by josh on April 17, 2010

Opened: May 5, 2005

Location: Future World – The Land Pavilion on the lower floor

FastPass+: Yes – highest Tier 1 priority. Soarin’ and Test Track are the two Tier 1 priorities. Soarin’ gets the nod because it’s less convenient than Test Track, there are fewer morning priorities on that side of Epcot, and it doesn’t offer a single rider line.

Extra Magic Hours: Morning, Evening

Type: Motion simulator

Similar To: Unique, but identical to “Soarin’ Over California” at Disney’s California Adventure

Requirements: Must be 40” tall to ride

Scary Factor: Minimal.  The ride takes visitors 40 feet in the air, which may be frightening for those intensely scared of heights.  Motion sickness is rarely a problem – just keep your eyes on the screen and don’t look off to the sides.  The ride is gentle and there are no significant drops or sharp turns.

When To Go: Immediately after Epcot opens or with FastPass+.

Expect to Wait: Waits typically hit 60 minutes by 9:30am and stay 60+ minutes for the rest of the day, peaking between 80 and 110 minutes most days. Waits with FastPass+ are typically around 15 minutes including the pre-show, which is seven or eight minutes longer than most attractions.

Length: 5 minutes

What to Expect: Riders are led into a large room with an 80 foot tall concave movie screen and three ride vehicles, each of which is three rows.  Once all riders are seated, the vehicles are lifted into the air so that each row is above the row below it.  A series of scenes are projected onto the screen and the ride vehicles move with the scenes to simulate a hang gliding flight.

Where to Sit: The best seats are in the front row of the middle vehicle.  The front row is the one that ultimately is the highest, so you won’t have other people’s feet in your line of sight and won’t be able to see below where the screen ends, both of which take away from the experience.  Request the front row of the middle section when the cast member asks how many are in your party.

Rating: 8/10

Commentary: Soarin’ is far and away the most popular ride at Epcot.  Personally, I find it to be tremendously overrated, especially when you aren’t sitting in the top row of your vehicle.  That doesn’t stop me from recommending it whole-heartedly because of its popularity and the fact that it’s many people’s favorite ride.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri in So Cal September 11, 2011 at 11:33 am

We have the original here at Disneyland so if the line is too long at EPCOT we will skip it. Hoping they switch it over to a different experience at some time. Something to do with Florida would be nice. I really only like to ride in the front/top row. I don’t like to see the feet above me. I will wait (sometimes) to ride in the front/top, but not always.


Clint December 26, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Soarin is not “Unique” at WDW. It is similar to the Impressions de France attraction, and that should be in your review as to not mislead readers into thinking they will be seeing a “unique” attraction when queuing for Soarin.


Sarah May 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm

this is by far my favourite ride at WDW I’m not even sure why! It’s not a scary ride, it’s not a long ride, it’s not even a full on thrill seeking ride! But there’s something about riding it that puts a smile on my face for the rest of the day.


Matt December 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm

If any of the attractions are due for a 3D makeover, this one is.. that would put this over the top, but I guess as long as the lines are as long as they are, there is no real motivation to make any changes.. :)

I love how they use the scents in some of the scenes, so you can smell the citrus when you fly over the citrus groves.


Kelly May 15, 2014 at 6:46 am

This is my favorite ride at WDW. It’s just exhilarating. In a busy and hectic world, it’s one ride where you can sit back, relieve some stress (after waiting 90 min lol), relax, and enjoy. Kindof takes your breath away. It’s true, the top row is the best so you don’t see the feet in front of you. I took my friend (who is not a fan of any rides-period), and she was so excited by this ride that she made us get back in line for a second time! Don’t miss it.


Laura May 8, 2015 at 9:50 pm

Sit back, relieve some stress, relax. . . just as long as you don’t have the misfortune of sharing the ride with my family! My 6-year-old daughter screamed a horror-movie shriek over and over, the entire 5 minutes of the ride. She was terrified, and there was no way off. I felt bad for all the other people that had waited an hour in line with us! A warning to parents of kids who may “freak out” with new experiences.


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