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  • [Review] Soarin' Over California - A Review

    I figured that I am going to start reviewing things from Disneyland Resort. If it's a ride, a restaurant, or even a shop, dmtnt55 Reviews has you covered. Enjoy.

    We begin our Review in California Adventure. It is a hot day, with the sun boiling down as it fries off the glossy metal of Condor Flats. You look around, and you see a Desert like area with Flying themed restaurants, and shops. But then, you look around and see the tall building, almost as if there was a Hangar in front of you. It is Soarin' Over California. The ultimate Flying Simulator, this ride opened up in DCA 2001, and has been ever so popular since. I personally have been on this ride at least 25 times, and have used a FASTPASS probably 23 or so of those times. If you don't pick up a FP, you will probably be faced 50 to 140 minute lines stretching out of this slow loader. There are 2 identical theaters, that look, and are set up the same. If you picked up a Pass, head to the right side of the front door, and show it to the Cast Member.

    Then you enter the room with a tall ceiling that shortens. The Walls are filled with a gallery of historic California Aviators, and it is definitely themed to Flying even more than ever at this point! You finally get to the end of the 35 yard or so hallway and hand your FastPass to the Cast Member, and then you are directed to go to either the left theater or to the right, but it doesn't matter, they are both the same. You then are directed down a long hall with a 9 foot or so ceiling, before taking a turn and going down a Hallway, where a Cast Member will direct you to your seating location. I highly recommend asking the Cast Member if it is possible to get seats in gate B1. They are the best location to enjoy your flight, because you are in the Middle Section (There is A, B, and C) and you are in the front row (3 rows). You then walk into a line waiting into a gate area, and a small Television screen is playing the stunning theme music, with a view from the clouds showing the various locations of California you will be visiting.

    Finally, the lights dim and the pre-movie turns on. Chief Flight Attendant Patrick (Warburton) tells us what to expect, how to get buckled, safety guidelines, etc. After the movie ends, the Cast Members open the door, and you walk into the theater. It is a large theater, with a bright glowing blue screen intimidating in the front. You make your way to your seats, strap in, wait a moment for the 'final systems check', and then. My favorite part. Patrick says they are clear for liftoff, Dooong! and you are off. You go zipping straight before taking off from the ground. You are high above off the ground, but the screen is all you can see. To start off the movie, you see a short forest of cloud, before the Golden Gate Bridge appears in shining detail. Marvelous. Everything. The music is one of the best pieces of composition ever imagined, the movie is in Full-On High Definition and dazzling, basically a treat to look at, and the quality of everything, sound, lights, movie. It just all seems so perfect. The only real complaint of Soarin' I had was the wait (of course), but also sometimes, depending on where you are situated, dangling feet can obstruct the very top portion of your view. No biggie, but it is a bit noticeable. But everything else, ah so amazing! The sounds of Redwood Creek, the sights of San Francisco, the smells of Napa Valley! It is just all too perfect, and in my opinion absolutely truly remarkable! There is even a few Hidden Mickeys on the way! But of course, no journey is complete without a trip to The Happiest Place On Earth. Disneyland. You fly over a Christmas Parade at the Original Magic Kingdom, before meeting Tinkerbell, and then to end it all like a day of Magic, Fireworks! The booms bounce through the theater, the music gets louder. Then it all comes to a stop, and as the lights are out, you sail back to the ground where your remarkable journey began. It doesn't even feel as if you were returning to the ground at the end. But, the lights brighten, and you are back to the solid ground of our planet. Chief Flight Attendant Patrick says to enjoy your stay at Condor Flats or where ever your final destination may be. In this case, back in line for another ride on Soarin' Over California!

    In A Nutshell:
    Soarin' is a well crafted masterpiece of epic proportions, an amazing feat overall, and there is no reason why you shouldn't ride it.

    Queue: 9/10
    Ride: 10/10
    Overall: 10/10

    Thanks for reading and enjoying this review!

    -dmtnt55
    Last edited by dmtnt55; 10-01-2009, 03:02 PM.


  • #2
    Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

    Gotta question a 9 out of 10 for Soarin's sorry queue. If that's a 9, Indy and Roger Rabbit would have to get something like 25 out of 10!

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    • #3
      Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

      I can't seem to read posts if they aren't in paragraphs

      Too hard to follow with no breaks for the eyes!

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      • #4
        Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

        Nice idea for threads to talk about the older attractions but yah, I gotta agree with Bee. If overall is 10/10, where were you sitting?

