Suspended in the middle of an 80-foot domed screen, California Adventure visitors soar like hang gliders over the world's most scenic spots in this flight simulator ride.
After a long run as Soarin' Over California, this attraction re-opened as Soarin' Around the World, shortly after the new show premiered at Disneyland Shanghai. It is shot in high definition and displayed using a laser projection system. You can soar over six continents in just a few minutes, returning to Disneyland at the end.
Actor Patrick Warburton, who may be best known as Elaine’s sometimes boyfriend Puddy on “Seinfeld,” returns as the chief flight attendant and the host.
If you loved the original, California-themed Soarin’, you may be disappointed that you can’t dangle your feet in the river or smell the orange blossoms. The international experience still includes scents, but people who have been there say some of them don’t smell much like the places they’re supposed to represent.
If you're feeling nostalgic for the old orange scent, you can open a bottle of Tang drink mix and sniff (which is what they used to create that orange scent). Otherwise, you're going to smell grass as you pass over Africa, an ocean breeze over the South Pacific and freshly cut roses above the Taj Mahal.
Another plus is that the projectors and sound system have been upgraded. But I think I'm going to miss that golf ball flying at me in Palm Springs and the skier taking a tumble in the snow.
What You Need to Know About Soarin'
- Location: Grizzly Peak
- Rating: ★★★★
- Restrictions: 40 in (102 cm)
- Ride Time: 5 minutes
- Recommended for: Anyone who meets the height requirements
- Fun Factor: Moderate. It's not fast or scary, but it is enjoyable, and kids of all ages enjoy kicking their feet in the clouds that are seemingly just
- Wait Factor: High. Use a Fastpass to shorten your time in line. And don't wait too long to do that or you may find they're out. You can also try getting in line during the parades or evening shows. The Single Rider option is not available. Don't stand in line twice. This ride offers a time-saving option for parents that is sometimes called Rider Switch or Child Swap. It’s designed for two adults who both want to enjoy a ride, but have children with them who cannot - or don’t want to go. To use this option, get in line with everyone else and tell the Cast Member in the loading area that you want to “swap off."
- Fear Factor: Most people are fine with the flying sensation, but it might be disturbing to those who have an intense fear of heights.
- Herky-Jerky Factor: Low
- Nausea Factor: Medium
- Seating: Ride vehicles are suspended with three rows each. Each person has a seat and seatbelt. You walk up, put your gear away, sit down, and buckle. That's it.
- Accessibility: If you're in a wheelchair or ECV, you will have to transfer from your wheelchair into the ride vehicle. Enter with everyone else and ask a cast member for help at the loading area. Service animals are not allowed. Ask a cast member for information about Guest-activated captioning. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV
How to Have More Fun on Soarin' Around the World
- Soarin' is so realistic that it might make you a little nauseous as you dip and soar. Close your eyes if you need to.
- The absolute best place to sit is in the front row. Don't let anyone tell you different. If you end up being directed to one of the other rows, just tell the cast member you want to sit in front. You'll have to wait a little longer, but it's worth it for an unobstructed view that doesn't include someone else's feet.
More About California Adventure Rides
You can see all the California Adventure rides at a glance on the California Adventure Ride Sheet. If you want to browse through them starting with the best-rated, start with Radiator Springs Racers and follow the navigation.
While you're thinking about rides, you should also download Our Recommended Disneyland Apps (they're all free!) and Get Some Proven Tips to Minimize Your Disneyland Wait Time.
Fun Facts About Soarin' Around the World
The gliders move 45 feet into the air into the middle of a screen that surrounds your line of sight. The glider vehicles move the same way as the camera did.
The projection system may make you think of your local IMAX, but it's so advanced that Disney had to invent their own technology to make those detailed views happen.
Smells are piped in to add to the realism but don't worry if you're allergic to perfume. They're all natural scents.