We had the opportunity to ride the new “Soarin’ Around The World” at EPCOT. The original “Soarin’ Over California” was our favorite ride and we tried to do this on every visit, even if it was the only ride for that day.
Soarin’ Over California took you for a birds-eye-view of scenic wonders both natural and man-made, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Monterey Bay, Borrego Springs, Palm Springs, Malibu, downtown Los Angeles and finally up Main Street in Disneyland where you landed in the middle of a fireworks show. In the 15 years that it was operational, it was a real crowd pleaser.
For the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland, Disney made a new movie for the attraction, and then subsequently installed it in the parks in both EPCOT and California Adventure.
The new version is called “Soarin’ Around The World” (the official name is just “Soarin'”). The ride still elevates its guests in front of an IMAX screen, simulating a hang glider, then the movie begins by taking its riders to the top of the Matterhorn, in homage to the Matterhorn mountain in Disneyland. You then travel around the world to other iconic places such as the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany (the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle), The Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the deserts of Africa, the Eiffel Tower and eventually back to EPCOT where you once again land in a fireworks show (don’t forget to look for Hidden Mickey!)
We are hoping Disney takes a clue from the popularity of this ride and continues to make more versions of the movie. A “Soarin’ Over America” would be as equally enjoyable as this country hold many fascinating landmarks and national parks that many have never seen. It would be nice to offer options in the parks (WDW has 3 theaters) where you could choose the original Soarin’ Over California, Soarin’ Around the World or Soarin’ Over America.
This mechanics of this ride is a little more intense that its predecessor. The climbs and dives are steeper and there is one scene where you are flying sideways. The biggest disappointment to this updated ride was the amount of digital imagery that was added in transitioning between locations. With all of the imagination at work at Disney, we felt that there had to be a better way to do this. But the good news is that the original music was brought into this rebooted attraction and the scenery is absolutely captivating.
So take a trip around the world and enjoy the ride!