Florida Guide > Disney Parks
When we last visited Epcot Centre top of our “must do” list was a visit to The Land pavilion to try out the latest ride, Soarin’. Soarin opened at the end of April 2005 and from what we could tell has had a line of people waiting to ride since then! We decided to head straight for Soarin’ when we entered the park just after opening time and there was already a ten minute wait. We decided to pick up a fast pass for later and stand in line as well figuring that if we liked the ride we would have a shorter wait to ride for a second time and if we didn’t like it we could hand the fast passes on to someone else.
The ride is basically a simulator ride that makes you feel as though you are in a hang glider soaring over the breathtaking scenery of California. The images are projected onto a huge Imax screen and the seats you are in lift off the ground so that your feet are dangling loose (you are advised to take off loose footwear such as flip flops before the ride starts), they then bank right and left and tilt forwards and backwards as though you are really in a hang glider. The ride last around 10 minutes in total including the “pre flight briefing” but the flight itself is a rather brief 5 minutes long. It may not be a very long ride but it is certainly impressive. In those short 5 minutes you fly over San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National park, Palm springs, Napa Valley, San Diego, the Monterey Coast, Malibu, the Desert and of course Disneyland in Anaheim. You swoop down into a gorge to get a close up of canoeists, over the heads of spectators at a golf tournament, along side surfers as they ride the breakers and over orange groves. To make the flight seem more realistic you experience several different scents including orange blossom, pine forest and ocean spray.
We enjoyed the ride and chose to ride again using our fast passes. I would recommend the ride to all age groups that meet the 40” height requirement although anyone who is scared of heights might find it a little scary. The seats do rise up quite high and there is nothing below you but as long as you make sure your seat belt is properly fastened you will be fine, I am not keen on heights but had no problems. Wheelchair guests do have to transfer from their chair in order to ride so it is probably not suitable for everyone.
If there was a negative point it was the queuing area which we found to be a little boring. There are basically some flat screen TV’s on the walls as you walk along with various trivia questions about the California countryside, not the most exciting way to spend much more than 15 minutes especially for younger children so I would definitely get a fast pass if the wait is more than 10 or 15 minutes.
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