Soarin', also known as Soarin' Around the World,Soaring Over the Horizon and Soaring: Fantastic Flight is a flight motion simulator attraction at Disney California Adventure, Epcot, and Shanghai Disneyland. The ride employs a mechanical lift system, a projected presentation on an 80 ft (24 m) concave 180-degree dome screen, artificial scents and wind to simulate a hang gliding flight over several locations across six continents around the world.[4][5]

The original iteration of the attraction, known as Soarin' Over California, was an opening day attraction at Disney California Adventure on February 8, 2001. The initial version took guests over several locations in California, and included a pre-show tribute to the history of California's aviation industry. Due to its consistent popularity, Soarin' Over California was duplicated at Epcot in Walt Disney World as Soarin' in 2005.

The current global version of the ride debuted at Shanghai Disneyland Park as Soaring Over the Horizon on June 16, 2016. Concurrently, the American versions were also replaced with the new film as Soarin' Around the World on the next day, June 17.[2][6] A fourth attraction under the name Soaring: Fantastic Flight was announced in 2016 for Tokyo DisneySea, and is expected to open July 23, 2019.[7]

Soarin' Around The World
Soarin' Logo
Disney California Adventure
NameSoarin' Around the World[1]
AreaGrizzly Peak Airfield
Coordinates33°48′30″N 117°55′12″W / 33.80837°N 117.92000°W
Opening dateFebruary 8, 2001
June 17, 2016 (Soarin' Around the World)[2]
Closing dateJune 15, 2016 (Soarin' Over California)
Fastpass available
NameSoarin' Around the World[3]
AreaFuture World (The Land pavilion)
Coordinates28°22′21.66″N 81°33′9.43″W / 28.3726833°N 81.5526194°W
Opening dateMay 5, 2005
(Soarin') June 17, 2016 (Soarin' Around the World)[2]
Closing dateJune 16, 2016 (Soarin' Over California)
ReplacedFood Rocks (1994-2004)
FastPass+ available
Shanghai Disneyland Park
NameSoaring Over the Horizon
AreaAdventure Isle
Opening dateJune 16, 2016
Fastpass available
Tokyo DisneySea
NameSoaring: Fantastic Flight
AreaMediterranean Harbor
StatusUnder construction
Opening dateJuly 23, 2019
General statistics
Attraction typeSimulator ride
ManufacturerDynamic Structures
DesignerWalt Disney Imagineering
MusicBruce Broughton, based on a score by Jerry Goldsmith
Height80 ft (24 m)
Vehicles6 in two theaters (California, Shanghai)
9 in three theaters (Florida)
Riders per vehicleAlpha 27, Bravo 33, Charlie 27
Participants per group87 per theater
Height restriction40 in (102 cm)
HostPatrick Warburton
Must transfer from wheelchair
Closed captioning available

Ride design

Soarin over California - Disney California Adventure Park
Three rows of seating for the ride

Soarin' was first conceptualized in 1996 as "Ultra Flight," a name which can still be seen on the tower consoles of the California Adventure attraction. It was to feature an OMNIMAX screen with an inverted track allowing guests to fly over California's landmarks. The attraction would have three load levels and the system would operate on a horizontal cable, much like a dry cleaner's rack. This plan was abandoned, however, when it was determined that the construction and labor costs for that design would be prohibitive. It seemed that Soarin' wouldn't become a reality until engineer Mark Sumner developed a different idea for the ride vehicles, using an Erector Set and string to create a working model. This design would allow Disney to efficiently load guests on one level instead of three, thus cutting construction and labor costs greatly.

Each ride vehicle consists of three rows of seats under a wing-like canopy, and has a capacity of 87 guests at a time. After guests have been safely restrained in the vehicle using standard lap belts, the canopy descends slightly and a cantilever system lifts the chairs forward and into the air with the guests' feet dangling freely. The vehicle is lifted forward so that guests look into a large, concave movie screen onto which aerial views are projected. The scenes for the original film were shot with an IMAX HD frame rate - 48 frames per second, twice the conventional output for regular films. Since the vehicle is moved forward toward the center of the dome, guests can only see the images projected on the screen and experience the sensation of flight. The ride structure contains about one million pounds (454,000 kg) of steel, and 37 tons (33.5 metric tonnes) are lifted during each ride cycle.

