Soarin’ Around the World Grizzly Peak Airfield Disney California Adventure
Soarin’ Around the World is a gentle simulator attraction that takes you around and over some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. From March 4 to April 26, 2022, the previous Califonia-centerd version, Soarin’ Over California will return as part of the 2022 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival.
Located in the Grizzly Peak Airfield in Disney California Adventure, Soarin’ Around the World takes you on a simulated hang glider ride over some of the world’s most beautiful landmarks, both natural and man-made. Set to a “Soarin’” soundtrack, the experience incorporates the sights, sounds, and even scents of magnificent areas like the Great Wall of China, the Matterhorn, the Eiffel Tower, Monument Valley, and Iguazu Falls.
Soarin’ Around the World is located in Grizzly Peak Airfield, just off Buena Vista Street. The queue extends both outside and inside the building. There are two theaters, and once inside the building at the bottom of the ramp the queue splits and goes left or right to one of the two theaters. Both sides feature an identical experience.
At the loading area, Cast Members will direct you to one of three boarding area sections – inside the theater these correspond to the left, center, or right seating areas. In the boarding area there are three rows: two rows of ten and one row of nine, corresponding to the seating area inside the theater.
The Pre-Show features Patrick Warburton (Kronk in The Emperor’s New Groove) as the flight attendant giving you the safety spiel. He manages to be serious but entertaining at the same time.
Once inside the theater, place all bags and loose articles in the mesh bag under your seat. If you’re wearing flip flops or “slide”-type shoes, put them in the bag or just leave them on the floor under your seat – your legs will be dangling and they could easily come off during your flight.
Each row of seats is sort of like a wide ski lift chair that seats 9 or 10. It’s higher than a standard theater seat so shorter people may have to hop up a little bit to get seated. You’ll be required to fasten your seat belt. For kids, there’s an additional loop that the seat belt goes through for some extra security. There are handles on each side of the seat, but NO bar in front of you. The seat is tilted slightly back so it’s very hard to fall forward.
The lights dim and suddenly you rise into the air (about 40′ for those in the top row, about 10 feet for those on the bottom) and find yourself “flying” through clouds that have appeared on the 80′ projection dome in front of you. Feel the wind in your face as you break through the clouds and fly over the majestic Matterhorn in Switzerland. After a short flight over a beautiful glacial bay in Greenland you’ll find yourself over Sydney Harbour with the iconic Opera House in front of you. Next you’ll soar around the lofty turrets of Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle before descending to the plains of Africa where Mt Kilimanjaro dominates the horizon. You’ll also follow the Great Wall of China as it twists and turns in the mountains. A flight over the desert landscape of Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza is followed by the serene beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. You’ll fly among the natural monoliths of Monument Valley before gliding over the coast of one of Fiji’s lush tropical islands. Listen to the sound of thundering water as you fly over the breathtaking Iguazu Falls in Brazil. In Paris, the City of Lights, you may feel as though you are flying up the Eiffel Tower. Your journey ends as you fly over Disneyland just as the fireworks begin over Sleeping Beauty Castle, and then gently descend back to the ground.
Several of the scenes will also stimulate your sense of smell, and feature the scents of grass, roses, and the ocean.
Visit our pages on the Walt Disney World version of Soarin’ Around the World HERE!
Lightning Lane access for Soarin’ Around the World is available with the purchase of Genie+. It opens when the gates to the park are open (e.g. 1/2 hour before official park opening), and that’s a great time to ride using the standby line. Plan to experience this attraction early in the day since the standby line is usually quite long.
There is a height requirement of 40 inches for this attraction.
This is NOT a roller coaster or fast-moving ride, but those prone to motion sickness, back and neck problems or other medical conditions, and those with a fear of heights should consider the advisability of riding.
If you decide you don’t wish to ride, just alert the Cast Member at the boarding area, and you will be directed to the exit.
The ride is about 4:30 minutes long.
The front row of any of the boarding areas will put you in the highest row of the ride vehicle, where you won’t be able to see feet dangling above you.
Restrooms are located behind and to your left as you stand facing the “Soarin’” building.
Wheelchairs and ECVs enter the attraction through the regular queue then transfer to the ride seat.
The video portion of the preshow is close-captioned.
Other than a very brief period of darkness at the beginning, this ride seems to be a fun experience for young and old.
“Smaller aviators” who don’t measure up to the height indicator on the seat are required to pass their seat belt through a loop between their legs when fastening it to provide additional security.
Various Disney Characters can often be found greeting guests beside the airplane on the far left-hand side of the attraction building.
The Smokejumpers Grill is located next to Soarin’ Around the World.
Humphrey’s Service and Supplies — Souvenirs, toys, Soarin’ Around the World specific merchandise and pins.
Soarin’ Over California was the original film, and featured spectacular scenery around California, like Yosemite Valley, Lake Tahoe, Monterey Bay and the Anza-Borrego Desert. It opened with Disney California Adventure on February 8, 2001.
Soarin’ Around the World opened on June 17, 2016, the day after the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland and the debut of its Soarin’ Over the Horizon attraction.
The musical score was composed by Bruce Broughton and performed by the London Studio Orchestra. It is based on the original score by Jerry Goldsmith.
The Soarin’ attraction can be found in three different theme parks around the world: Epcot, Shanghai Disneyland, and Disney California Adventure. The films are identical except for the final scene, which features a return to each respective location.
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