        This isn't a great experience if you're not on Bravo section Row 1.


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        • #5
          Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

          yeah, while it's nice reading facts about california aviation, it's quite the boring queue, they could have done way more with it.

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          • #6
            Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

            Yeah, the queue is OK - but the attraction really is only a 5...





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            I am Sambo, and I endorse this signature.

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            • #7
              Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

              Yeah ... that's the one thing sourly missing in the few great rides of "DCA:2001 - 1.0". Disney theming to queues came to new heights with those 2 attractions listed. Both built years before. What's DCA's excuse?
              MY SIGNATURE:
              Dear Peoplemover Fans, If you want to see a new attraction that at least mimics the 1967 Peoplemover in a future Tomorrowland remodel, you need to write to the powers-that-be, and let them know. If you don't - Then the next time Tomorrowland is remodeled, you will see a land barren of any "Peoplemover" type attraction.

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              • #8
                Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                Queue is 6/10, although it is very informative and cool to read the people that contributed to aviation, I don't go to Disneyland for a history lesson (besides Disney history of course). Nothing goes on outside but back and forth-ness and occasional sprays of mist.

                The video is a typical pre-flight video, similar to Star Tours. Captain Patrick makes the video, and I love his voice for some reason. Every time I hear it I find myself talking like him for the whole day. Weird.

                Ride is AMAZING the first time, after that it's still great, but not amazing.

                Queue 6/10
                Ride 9/10

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                • #9
                  Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                  There IS a bit of theming that's virtually invisible to guests of DCA, but visible when you're on the outside.

                  The Soarin' building has the big words "Condor Flats Testing Facility" or something to that effect. You can either accept that and excuse them of their bare bones theming... or you can still say that it needs work.

                  To me, it's not enough. It's not consistent. If Soarin' was a test, then the whole attraction should be made to match that thought process.


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                  • #10
                    Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                    That is true, the ride is the best the first time, but is still awesome later on!

                    And I paragraphed it

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                    • #11
                      Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                      Originally posted by dmtnt55 View Post

                      And I paragraphed it
                      Sweet! Now it doesn't make my head hurt

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                      • #12
                        Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                        Last time I enjoyed this ride I noticed there is a spot on the screen, a black anomaly on the lower left hand side if I remember correctly, this seriously ruined the experience for me.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                          Hi, I was there about 2 weeks ago and sat (I believe) on the far left top row, and there was a black anomaly on the screen. On think it was to like black spots just almost right on top of each other. Anyways, I couldn't stop staring at it during the whole ride. I pointed to it to my relative sitting next to me and said look a UFO, and we both laughed.

                          EDIT - It was the theater on the right. Does the theater on the left have any anomaly, guys?
                          Last edited by GlendaleMagic!; 10-01-2009, 03:40 PM. Reason: Added info on what theater.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                            Originally posted by TheGr8K8 View Post
                            Last time I enjoyed this ride I noticed there is a spot on the screen, a black anomaly on the lower left hand side if I remember correctly, this seriously ruined the experience for me.
                            Yes, this is the only complaint I have about the attraction. That spot has been there for many months. It's tiresome.

                            Most of the people I go to the parks with have some connection to military planes and they love the que.
                            Spyed the Black Pearl from Cabrillo Beach

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                            • #15
                              Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                              Is it a hang gliding adventure? Does it represent all types of flight? Are we test pilots? What is the theme of this ride?

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                              • #16
                                Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                                Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
                                Is it a hang gliding adventure? Does it represent all types of flight? Are we test pilots? What is the theme of this ride?
                                Your guess is as good as mine!


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                                • #17
                                  Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                                  It's a great demonstration for a ride technology that could be put to better use by Disney.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                                    for what it's worth, in my opinion: jerry goldsmith gets a 25+++/10
                                    -plagued

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                                      Originally posted by CaliforniaAdventurer View Post
                                      It's a great demonstration for a ride technology that could be put to better use by Disney.
                                      I agree completely. This is like the Six Flags version... The one at Epcot is just as poorly realized. They've even got the ugly, basement queue!

                                      We may have to wait for Tokyo to do one before we see what a real themed, Disney version of this ride looks like!
                                      .

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Soarin' Over California - A Review

                                        Now, now...I find it hard to theme something to a video that takes you to 10+ locations around California in a matter of seconds.

                                        What will it be? Teleportation devices rigged to a hanglider?

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