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Soarin' above California sites - Washington Times, 3/2/06


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  • Soarin' above California sites - Washington Times, 3/2/06

    The latest multimedia attraction to hit Walt Disney World is not really new; it debuted at Disneyland in California five years ago. Despite its technology, science themes and artistic splendor, it may leave seasoned theme-park lovers not completely buying into the experience.

    Soarin' takes 87 guests for a five-minute "hang glide" over major California landmarks, lifting and plunging them into half of a massive dome where they watch an Imax film that offers a three-dimensional feel using sensory magic.

    Composer Jerry Goldsmith adds an orchestral score to the final panoramic journey, which, rather than telling a story in the grandest Disney sense, is more like a series of visuals that says, "Hey, folks, look what we can do."

    Although the film is displayed through an Imax projection system using high-speed, high-definition Omni-max film projectors, it still looked grainy to me, and I swear I saw a hair floating across the screen. Disney really needs to take advantage of digital video technology to make this adventure sparkle.

    Additionally, the footage could have been longer and more spectacular if it hadn't been confined to California. How about a fly-by of Mount Rushmore, a Death Star-like run through the Grand Canyon or a visit with the Statue of Liberty?

    Also, unless precisely positioned near the middle of the ride, visitors may have a hard time suspending disbelief because they will be able to see the sides of the screen.
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