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Soarin'

Theme Park Attraction in Epcot at Disney World

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The Soarin' experience is a lot more than the erector set it was created from.

  • Jun 12, 2010
Rating:
+5

So I said to my friend, I have a great ride you should try when at Walt Disney World; and it was invented using an erector set. Remember those little metal parts of metal with wheels and wires that you played with as a kid. Yes, and that’s where Soarin’ came from. And I said; you’ll love this ride.

If someone explained Soarin’ to you in that way, would you be running to The Land right after rope drop to get your fast pass first thing in the morning?

However, by now most Disney fans know all about Imagineering Engineer Mark Sumner and his Thanksgiving weekend project inventing a prototype that is now among the most popular attractions ever at a Disney Park. Based on the description of its predecessor design for a “dry cleaning idea”, we’re all glad Mark Sumner kept his old toys.





Soarin’ is located in The Land along with the Circle of Life, the Living with the Land boat ride, Garden Grill Restaurant (that includes a Character meal) and Sunshine Seasons, a really great food court. The Behind the Seeds walking tour is also located here.
I think fast-pass was invented for this attraction, because without it there are times you could be waiting up to 90 minutes or more. Actually, until Toy Story Mania, Soarin’ had the longest wait times at WDW. So the advice is still, stop here first after arriving at the park and get a fast pass. But remember, even that might not help since they often run out before Noon.

If you haven’t been on Soarin’ yet, it is a hang-gliding simulation. You are fastened by seat-belt onto a chair along with three rows of others who are similarly secured. Then you are lifted about 40 feet into the air to view an IMAX surrounding screen and listen to a wonderfully appropriate music score. From here you have the sensation of flying through the various scenes with the use of wind and scent to emphasize your locations.

Here is Soarin' from US Patent Number 6,354,954: “amusement apparatus and method”…
A motion simulator including passenger carrying apparatus designed to receive and carry a number of seated passengers from a first position in which the passengers board the apparatus into a second position from which the passengers view visual images displayed on a presentation screen. The apparatus includes multiple passenger carriers, each carrier including multiple rows of passenger seats, arrayed with a single presentation screen.
 
Operation of the apparatus is such that the passenger seats are pivoted upwardly into a position directly above a portion of the presentation screen. A wing-shaped deployable canopy is provided over each passenger seat. In the deployed position, the canopy is positioned to block a portion of the passenger's visual field outside the presentation screen. Apparatus is provided for moving air and scent materials over the passengers to enhance the sense of flight created in the minds of the passengers. The motion simulator is suitable for use in an amusement park or theme park as an amusement ride.
The original ride at Soarin’ over California is duplicated at Walt Disney World. The film is the result of photographing that State’s landmarks using planes and helicopters. You follow along, sometimes moving as a glider would, through San Francisco, over the Golden Gate Bridge, along the Redwood Creek and Napa Valley plus many other scenes including the Navy ships in San Diego harbor, Los Angeles and Disneyland for the fireworks.

 


WDW Soarin Tribute from Martins Videos on Vimeo.

This is a wonderful attraction, and even with a detailed description and watching the video, you still can’t appreciate the experience. The ride does provide some motion sensation that some could find uncomfortable, but it is not a real thrill ride so I don’t think anyone would automatically exclude themselves from trying it out.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bootbearwdc/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathika/

By the way, the soundtrack is the same for both location and was created by Oscar-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith. I am confident that ridden once you will ride it again and again.

A World View - Enjoying Walt Disney World

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About the reviewer
Bruce Brodsky ()
Ranked #117
Hi folks. My blog is A World View - Enjoying Walt Disney World. I actually think it was watching a True-Life Adventure called the Living Desert that started my enthusiastic love of Disney. I must have … more
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