To enhance the illusion of flight, subtle vertical movements of the seats are synchronized to the film. Sensations of horizontal motion are created using a combination of vertical carriage movement and turning the image on the screen. In addition, scents complementing the various scenes are injected into the air streams blowing on riders. These scents now include rose blossoms in the Taj Mahal scene, the aroma of grass in the Africa scene, and a sea breeze scent in the South Pacific scene in the updated show.[4][8]


Disney California Adventure

Soarin Over California Updated Entrance - July 17th 2015
Soarin' Over California at Disney California Adventure.

Soarin' Around the World is located in the Grizzly Peak Airfield section of Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. It is one of the most popular attractions in the resort and usually has wait times ranging from 30 to 150 minutes. However, the attraction is tied into the park's FASTPASS system, allowing guests the option of bypassing a long wait.

While waiting in line, guests pass the Wings of Fame, an homage to significant aircraft in the history of aviation in California. Some of these include the P-51 Mustang, SR-71 Blackbird, and the Bell X-1. There is also a section dedicated to individuals such as John J. Montgomery, Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, Jack Northrop, the Wright brothers, Howard Hughes, Jacqueline Cochran, Kelly Johnson, Paul MacCready, and Chuck Yeager. Inspirational music from a variety of films, many of them war- or flight-themed, is played in the queue hallways. Some film scores featured include Patton, MacArthur, Air Force One, The Blue Max, Explorers, (all by Jerry Goldsmith), The American President (by Marc Shaiman), DragonHeart, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (both by Randy Edelman), The Last Starfighter (by Craig Safan), Apollo 13 and The Rocketeer (both by James Horner), Always (by John Williams) and the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers (by Michael Kamen). The Air Force Song and "Jupiter" from Gustav Holst's orchestral suite The Planets are also included, based on their use in The Right Stuff.

Before entering the theater area, guests are placed in one of three preshow areas, called "Alpha Gate", "Bravo Gate", or "Charlie Gate," (named for the first three letters of the NATO phonetic alphabet). Just before boarding, guests watch a pre-boarding video hosted by their chief flight attendant, Patrick, portrayed by actor Patrick Warburton.[4]

The attraction opened in 2001 as Soarin' Over California in what was then the Condor Flats area of the park. In early 2015, the attraction closed for refurbishment as the surrounding area was transformed into Grizzly Peak Airfield. It reopened on May 15, 2015, with new exterior theming and with updates to its screen and projection system.[9][10][11][12] The attraction now features the a Laser Illuminated digital projection array which replaces the original Imax systems.[13] In addition to the projection system changes, several exterior changes occurred, including a replacement of the mock-up RS-25 rocket engine with a fire lookout tower.

From January to March 2016, the attraction operated as Soarin' Over California intermittently in order to prepare for the introduction of the Soarin' Around the World ride film. The original film was shown until June 15, with the attraction being closed on June 16 to prepare for the new film debuting on June 17, 2016.[14][15]


Soarin' around the world
Entrance for Epcot's Soarin' within The Land pavilion.

The attraction was duplicated, simply as Soarin', and officially opened inside "The Land" pavilion at Epcot in Walt Disney World on May 5, 2005. Unlike the Disney California Adventure version, the idea is that guests are taking flights to California, rather than already being there. This is further reinforced in the theming that you are loaded into "gates" and with airport-themed spiels which reference "Flight 5505", which is a homage to the opening day of the attraction. Its cast members wear costumes that resemble flight attendant costumes, whereas the California version uses airfield crew costumes.

The Epcot standby queue originally featured pictures of natural wonders from around the world, not just California. There was very little reference to the fact that the ride only featured California at the time. The queue currently utilizes a new infrared technology that allows guests to participate in interactive games. In 2009, this interactive game technology appeared in the Magic Kingdom as part of a seven-month overhaul of Space Mountain.

The attraction closed for refurbishment on January 4, 2016, originally slated to reopen on June 17, with a third theater to coincide with the release of the new Soarin' Around the World film.[16][17] The ride reopened with the original film on May 27, with the change to the new film occurring on June 17, 2016.[14][18]

Shanghai Disneyland Park

The attraction was retooled as Soaring Over the Horizon for Shanghai Disneyland Park. The attraction was not part of the park's original design plans, and was added only after Walt Disney Imagineering began development on it for the American parks.[19] Located in the Adventure Isle section, the ride opened with the park on June 16, 2016.

