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  • Soarin' - One Man's Opinion

    OK, we just got back from WDW, and I got a chance to ride Soarin'. I have to say I don't understand the enthusiasm for this ride! It reminded me a circle-vision attraction: one scene tacked onto another with no real connection between them. The technology of the simulator is very impressive, but poorly used, It seemed that there were only a few times when they bothered to try to use the simulator to give a true feeling of flight, mostly they relied on the film to do that - any good IMAX theater can do that. The issue may be partly that I was in row three, so I had a clear view of not only the feet of the people above me, but of the frame for the screen as well at all times (as a note avoid getting put in this row if you can). Overall, the main impression I got after riding Soarin' was that DCA must truly be horrible for this to be the stand out ride. Am I the only one who feels this way?

  • #2
    Well I haven't had the chance to visit the Epcot version but I have to say that in the DCA version the only exciting part was the lift.

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    • #3
      I live in California, and I have never seen the peoples feet in front of me unless I've intentionally tried to look for them after we've gone up.
      Also, living in California, I have a greater appreciation for the scenes presented in the ride film. Why they gave Florida the same California film beats me, but I'm guessing you weren't impressed simply because you werent as familiar with the scenes presented as you would be with scenes from around Florida, or rather just highly recognizeable scenes from around the United States (which is what they should have done).

      I'm a fan of Soarin' but from your review, I don't think you guys got the same quality as we did. Maybe it was toned down or the seats were compacted more maybe for space reasons? I have no idea, but from what I'm getting from your response to the ride is that California's is superior to Florida's in some way, shape, or form.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MasterGracey
        I live in California, and I have never seen the peoples feet in front of me unless I've intentionally tried to look for them after we've gone up.
        Also, living in California, I have a greater appreciation for the scenes presented in the ride film. Why they gave Florida the same California film beats me, but I'm guessing you weren't impressed simply because you werent as familiar with the scenes presented as you would be with scenes from around Florida, or rather just highly recognizeable scenes from around the United States (which is what they should have done).

        I'm a fan of Soarin' but from your review, I don't think you guys got the same quality as we did. Maybe it was toned down or the seats were compacted more maybe for space reasons? I have no idea, but from what I'm getting from your response to the ride is that California's is superior to Florida's in some way, shape, or form.

        I have to say, I feel the same as Lurch, and I'm from California and get the connection. I have not ridden the WDw version, so it's hard to be objective. It's not that it's bad, (it's a really cool effect and one of my kid's favorite rides too) but to me it's filled with missed opportunities. I didn't see feet either, but it felt like the shots were slapped together with not a lot of imagination and the golf ball was the only moment of thrill to it. There is so much more to do in California than just fly over it, why not fly through it? (Like the Hollywood sign). I think it is ironic that the best part is when they show the Park next door!!!
        "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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        • #5
          Soarin at Epcot is 100% identical to DCA's version as far as the ride and film, only the queue is different. While I think the ride (in both parks) could have been plussed, I enjoy it a great deal. It's something that everyone can enjoy. The experience however is less when you aren't in the front row toward the middle. In dozens of rides in Cal, and a few in Orlando, I have never left the ride without hearing applause (and sadly, it was for the ride, not for me).

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          • #6
            I love "Soarin" for it's simplicity. The lift is always exhilirating!! ..and the CA scenery makes for great Beautiful vistas...which is more than I can say for flat Florida.
            The breeze in the face is a great plus, and the Disneyland flyover is FAB! I loved it the first time I saw it at DCA, and am glad to have it at EPCOT. This is the first time I can ride a great an E-Ticket with both my senior parents without concerns for their health or physical restrictions.

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            • #7
              ^^^Yep ... My grandfather is almost 94 and I know he would enjoy riding it. As opposed to say Mission Space or RnRC or Stitch's Great Disaster (I get my good taste from him!)

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              • #8
                I have been on Soarin' at DCA several times and I've noticed the feet above/in front of me any time I've been in the 2nd or 3rd row. It's hard not to when you are trying to view the entire screen and that involves looking up! It's even worse when the people in front of you are spastically swinging their legs, thus drawing even more attention to them. I try to get in the first row when possible.
                Otherwise, I enjoy the ride in a quiet, relaxing sort of way. It's not a thrill ride, that's for sure!

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                • #9
                  DCA is truly horrible. And yeah, Soarin' makes more sense to Californians who have an appreciation for the history behind the locales shown.

                  Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...


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                  • #10
                    I'm going to say this: They probably (i don't know anything for sure) used the California film because A.) It was already made. B.) California's geography differs more than any other state (for instance, the highest point and lowest point of the continental U.S. are both in California within 50 miles of each other.) and C.) Soarin Over Florida would be really really boring. ("Swamp...swamp...keys...swamp...miami....swamp... ." Haha imagine the smells!

