is easily among the top 10 rides I have ever been on at a theme park. It has no immediate story behind it, which can often kill a ride. Soarin, however, is able to disregard convention and get riders caught up in the sheer amazement of its sights and sounds. Despite leaps from rivers to deserts to theme parks, everything flows together. It is enhanced by the wonderful score that brings everything full circle. I could probably find enough wrong with it to bring it down to 4 3/4, but why would I?

Overall Rating: *****

poohmom787
10-13-2006, 07:18 PM
I live in California and have been to DL so many times. We always make it a point to ride Soarin' as much as we possibly can. It is the first ride we hit at DCA and we make sure that it is a daily stop on our trip. I find it to be soooooo relaxing and the musical score is great!!!! To see my State from that angle makes me very proud to be a Californian. (can sometimes be hard to be proud with some of the things that happen in this state.) Anyway, it is my family's favorite ride here on the West Coast. :mickey:

mu60
10-13-2006, 11:55 PM
I got to ride Soarin' at EPOCT last July and despite a h***ishlly long wait (sign said 40 minutes, ended up being about twice that long), I really, really enjoyed it. I thought it was absolutely beautiful; it actually made me kinda miss living in California. I have to say that (as lame as it may be), I actually caught myself lifing my legs up a couple times (especially the forest sequences).

Fantastic ride.

MinnieMommie
10-14-2006, 08:08 AM
Well written review Red Randal! Good use of language (glorifying the egregious wasting of water) and humor. Of course I happen to agree that Sorin is a splendid use of 4 minutes. You (and Sorin) have my vote! :mickey:

AndrewJackson
10-14-2006, 08:24 AM
I love Soarin'. I think it is one of the best rides at WDW. Something like this was certainly needed on the west side of Future World. And you are right about the score, it certainly brings it all together.

Jared
10-14-2006, 10:46 AM
I was hoping you would give Soarin' five stars, because this attraction deserves the highest possible rating. Soarin' has quickly become one of my favorite attractions in any of the four theme parks, probably my favorite in Epcot. A lot of people have posted criticism of the ride, but I disagree with those posters.

CandleontheWater
10-14-2006, 12:18 PM
I guess I just don't get Sorin'. I mean, I liked it, it was a fine ride but I didn't get all excited about it. I'll ride it again, but I'm in no rush. I don't get the hype, Its a nice movie, it has a nice soundtrack, but to me its just an IMAX movie with better seating. I want to see disney put in rides with cutting edge technology and Sorin' just doesn't seem that innovative. Then again I love Primeval Whirl, so maybe I'm no judge of quality attractions! :D

MsMin
10-14-2006, 01:51 PM
I guess I just don't get Sorin'. I mean, I liked it, it was a fine ride but I didn't get all excited about it. I'll ride it again, but I'm in no rush. I don't get the hype, Its a nice movie, it has a nice soundtrack, but to me its just an IMAX movie with better seating. I want to see disney put in rides with cutting edge technology and Sorin' just doesn't seem that innovative. Then again I love Primeval Whirl, so maybe I'm no judge of quality attractions! :D
ditto, I wouldn't stand in line an hour for it.

PirateLover
10-14-2006, 01:55 PM
I'm on the side of it's good but not amazing. I did greatly enjoy the ride. But I only need to do it once a trip and don't like the fact that at 10 in the morning I can only get a fast pass for 7pm. This ride has given inordinate wait times a whole new meaning.

Dsnygirl
10-14-2006, 03:04 PM
:thumbsup: We LOVED Soarin'... even my DH, who is really afraid of heights, thought it was great... and realistic enough that his palms did get sweaty!! But he still liked it. The only thing we noticed (after we got home and heard more about the ride from others) was that the whole "scent" part of the experience was missing for us... we were in one of the highest seats, and never really noticed any scents to match the scenery. But other than that, it was awesome!! :thumbsup:

moe513
10-14-2006, 03:29 PM
Everyone I know loves this ride.

The Bookseller
10-14-2006, 04:37 PM
I guess I just don't get Sorin'. I mean, I liked it, it was a fine ride but I didn't get all excited about it. I'll ride it again, but I'm in no rush. I don't get the hype, Its a nice movie, it has a nice soundtrack, but to me its just an IMAX movie with better seating. I want to see disney put in rides with cutting edge technology and Sorin' just doesn't seem that innovative. Then again I love Primeval Whirl, so maybe I'm no judge of quality attractions! :D
:ditto: For me, Soarin is a "Must do Once" ride on my trip at WDW but nothing more. I agree that the idea of the "Enhanced IMAX Seating" Ride. There's more inovative rides at WDW. but I have to give **** just for the sheer beauty of it.

