An Insider’s Guide to Disney’s SOARIN’

by M Blanco / Sep 15, 2013 / 0 comments

I am a big Disney fan and have many favorite rides in all four parks, including downtown Disney and the two water parks. But topping Test Track, besting Mission Space, and making Space Ship Earth look pitiful, is Soarin’ - flying above them all.

Soarin', Epcot, Disney. From An Insider’s Guide to Disney’s SOARIN’

This picture shows people’s heads bobbing up and down in a stream. They’re all coming into Epcot, to the Land pavilion (where you can have food, beverages, and hang out with the plants). However, everyone that comes to Epcot usually makes a beeline for Soarin’ right when the park opens. It is one of the most popular rides in all of Disney World. Above this mass of heads is a glowing sign with the letters S, O, A, R, I, N' etched in red and gold lettering with a hang glider flying on top. This famous sign is the entrance to the ride.

To fully enjoy yourself on this experience, there are several steps you must take:

  • To start off, wait for them to open the park. Then literally run to the Land pavilion and run down the stairs toward Soarin’, because in about thirty minutes or less, it will be about an hour wait for the ride at the standby entrance    
  • Once you’re inside, walk past interactive games down a path with LED lights hanging from the wall and ceiling
  • Then walk down a series of ramps until a cast member directs you to a flight gate, where you stand on a yellow hang glider on the floor to mark your space for rows
  • Stand there and watch the overhead screen whistle its way through clouds, as names of places in California whoosh past you. After a few minutes of that, the Soarin’ logo pops up and Patrick Warburton (who is a highly acclaimed actor and does many voiceovers for Disney) gives you an introduction to the ride, and safety tips.

Insider’s Tip

Watch for the blurb in Warburton’s speech at the beginning, where they edited the word California - because we’re in Florida.

  • Then the flight bay doors open and you are lead to your huge mechanical hang glider.


Insider’s Tip

Look up just before you sit down and see all the machinery overhead the makes this ride happen - most people miss this.

  • Then buckle yourself up and start relaxing. In a minute you are lifted into the air and ride through clouds at the Golden Gate Bridge, where you proceed to fly above an ocean, forest, lake, desert, city, and more.


Soarin', Disney's Epcot. Photo courtesy of WDW News. From An Insider’s Guide to Disney’s SOARIN’

Photo courtesy of WDWNews

One of the best additions to this ride are the scents. For example, when you’re being swept over scenery in the California orange fields, smell the air for its citrus scent - it’s just like being there over the spread-out plants.

Insider’s Tip

Remember as you fly over mountains, fields, and buildings to look for hidden Mickeys. I have found only 2 on the skiing and golfing scenes - see if you can discover them.

Soon you are at Disneyland California, watching the fireworks explode right in front of you. After one big burst of colorful flurries, your flight is over and you touch down on the floor.

Insider’s Tip

Exit and go get fast passes in the room next to the ride, so you can do it all over again with virtually no wait.

So if you ever find yourself in Disney World at Epcot, come on into the Land and experience it for yourself - trust me, it’s worth the wait.        


Read: How to Do Disney - without the Endless Lines


Matthew Blanco is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program

Photos courtesy and copyright Matthew Blanco, except where noted