Embedded into the Adventure Isle setting, the attraction is depicted here as an ancient observatory and temple to the Arbori tribe's Condor god.[20] The preshow and safety spiel is hosted by a shaman of the tribe who grants you the ability of flight, but has trouble controlling her own shapeshifting abilities. [21]

Tokyo DisneySea

Artist's concept of Tokyo DisneySea version of Soarin'

On April 27, 2016, officials with Tokyo Disney Resort announced a number of new attractions for both Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea parks in the coming years.[7] Included in the announcement was a proposed version of Soarin' (titled Soaring: Fantastic Flight) to be located in the Mediterranean Harbor section of Tokyo DisneySea.[7] The announcement revealed that this version will have a different theme, with the ride vehicles being Renaissance-era Dream Flyers created by aviatrix and Society of Explorers and Adventurers member Camellia Falco, and that it was planned to open July 23, 2019.

The attraction is set in the Museum of Fantastic Flight, which is hosting a retrospective on the life of Camellia Falco. Falco's spirit takes us to see some of her Dream Flyer gliders and invites us to take a flight of fantasy around the world. Falco was first teased at Disneyland's Tropical Hideaway restaurant as one of the names listed on a series of oars belonging to members of the Society. [22]

Ride films

Soarin' Over California

Soarin' Over California
Soarin' Over California exterior as it appeared from 2001-2014 at Disney California Adventure.

The original ride film, which lasted about four minutes and 51 seconds, took guests on a simulated hang glider tour of California. Appropriate scents (citrus, pine, sagebrush, ocean mist) filled the air as the ride vehicles themselves moved gently to simulate the sensations of flight. In addition to the state's various landscapes, the ride also highlighted its diverse recreation, including snow skiing, river rafting, kayaking, golf, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, surfing and of course, hang gliding. The locations visited were:

The original Soarin' Over California ride film at both Disney California Adventure and Epcot used an orchestral score by composer Jerry Goldsmith, who is said to have come down from his first ride in tears. In addition to finding the ride visually beautiful and magical, he said that his father was a pilot who loved all things Californian. "I'd do anything to be part of this project," Goldsmith said. "I'd even score the film for free."[23] The soundtrack he wrote played throughout the entire attraction, starting with a crescendo in the low strings while the screen was still dark. Numerous variations of a serene theme for horn and strings could be heard, as well as several statements of a fanfare that accompanied the film's grandest vistas. The entire original ride score can be found on recent Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World official albums, including Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: Disneyland. The original score also continues to be played as part of a loop in the Disneyland Resort Esplanade and Epcot's entrance plaza.

Soaring Over the Horizon and Soarin' Around the World

An updated version of the Soarin' attraction debuted at the Adventure Isle section of Shanghai Disneyland Park as Soaring Over the Horizon, on June 16, 2016.[24][25] On August 15, 2015 at the D23 Expo, it was announced that the attractions at Epcot and Disney California Adventure would debut versions of the new Soaring Over the Horizon ride film, titled Soarin' Around the World. This new ride film features locations, landscapes, and landmarks across six continents of the world.[26][27] Unlike the original ride film, the updated version heavily features computer generated imagery. This includes animated transitions between scenes, such as close encounters with a seaplane, a kite, and an eagle.[4] The updated attractions opened on June 17, 2016 at Disney California Adventure and Epcot, along with a third theater for the latter location.[2][17][28] The locations visited are:[4]

Soarin' Around the World and Soaring Over the Horizon, received a new score, composed by Bruce Broughton, which was heavily based on Goldsmith's original score.[5] The new score was performed by the London Studio Orchestra.[29]