DisneyorBust
10-14-2006, 07:57 PM
Soarin' is such a unique attraction, new technology mixed with an Imax type of movie. Add the wind and the various scents and you have an above average ride. :thumbsup:

disneymom2000
10-14-2006, 08:28 PM
I really enjoyed riding Soarin' In fact I think I rode it 5 times on my last trip. Makes me wish that I had never passed up California Adventure.

CU Tiger
10-15-2006, 11:28 PM
We have only ridden soarin once and we really enjoyed it, but I am not sure if we would wait in an extremely long line to go on it. :confused: :mickey:

Narawen
10-16-2006, 12:03 AM
Rode Soarin' last trip and loved it, we're making sure to go this trip, but I didn't feel the need to re-visit that trip, nor will I wait over 30 minutes for it.

RAIDER
10-16-2006, 08:40 AM
Its trully awesome its one of my top 5 favourite wdw rides :thumbsup:

llamaface
10-16-2006, 09:12 AM
Love Soarin' - rode it 2x last trip and would have loved to ride more. My question is, why don't they or will they ever change the movie? It is such an awesome theme - I would love to "soar" over Hawaii, Australia, Switzerland, etc....... You can only fly over CA so many times, so why not keep it fresh by offering different versions.

2Epcot
10-16-2006, 09:32 AM
I also love Soarin'. I've ridden it many times at Disney's California Adventure, and in June at WDW. I would certainly say it is was of the best attractions Disney has brought to a park in many years. I would also like to see another film at WDW. Maybe a world film, as mentioned previoulsy on Intercot.

malip
10-16-2006, 10:23 AM
Soarin' has quickly become one of my top 5 rides at WDW. My DD loves it. We try to get FP's every time we are at Epcot. However, I do agree that I would not wait the 100 minutes that was showing yesterday to ride it. If we get FP's we ride. If we don't, we don't ride. Love it though.

Goofyguy2
10-16-2006, 01:02 PM
I think this ride is great.. its a great idea for a ride and they do it well!!!!

Scrod
10-16-2006, 01:08 PM
Soarin' was good, but not a ride that I will be angry if I miss it on a trip. Woudl catch it next time I come...

Lines definitely were long at times last January. One good thing is that this is a ride that definitely will be easy to upgrade and make changes to. Maybe someday they will have random flights, so you won't know where you are going until you start.

Mary M
10-16-2006, 01:16 PM
It's a lot of fun, but you have to sit in the front row. It's like a completely different ride.

animalkingdomguy
10-16-2006, 02:38 PM
This ride is completely breathtaking. My first ride has in the center ride gantry in row two. That put me dead center of the screen. Even though I was feet from the floor I was mentally freaked out. This ride tapped into my deep seated fear or heights and flying. I was completely sold on the idea that I was on a hang glider. Once I got over the initial shock I loved the feeling of flying. This first ride was truely a magical Disney moment. This ride went beyond E ticket. :number1:

glassprincess
10-17-2006, 01:31 PM
I discovered this ride when I went to Disneyland in California - at the time I couldn't beleive that they had never transferred it to WDW.

So glad thay have :joy: because I think it is a brilliant ride :thumbsup:

RazdOnDis
10-17-2006, 01:57 PM
After riding it the first time last year I thought it was ok, not great or anything I'd wait a long time for. But I was on the bottom tier then. I rode it on the top tier this last time and it was like a whole different experience. With no feet or machinery to distract me I really felt like I was 'in the show', so to speak. I enjoyed it much more on the last trip.

MrPeetrie
10-17-2006, 08:06 PM
I think I expected too much from this ride because when I got off, I was disappointed. I'd still ride it again, but I don't rate is as a "Must-See" Attraction!. If I miss it next trip (and I probably will), It's no big deal!

I LOVED Mission: Space, however!!! I won't miss that on the next trip.

conorsmom2000
10-17-2006, 10:45 PM
Soarin' is such a unique attraction, new technology mixed with an Imax type of movie. Add the wind and the various scents and you have an above average ride. :thumbsup:
This is how we feel about it! :mickey: Maybe it's because we are lucky and have gotten the top row every time, but it really is just such a great experience - I trully get "taken away" by it! :thumbsup:

Red Randal
10-02-2007, 12:34 AM
Bump! Happy Birthday Epcot!