                    Personally i think it should've been Soarin over the World, because the actual show building is realy in World Showcase behind Canada.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Morrigoon
                      DCA is truly horrible. And yeah, Soarin' makes more sense to Californians who have an appreciation for the history behind the locales shown.
                      I don't quite agree because I am not from CA and love the film and scenery.

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                      • #12
                        Lurch. You are not alone. I like Soarin' but I don't think it is the most awesome attraction that many others do. It is very pleasent and I will ride it on every trip but it truly is just another movie only this time you are hanging in front of it. The score by Jerry Goldsmith is a standout for me. Yes. This is the big hit at DCA and that in general tells you about the rest of the park though there are some bright spots and we now have a ToT too...though that also pales a bit in some areas.

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                        • #13
                          I like Soarin', it's not the most thrilling ride, but it's a nice ride that even my 5 year old loves. I always try to get the front row so I miss the feet, but that's a minor diversion. I'd like to see Disney World change it and "soar" past famous scenery of all of the United States, but it's still a good ride. I won't get into DCA too much, but I like it a lot better than Universal Studios Hollywood. They're both half day parks, but at least I have the park hopping option at DCA.

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                          • #14
                            The Orlando Sentinel also gave 'Soarin' a lukewarm review, chastising Disney for going cheaper and for the (quoting) "industrial look of the ride, and chained queue dividers".

                            Oh well... can't please everyone!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lurch
                              It seemed that there were only a few times when they bothered to try to use the simulator to give a true feeling of flight, mostly they relied on the film to do that - any good IMAX theater can do that.
                              Very true, Soarin' uses the generally flat (but curved at the ends) screen. The best way to get the motion in the mind is with an Omnimax (AKA IMAX Dome) projection technique, where the screen is curved to half a sphere. This gives a surrounding perspective much better than traditional IMAX. The problems involved with Omnimax is space and the IMAX HD System. I'm not sure if the HD system in Omnimax was accomplished by the time Back to the Future, The Ride opened. As for space, well, that's a whole another story.
                              J.B. Opie

                              "Doubt is the rust of a feeble mind. The only way to seize the future is to grasp the present. Let's Go!"

                              -Chairman Clench, Alien Encounter

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                              • #16
                                I like Soarin'. I'll agree, it's not a major thrill but... it's still quite an enjoyable attraction. I'm not all that bothered by the other people's feet. I know I'm on a theme park ride with a bunch of other people. I'm not all that bothered by the edge of the screen. I can enjoy a movie on my 25 inch TV and not really be annoyed by seeing the living room wall at 26 inches plus. My feeling is that Soarin's attraction is its uniqueness. Not a coaster, not really a dark ride or a simulator and not merely a film. It's different. It smells good. That counts for something. A good solid C-ticket. Pleasant, uplifting and entertaining. It could have been better but it ain't bad. Too bad for Florida that you can't have your own unique film. That's very un-Disney and cheap. To bad for California we have the same film over and over.
                                "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
                                -Art Linkletter July 17, 2005-


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                                • #17
                                  I went on Soarin' the first month DCA was open. It was then and still is among our favorites. As WDW1974 said it is exactly the same once you are in the ride itself at WDW. I have been on both multiple times. This is a ride in the Disney tradition. Unique and inovative. Not over the top but a good solid ride. I appreciate a ride that can be enjoyed by all and that doesn't involve an inversion(which means my lunch stays put).

                                  I enjoy a thrill ride as much as the next guy but I prefer a ride that depends on entertaining me. Everyone has his own likes but when I so often see Disney criticized for trending towards the cheap thrill rides it surprizes me that when they do step up to the plate with a ride like Soarin' they don't get more support.

                                  Anyway just a thought.

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                                  • #18
                                    I think Soarin' was a bit "hyped up". So WDW-ers were expecting something absolutly amazing. It's a great ride, the music really is some of the best Disney music ever, and you get to fly! I think being in CA and riding is better than being in FL and riding it. At the end when Disneyland comes on the screen everyone in the theater Screams and claps, that just wont ever happen in FL. They should have changed the ending to flying over Magic Kingdom.

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                                    • #19
                                      It is a great ride for what it is....

                                      A Glider Simulator.. (Love the dissappearing helicopter over the military base effect.. LOL)

                                      I enjoyed it well.... thought the screen could have been bigger... and the smells you get.. brilliant... (Front row to the left..)

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Disneylandrocks55
                                        I think Soarin' was a bit "hyped up". So WDW-ers were expecting something absolutly amazing. It's a great ride, the music really is some of the best Disney music ever, and you get to fly! I think being in CA and riding is better than being in FL and riding it. At the end when Disneyland comes on the screen everyone in the theater Screams and claps, that just wont ever happen in FL. They should have changed the ending to flying over Magic Kingdom.
                                        can your average guest even tell the difference?

                                        I suppose a few might notice somethigns up with the castle?

                                        I dunno I might be expecting too little from the non disney fanatic
                                        "We all have sparks, imagination! it's how our minds... create creations!"

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