First Hand Reports
Soarin'
Epcot



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(Some reports have spoilers --
if you want total surprise, do not read these reports!)


Terena Yohe - September 2005

Soarin' is an amazing journey that finally lets you experience the feeling of flying you have in your dreams. I'm highly sensitive to motion sickness and I had absolutely no trouble on this ride. My daughter who is a Nervous Nelly by nature reluctantly got on the ride with our encouragement and she loved it. The initial "lift" might unnerve the worrier but seconds later you will relax and take in the wonderful scenery. The "landing" is so gentle you might not even realize you have been placed back down on the ground. There is no jostling or sudden motion. Every movement is gentle and calm. It's a short ride - as others my only complaint is that it is too short! Soarin' gets 4 thumbs up from our family.(two adults and two children ages 7 & 9) It's a ride that you must experience!

*****

Mike Czark - September 2005

Soarin' is absolutely spectacular. One of the few attractions I've ever been on which invariably generated spontaneous applause at the conclusion. Even if it were in 3D I don't see how it could get any better. It's a "thrill ride" for those who don't like thrill rides. The only hitch is our "host" in the video, Patrick ("Puddy" from Seinfeld) is in my opinion lit a bit oddly. He looks a little menacing in the intro video. And like other celebrity hosts in pre-show videos, he's so very clearly reading off cue cards. Otherwise, a rock-solid must-see, and an attraction which continues to award repeated visits. Can't wait to see if the rumored flights over the entire country are in the pipeline for later.

*****

Alan - August 2005

Wow. This attraction is a great experience. It's the next-generation of all those CircleVision movies (e.g. Timekeeper). Sitting on your "bench", with all the blue lights around you, waiting to go, it's very exciting. But then when the seats swing up, 40ft into the air, and the film starts... it's a wow moment. The B1 seats are the best. You're completely surrounded by the film. You can look to your right, to your left, down below your dangling feet, and it's all a projection. Being physically high up, it makes the movie even more believable, because you really are high up over the ground.

The thing that really struck me is the clarity/detail of the image. It's not like the Back to the Future ride where the focal objects are very big on the screen, and TOO in your face. On Soarin' you can see a skier very tiny on the screen, far off in the distance, and as he comes down the snowy slope towards you, he gets bigger. It's basically a very natural projection, with so much detail that you have the freedom to look wherever you want.

The music is awesome, and really is what makes the ride so beautiful and relaxing. It's a fantastic score, and provides a great structure to the experience (start, middle, end).

Overall, I think Soarin' is one of the best rides at Walt Disney World. Yes, it is simulator, a "cheap" film-based attraction, but the scale of the ride system, the completely immersive film, and the emotional music make this, for me, much more enjoyable than Pirates of the Caribbean.

*****

florene schaefer - July 2005

I feel that the new ride soarin is one that you can enjoy no matter what age you are. The first time i waited in line for over a half hour. previous to that i got a fast pass just in case i really liked the ride. I was so glad that i did. Its really worth the wait in line to ride this. The visual effects and the aromas are quit awesome. I will head there first thing the next time I'm there.

*****

David Kozlowski - June 2005

If you are riding Soarin, the best seats to ride from are the Row "A" seats. I had the opportunity to ride it twice (Baby swapped the second ride) and rode it in row "A" the first ride (which is the row that takes you the highest) and rode it in row "C" the second time (which is the lowest). The top row provides a better ride experience. There are no obstructions and you feel as if you are alone. On the bottom row you can see the people in the "glider" above
you feet and you can actually see the bottom of the screen. When we were there the stand-by line was at 80 min wait time. If I had waited that amount of time to ride and was placed in the bottom row I would have been extremely disappointed.

*****

Margie Crumley - June 2005

Just got back from WDW...had a ball, as I knew I would! Just wanted to let those of you who are going to PLEASE make sure you go to EPCOT and ride SOARIN'. It is THE best ride at DW! We wanted to do it a second time but ran out of time.