See also


  1. ^ "Soarin' Around the World". Disneyland. Archived from the original on August 7, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Lim, Victoria. "Soarin' Around the World Takes Flight at Disney Parks This Summer". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  3. ^ "Soarin'". Walt Disney World. Archived from the original on June 17, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e MacDonald, Brady (June 22, 2016). "Disney's rebooted Soarin' ride takes flight over worldwide landmarks". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 25, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Gritchen, Jeff (June 15, 2016). "Shanghai Disneyland: Get a sneak peek at new 'Soaring' ride, also coming to California this week". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on June 16, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  6. ^ Glover, Erin (August 16, 2015). "Soarin' Around the World Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts". DisneyParks Blog. Disney. Archived from the original on February 25, 2016. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Drew Taylor (April 27, 2016). "BEAUTY AND THE BEAST-THEMED LAND, BIG HERO 6 ATTRACTION ANNOUNCED FOR TOKYO DISNEYLAND". The Walt Disney Company. Archived from the original on June 3, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  8. ^ "All Of Your Soarin' Around the World Questions, Answered". Oh My Disney. June 25, 2016. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  9. ^ Pimentel, Joseph (January 25, 2015). "Upgrades close several Disney rides". The Orange County Register. p. Local 2. Archived from the original on March 8, 2015.
  10. ^ "Soarin' Over California". Disneyland. Archived from the original on January 13, 2015.
  11. ^ Glover, Erin (March 9, 2015). "New Smokejumpers Grill Opens March 20, Part of Grizzly Peak Expansion at Disney California Adventure Park". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on March 11, 2015. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  12. ^ Glover, Erin (May 15, 2015). "Grizzly Peak Airfield Now Open at Disney California Adventure Park". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on May 16, 2015. Retrieved May 15, 2015.
  13. ^ Mark Eades, OC Register. "New Grizzly Peak Airfield at Disney California Adventure recalls scenic national parks". Archived from the original on July 13, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2015. According to Scholz, advances in laser illumination technology allowed Disney to upgrade the projectors without a sacrifice in the quality of the show.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  14. ^ a b Lim, Victoria. "Last Chance to Experience the Classic Soarin' at Epcot and Disney California Adventure Before Soarin' Around the World Debuts on June 17". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on May 21, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  15. ^ Glover, Erin. "Taking Flight from Grizzly Peak Airfield on Soarin' Around the World at Disney California Adventure Park". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on June 5, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  16. ^ Thomas Smith, Social Media Director, Disney Parks. "More Opportunities to Soar, Enjoy Toy Story Mania Coming to Walt Disney World Resort". Archived from the original on July 13, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2015.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  17. ^ a b Erik. "D23: Soarin Around the World coming to both Epcot and Disney's California Adventure!". Behind the Thrills. Archived from the original on August 17, 2015. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  18. ^ Bevil, Dewayne. "Disney: Opening dates for Frozen ride, Soarin', Star Wars fireworks, more". Archived from the original on May 23, 2016. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  19. ^ Makinen, Julie (June 17, 2016). "Disney's popular 'Soaring' ride gets a Shanghai reboot". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  20. ^ "Soaring Over the Horizon | Shanghai Disney Resort".
  21. ^ SHDL Soaring Over the Horizon(Preshow) ソアリン オーバー・ザ・ホライズン(プレショー) (YouTube). rogermosphere. June 20, 2016.
  22. ^
  23. ^ Jim Hill Media. "The new Disney California Adventure Official Album". Archived from the original on October 10, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  24. ^ Ben Fritz. "Disney Unveils Shanghai Disneyland Details". WSJ. Archived from the original on August 16, 2015.
  25. ^ Makinen, Julie (July 15, 2015). "How 'Chinese' will Shanghai Disney be?". Archived from the original on August 17, 2015.
  26. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (April 19, 2016). "Disney: More details on Frozen ride, new version of Soarin'". Orlando Sentinel. Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
  27. ^ "Soarin' Around the World Coming to Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on August 17, 2015.
  28. ^ Mauney, Matt (August 25, 2015). "Epcot: Here's what the Soarin' update will look like". Archived from the original on March 31, 2016.
  29. ^ "Soarin' Around the World Takes Flight This Summer at Epcot" (PDF). Walt Disney World. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 10, 2016. Retrieved May 10, 2016.

External links

2016 in amusement parks

This article is a list of events and openings related to amusement parks that occurred in 2016. These various lists are not exhaustive.

Buena Vista Street

Buena Vista Street (formerly known as Sunshine Plaza) is a themed "land" at Disney California Adventure at the Disneyland Resort. Though named for the real-life Burbank thoroughfare that the Walt Disney Studios sits on, the central plaza represents Los Angeles in the 1920s, when Walt Disney first arrived there. One of the main features is a small-scale replica of the Hyperion Bridge, which was being constructed when Disney stayed in Atwater Village. The replica functions as a working bridge for the resort's monorail system.

This land is similar to the layout and style of Main Street, USA at Disneyland, Disney California Adventure's sister park. This land includes dining, shopping, parades, and entertainment. The Red Car Trolley, a recreation of Pacific Electric's iconic Red Car electric trolleys, transports guests through this area, from the park's entry to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! in Hollywood Land.


