Soarin' at Epcot

Florida Guide > Disney Parks

Soarin’ at Epcot is a wonderful experience. It is perfect for everyone over the height of 40 inches. It is gentle but not dull, and each time you try it you will notice something that you didn’t see the first time.

It is in the Land section of Epcot, downstairs. The entrance to the ride has been set out to look like a modern airport terminal and the cast members are dressed in smart uniforms. The queuing area has huge photographs of different parts of California displayed on the walls, and this helps to set the scene for the ride.

There is a brief pre-flight introduction, as you are waiting to board your ‘craft’ and then you make your way into the ‘loading area’.

The ride is actually three sets of seats, each set having three rows of about 10 seats. You have armrests, a net below your seat for your belongings and a seatbelt to wear. In front of you is a large screen – very tall and very wide. Once the ride begins, the rows of seats are lifted up into the air. If you are in the front row, you have absolutely nothing to interrupt your field of vision, but if you are in the middle or back row, you can just see the dangling feet of the people above you, but they do not interfere with your view at all, so if you get the choice, try and sit in a front row.

When everyone is settled, a canopy comes over the rows of seats, to focus your eyes to the front, and then you are lifted up into the air and forward a little, to bring you closer to the screen, which fills your whole field of vision.

I won’t tell you everything that happens, but you are soaring over the breathtaking scenery of California, and seeing some of the activities that are taking place there – Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley, Yosemite National Park. There are some slight tilts of your seat at a few points in the ride, which enhances the experience, and you can feel the wind in your face, which really gives the impression of flying. In some parts of the ‘flight’ you can actually smell the things you are flying over – nothing unpleasant, of course – which also adds to the experience.

The music that accompanies Soarin’ (composed specially by film and television composer Jerry Goldsmith) is wonderful; it is majestic and sweeping, uplifting and inspirational.

It’s a wonderful ride - don’t miss it!

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