*****

David - June 2005

The highlight of our trip to WDW was definitely Soarin'. We rode it rigth as the park opened with no wait,then used FASTPASS to ride it again later. It's the only attraction I've expereinced where people applauded at the end - and it happened both times. I just wish it was longer - I could have flown for hours! Great, great ride.

*****

RuthAnne - June 2005

We could have ridden Soaring all day. My husband and I both noticed that when the ride was over, people delayed a few seconds before getting off as everyone was so in awe. It was such a pleasant ride that while incorporating all the special effects, you were not rocked or moved to suddenly. I also liked the fact that the entrance and the ride itself is well lit so that children often upset by darkness won't be freaked before the ride even starts. We are
returning in October and can't wait to take out daughter on this one. My suggestion, run don't walk to this ride and prepare to soar.

*****

Lisbeth Fernandez - June 2005

I just wanted to tell your readers that the Soarin' attraction was unbelievable. It was the best ride I feel that I have experienced at Walt Disney World. It's great for all ages. You actually fell like you are gliding through all the beautiful California Scenery. The new Land pavillion does get pretty congested because of the new ride and new food court. So try to ride Soarin early in the day. However, I went during Memorial Weekend and the ride stated the line was 70 minutes, but we decidede to ride anyway. But we were only waiting for 25 minutes. I was told by a Disney employee that sometines they exagerate the wait times in order to encourage people to get a Fastpass. The same thing happened at Space Mountain. It stated a wait time of 65 minutes and I only waited 30 minutes. Anyway, I strongly recommend Saorin". Have a great trip!

*****

kristy - June 2005

My family just returned from our first trip to WDW. The most important attraction for me to ride was Soarin". I was supposed to hanglide in the Smoky mountains a couple of years ago, and it was cancelled due to weather. this was the next best thing. Soarin' was the most exhilarating attraction I have ever been on! My 2 kids and I went, with only a 30 minute stand by wait. Not only do you see the screen in fron of you, but above, underneath, and to the sides! You actually felt like you were a 1000 feet in the air! I actually lifted up my legs, thinking we were going to skim the Pacific ocean. And Disneyland with the fireworks to end it was totally awesome. This is an amazing attraction not to be missed by either adults or kids!!!!!

*****

Beth Meyer - May 2005

My boyfriend and I went to Epcot about a month ago and tried the new ride, Soarin'. It was FANTASTIC!!! I had read all of the reviews and was very excited. This ride did not dissapoint. One thing I was suprised at though. There is no bar that comes down to hold on to. The only thing to hold on to are the little bars on the side. That made me a little nervous but Wow, once the ride started, I relaxed. We did Fastpass and only waited about 10 minutes. Great, great ride. We are going back this weekend and cannot wait!!

*****

Jim Good - May 2005

My wife, Diana, and I rode this ride while down at WDW in mid-May. She often gets woozy/disoriented at "visual movement" type rides, such as some of the widescreen country film scenes (China, Canada). Most of her problems are on "physical movement" rides, especially Star Tours. Strangely, she does the coaster mountains just fine! Me, I do the mountains and Star Tours fine, I just am not comfortable if I am not securely in a belt/harness at heights. I don't do the ski lift at Blizzard Beach, for example (no belt). Based on all the positive feedback on this site, we thought we'd try it - BAD MOVE! It was the worst experience we've ever had at WDW. The belts were not securely tight, and did not appear to be tightenable (is that a word?). Thank goodness I was on the end of a bench and had a side arm to latch onto with both hands (probably looked pretty funny). The overwhelming size of the screen and the apparent speed of flying were enough to have us both close our eyes through much of the ride. Then the bench tilted forward,and I swore I was going to slide out. When we got off, the couple next to us reported they felt the same way. Apparently we are in the minority, as most we talked to loved the ride. I just want to let people know it is not a totally fear free ride - use your best discretion!