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Disney California Adventure

Disney California Adventure Park, commonly referred to as Disney California Adventure, California Adventure, or DCA, is a theme park located in Anaheim, California. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company through its Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products division. The 72-acre (29 ha) park is themed after the history and culture of California, which celebrates the fun and adventure of the state through the use of various Disney, Pixar and Marvel properties. The park opened on February 8, 2001 as Disney's California Adventure Park or Disney's California Adventure, and it is the second of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort complex, after Disneyland Park.

The concept of a theme park dedicated to California arose from a meeting of Disney executives in 1995, following the cancellation of the WestCOT project. Construction of the park began in 1998 and was completed by early 2001. Disney initially projected high attendance rates at the new park, however, a series of preview openings held in January 2001 led to negative reviews, and after the park officially opened to the public on February 8, 2001, the company's attendance projections were never met. Disney spent the next several years incrementally adding new rides, shows, and attractions, and implementing other promotions aimed at boosting attendance. In 2007, Disney announced a major expansion of the park as well as a major overhaul of a significant portion of the park. Construction lasted for five years and was completed in stages, culminating with the opening of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land in June 2012.

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Dynamic Structures is a Canadian company with a history of steel fabrication dating back to 1926. They create amusement rides, theme park rides, observatory telescopes and other complex steel structures.

Europe in the Air

Europe in the Air was a motion simulator ride located at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, a theme park in Williamsburg, Virginia. The attraction was similar in both ride and production to that of Disney's Soarin' Over California and Star Tours. Because of the theming of the park, Europe in the Air simulated flight over Europe's most notable icons. The park stated the picture is "eight times clearer than HD." Other features, such as fans, were used for a more realistic journey. Europe in the Air replaced the Corkscrew Hill ride for the 2010 season. It was previously sponsored by Aer Lingus.


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Flying roller coaster

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Food Rocks

Food Rocks was an attraction at Epcot's The Land pavilion presented by Nestlé in the Walt Disney World Resort. It was a musical stage show, with audio-animatronic figures.

Grizzly Peak (Disney California Adventure)

Grizzly Peak is a themed land at Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The area is designed to look like the typical Californian National Park setting found in the 1950s. The land opened with the park in 2001 as part of a subsection of a larger land, Golden State, which also included two other neighboring lands, Pacific Wharf and Condor Flats. The "Golden State" name was retired and the three sections were broken off into their own separate lands in 2012, as part of the park's redesign. The Condor Flats section was subsequently incorporated into the Grizzly Peak area, as Grizzly Peak Airfield, in 2015.The land's name is eponymous with its central icon, Grizzly Peak.

I'm the J57

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Soarin' Eagle

Soarin' Eagle is a steel roller coaster located at the Scream Zone at Luna Park, Coney Island, New York City. The ride was the first ever Zamperla "Volare" roller coaster when it opened in 2002 at Elitch Gardens in Denver, Colorado, as the Flying Coaster. The Elitch Gardens ride was constructed by Martin & Vleminckx. The Volare is the cheapest option for a flying roller coaster and boasts a compact layout with a unique spiral lift hill.

In late 2010 the ride got dismantled and relocated to Luna Park, Coney Island. It opened in April 2011 as the Soarin' Eagle.


Soaring may refer to:

Gliding, in which pilots fly unpowered aircraft known as gliders or sailplanes

Lift (soaring), a meteorological phenomenon used as an energy source by some aircraft and birds

An increased speed of growth in a mountains height

Soaring (magazine), a magazine produced by the Soaring Society of America

SOARING, a public artwork at Alverno College

List of soaring birds

Soarin' Over California, a ride at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California

Soarin', a ride in Walt Disney World's Epcot which is the same as Soarin' Over California

Soaring (album) a 1973 Big Band jazz album by Don Ellis

The Land (Epcot)

The Land is a pavilion that sits on the western side of Epcot's Future World at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The pavilion is dedicated to human civilization's interaction with the Earth, including agriculture and travel. It opened on October 1, 1982, as part of the Phase I features for the grand opening of what was then known as EPCOT Center. "The Land" is a 24 hectare (2.5 million square foot) facility dedicated to human interaction with the land itself. It explores how humans can both use the land for their benefit, and how they can also destroy it. Future Technology in better preserving the land is also explored in the pavilion, along with a focus on the celebration of the land itself.

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