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Florida Guide > Disney Parks

What do Epcot and California have in common?

Easy for those of you who have visited Future World at Epcot…. the answer is the Soarin’ experience in the Land Pavilion where you are gently transported above some of the major landmarks and natural landscapes of the Golden State.

Much has been written on this fairly new addition to the Walt Disney World complex but for us it took on an added significance during our recent trip to the USA.

To rewind just a little…. . as our travelling companions had never been out to the west coast we decided to spend our first week touring before heading down to sunny Florida. So we flew into San Francisco with the intention of spending a couple of days on city sightseeing tours before taking off down Pacific Highway 1 to the Monterey Peninsula before heading east to Yosemite National Park and onward over the Sierra Nevada mountain range to Death Valley and beyond.

San Francisco was delightful except that for the duration of our stay the Golden Gate Bridge was shrouded in sea mist and despite several attempts we never had the opportunity to see the bridge in its full glory. Monterey was delightful but in Yosemite National Park the dry summer weather had all but dried up the lakes and rivers, and Yosemite Falls was only a mere trickle so once again there was more than a tinge of disappointment. Death Valley lived up to expectations but we just happened to be parking the car when two US fighter planes decided to give an impromptu low-level air display.

Fast forward a few days and we found ourselves on Soarin’. We had known the ride showcased California so you can imagine our delight when we ‘took off ‘ and glided serenely over the Golden Gate Bridge in ‘bright sunshine’. Then onward and upward across the State where we were able to identify places and immediately recount our experiences of the last week. Even Yosemite Falls was in full flow and as we ‘flew’ over Death Valley we were ‘buzzed’ by those two US fighters we had missed just a few days before.

OK, not the real thing perhaps, but it’s nice to see that Walt Disney World, and the virtual reality of Soarin’ in particular, were able to fill some of the missing gaps from our California experience and give us a true reflection of some of the sights and sounds we otherwise would not have seen.

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Page added on: 26 December 2007
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