Soarin’ Around the World Takes Flight at Epcot

Epcot - 8th July 2016  (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The wait is over! Guests visiting Epcot at Walt Disney World can now finally experience Soarin’ Around the World, the newly re-imagined attraction that whisks guests on a journey above more than a dozen wondrous international destinations around the world. It’s quite the ride!

Soarin’ Around the World elevates guests up to 40 feet into an 80-foot projection screen dome that fill’s a guest’s entire field of vision to give them the sense of flight. During their journey, guests can expect a bird’s eye view of natural and man-made landmarks like the Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbor in Australia, and the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Not only that, but guests may find that their other senses are engaged as they feel, smell and hear the new world around them.

The five minute ride retains the core elements that made its predecessor such a success with guests… namely, the free flight simulation of soaring above the land and the epic score that makes this attraction a must-do. The film does rely on some CGI animation but still does a great job of making the world around the rider feel real. Highlights are the spectacular transitions between scenes as you glide in and around the globe.

Here’s what you can expect to see.

Matterhorn – First up is the Matterhorn/Swiss Alps. A truly beautiful opening scene as you fly up and over the top of the mountain before entering a cloud to transition to the next scene.

Glaciers – Next we find ourselves in and among polar bears and a leaping orca that splashes down as we fly over a glacier scene. Don’t worry about getting wet though… there are no water effects with the splash.

Sydney Harbor Soon we find ourselves flying over sailboats at Sydney Harbor in Australia. We pass the Sydney Opera House to our left as a seaplane takes off in front of us and we transition to the next scene.

Neuschwanstein Castle – Our next stop is the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle, the castle has served as inspiration for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. A nice lens flare serves as the transition for this scene.

African Savana – We then glide on to soar over elephants on the African Savana and this is the first time a scent is introduced to the ride. The smell of fresh grass serves is instantly identifiable while dirt thrown by an elephant is the transition piece for this scene.

The Great Wall of China – From Africa we then fly low over The Great Wall of China,  just missing people walking by as a kite flies in front of us for the transition effect.

Pyramids – After China, we then fly past some sand dunes and camels before banking towards the Pyramids as a dust cloud serves as the transition.

Taj Mahal – The approach to the Taj Mahal see us flying over the same reflecting pool that is depicted in it’s a small world. A scent of flowers/perfume is applied in this scene before we climb up and over the dome as it transitions into a hot air balloon for the next scene.

Monument Valley –  We’re now flying amongst hot air balloons in Monument Valley. Three hot air balloons form a hidden Mickey as a bird flying at the screen becomes the transition for this scene.

Fiji – A simple but stunningly beautiful beach scene is next as we fly over the gorgeous blue water as the smoothest transition sees us go from water to water.

Iguazu Falls – Our favorite part as we approach the crest of the waterfall and soar high over it. We then bank slightly towards mist created by the falls and into the next scene.

Eiffel Tower –  Our first night scene is the Eiffel Tower in Paris as it comes as something of a shock after the Iguazu Falls scene. As we approach the somewhat odd shaped tower, we encounter our most pronounced bank in the entire ride to shoot straight up to the top of the tower and fly into the spotlights as a transition.

Epcot – The last scene sees us returning home to the fireworks at Epcot at night. The approach is over World Showcase as we fly over the Fountain of Nations towards Spaceship Earth as the monorail passes beneath us and fireworks shoot off to signal the end of the ride.



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