Here we go again...
10-02-2007, 03:58 AM
Loved your review!
Soarin is one of my favorite rides in DW. All I can say is thank Goodness for Fast Passes... I could not imagine waiting in that line for 90 minutes.

DizNee143
10-02-2007, 03:19 PM
glad this was bumped up..i didnt catch this one last year!...
this ride is really good!!
i liked your review..and being a huge full house fan..i liked your little joke...:mickey:

MickeyandTink
10-02-2007, 04:10 PM
Love Soarin' - rode it 2x last trip and would have loved to ride more. My question is, why don't they or will they ever change the movie? It is such an awesome theme - I would love to "soar" over Hawaii, Australia, Switzerland, etc....... You can only fly over CA so many times, so why not keep it fresh by offering different versions.

:ditto:

We rode it 2x as well and just ran out time to ride it more. With FP, our wait was about 15-20 minutes each time. As great as it was, though, I don't think we would have ridden it if the wait was an hour or more. I did see something in earlier threads about including interactive stuff in the queue, but never saw anything like that while we were waiting.

It would be really cool if they would have different versions (Europe, Asia, etc. and they could close with DLP or DLHK). Maybe in a few years they will.

IloveDisney71
10-02-2007, 07:04 PM
I really enjoy Soarin. The first time I rode it all of the fast passes were out and we waited for a little more than an hour to ride it. I wish they had built it bigger or had made 2 of them though because the lines are always awful and fast passes are always for a LATE return. (I'm sure this was not cost effective - but one can dream! :))
Anyway - it's a great ride, but I won't stand in a hour long line to see it. If I can't get a fast pass, then I'll have to skip it. :(

cal5755
10-02-2007, 07:09 PM
Soaring is another ride that the WHOLE family loves!!

Followthatmouse
10-02-2007, 07:16 PM
I can see that I'll have to try this ride again. There were several technical glitches the day we rode, including a lack of any aromas for the ride. There are supposed to be aromas, right? We were also sitting on the bottom row to the right of the screen. The dangling legs did take away from the experience.

I'll just have to give it another go.

GrmGrninGost
10-02-2007, 07:43 PM
Totally AWESOME! :mickey:

caryrae
10-02-2007, 09:34 PM
I guess I just don't get Sorin'. I mean, I liked it, it was a fine ride but I didn't get all excited about it. I'll ride it again, but I'm in no rush. I don't get the hype, Its a nice movie, it has a nice soundtrack, but to me its just an IMAX movie with better seating. I want to see disney put in rides with cutting edge technology and Sorin' just doesn't seem that innovative. Then again I love Primeval Whirl, so maybe I'm no judge of quality attractions! :D

I was thinking the same thing as you, it's just an Imax movie with moving seats. What's the big deal? There are way better rides in WDW then Soarin. I can go to our Science Museum or Zoo Imax shows and get pretty much the same affect and they even change the films to give you something new to see. Not a ride I will go to unless the line is really short.

crltkcagle
10-02-2007, 09:50 PM
I liked soarin. I think it is very different and it's something the whole family can enjoy!

pixiesmimi
10-02-2007, 11:52 PM
My DH kept telling me we needed to get the front row because he had ridden the others where you could see the feet. The only two times I have ridden it, we got the front row. It was great! I enjoyed it and felt like I was really in a hang glider. I did catch myself lifting my feet a couple of times. :)

Sweezy
10-03-2007, 01:22 AM
I was amazed back when I first experienced it in California, and its great to have it at epcot now. its just extremely relaxing and a great experience...i really think the score is what puts the ride over the top...i couldnt stop listening to it after my first ride.

SpecJoe Magic
10-03-2007, 06:36 AM
I feel that it's overrated, but I do think that it's a good attraction.

DisneyGRL7
10-03-2007, 11:22 PM
5 Stars: "awesome on every level"


that's definately how I feel about this ride

Polynesian Dweller
10-04-2007, 12:10 AM
Great attraction. Just could be a little longer if anything. Would be interesting to see an East Coast themed version at WDW. We only do it if we can get FP. Too short a ride for the long standby times.

magicman
10-05-2007, 12:48 PM
I thoroughly enjoyed your review Red Randal, and I thoroughly enjoy Soarin'. *****

goofysbabe
10-05-2007, 12:56 PM
This is my absolute most favorite ride. I'm afraid of heights, but I love this ride. The feel of the wind, the smells. The end of the ride with the fireworks - I just love it.

Imagineer1981
10-05-2007, 01:39 PM
I always hate being the negative guy, but this ride is average at best, just my opinion