*****

Ray Sharpton - May 2005

As you enter the Land Pavilion, take your scooter to the left side down the long ramp instead of the longer way on the right side. Once you get on the 2nd level, you will see the escalators and stairs to the third level down on your immediate right. Make a left turn and you will see the single elevator and restrooms. Take the elevator down to the third level and scoot around following your right side until you see the entrance to the Soaring entrance. On the far right is a area to pick up your fastpass. In the center is the standby line entrance, whick I took after getting a fastpass. And on the left is the fastpass line.

The queue line is very wide, about four to five people wide almost all of the way. Once you get to where they let the fastpass enter, you also enter another queue with standby and fastpass people.They asked me to drive my scooter in the third queue line. Let's see if I can describe this about the seats. There are three huge mechanical arms that hold three rows of seats. Each arm loads the same row, one at a time, before being lifted up.

I was in the third row outside. I guess so that it would be easier to turn into the doorway versus being in the first row and make an immediate 90 degree turn. When I drove in the door to get seated, they had already filled rows one and two of all three mechanical arms. It appears that the center, arm rows has ten seats. And the two outside arm, rows has about seven seats each.

I could see already see rows one and two were already up in the air part of the way. So there was plenty of space to drive right past in front of all the rows. Anyway, they told me to park my scooter in the large space beside the center, arm, column area. I didn't have to turn the scooter sideways or anything. I just hopped in the end seat. The seat have large storage areas underneath each seat. They won't let you hold anything like a backpack. The person next me was holding his backpack, and the castmember layed it on the ground next to my scooter as the show was about to start.

Each seat shares an armrest, so I just grabbed the end armrest and let the person next to me use the other armrest. The seat belt was on my left and the receiving end was on the right, back side of the seat. As I said, next time I will look for this site before I sit down. The seat belt was large enough for me.

Then the three arms lifted all of us up in front of the sceen along with rows one and two at the same time and the show started. Wow......what a show!

I understand that if you are unable to get out of a scooter that they have a static place to watch the movie, but I don't know where.

So you follow the regular walkers all of the way through the queue and ride. WDW did a wonderful job.

Afterwards, they let our third row out first. Sorta of unloading in reverse. We loaded last, but unloaded first depending on whether you were on row one, two, or three. As you exit, you pass the fastpass on the right. Then I used my fastpass again. I was hoping to try a different row, but I was on the third row again by chance. I guess that I could have asked, but I was having to much fun.

*****

Andrew Della Vecchia - May 2005

A quick suggestion to anyone concerned about the intensity of Soarin' at Epcot after riding Misson: Space. This is THE most enjoyable ride experience I have had! My wife can not ride Mission: Space or coasters. She completely enjoyed this! You do not get jostled, shaked, spun, or the like. This is a simulation ride that makes you want to go on again and again (and again!). The ride is thrilling without putting your body through any physical extremes. The only concern is for anyone who is highly sensitive to movies that have motion and a sense of height.

*****

Maureen Austin - May 2005

I've just returned from a WDW trip with friends and I experienced Soarin for the first time. Honestly, I didn't think
anything would ever top Test Track for me as my favorite but Soarin has!

The underlying theme is unusual in that the CM costuming, preshow and signage is almost like an airline. The preshow is done by Patrick Warburton- "Puddy" on Seinfeld- he does a great job even though his appearance is brief.

We rode three times during our visit and the front row (1) is definitely ideal as your view is completely free of seeing other peoples feet- and you are highest up. However, no matter where you are you'll experience a great time.

There are so many scenes over California you see- some enhanced with smells (all good) and the ending scene brought me to tears.

I had no issues with motion sickness and this ride was not scary to me in the least! Extremely well done and of the caliber we've come to expect from Disney!!

*****

Kris - May 2005

We just returned from WDW - the most outstanding attraction we visited this year was Soarin' - what a show! It was (for lack of a better word), awesome. My five year-old thought it was pretty cool, and I thought it was absolutely amazing. We used FastPass and only waited in line for about 10 minutes (each time we rode). Don't skip this one!!

*****

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