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Soarin’ (facts and what inspired the popular attraction)

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Soarin’ (facts and what inspired the popular attraction)

Soarin’ Around the World is a popular attraction at Epcot — and for good reason.

It gives guests the chance to “hang glide” and experience some of the most beautiful views across the globe.

Quick Facts

  • Location: Epcot, Future World
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches
  • Description: Soarin’ is one of the most popular rides in all of Disney World and a very unique experience. You sit in a ride vehicle that lifts you in front of a huge screen and then you glide through many popular landmarks from across the world, often smelling various things you see on screen.
  • When to Visit: Typically at opening/within the first hour.
  • Recommended: Definitely
  • Tip(s): Ask to be seated in the front row to avoid seeing dangling feet in front of you during the ride. B1 is said to be the best section.
  • Genie+, Individual Lightning Lane Selection, or Virtual Queue: Soarin’ is available with Genie+.
  • Scheduled Refurbishments
soarin' around the world at epcot

Everything You Need To Know About Soarin’

Location

You can find Soarin’ inside The Land pavilion (on the ground floor) in Future World. Here’s the location on the map.

soarin location on epcot map

Height Requirement

The height requirement for Soarin’ is 40 inches. We also have guides on other WDW thrill rides and height requirements for attractions theme parks and water parks.

Rider Switch & Single Rider

There isn’t a Single Rider Line here, but you can use Rider Switch for Soarin’, which allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little ones.

History

This is a one-of-a-kind experience that elevates guests up to 40 feet into an 80-foot projection screen dome that gives an unbelievable real-life sense of flight.

Soarin’ opened at Epcot in 2005, but not as Soarin’ Around the World. The attraction opened as Soarin’ Over California, which also first debuted at Disney California Adventure.

soarin over california

Soarin’ Over California transported guests over the beautiful landscapes of California. There were also incredible smells, like the pine tree forest and orange grove.

This version came to an end at Epcot on May 27, 2016. Soarin’ Around the World opened on June 17 of the same year, in which guests now fly over landmarks like the Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbor in Australia, and the Matterhorn in Switzerland.

What makes the ride even more special is the musical score was composed by Academy Award-winner Jerry Goldsmith. Oh, and the ride system is all thanks to Imagineer Mark Sumner, who found design inspiration by using an old Erector Set and string!

Queue

The line for Soarin’ is completely indoors and is quite lengthy. Like every other attraction queue throughout Disney parks, this one is themed to the ride.

There are different concourses to load guests and at one point in the line you’ll even get to see Patrick Warburton (The Emperor’s New Groove) give the safety instructions.

Also, pay attention to the screen before you sit down, because it shows the locations of your flight.

soarin stand by entrance at epcot

Soarin’ also has an interactive queue. If you like trivia, then this is for you. Family and friends can play travel-themed trivia right on their smartphones via the Play Disney Parks app called “Soarin’ Challenge.”

The trivia game is completely free and has questions on geography, cuisine, languages, and more.

Motion Sickness

Seeing as Soarin’ is a simulator, motion sickness can likely occur for some. There’s no getting around the sensation of hang gliding, along with being lifted up to 40 feet. These are just a few things to keep in mind prior to boarding. If you need it, we have a guide on motion sickness that’s filled with information and tips.

Ride Vehicles

The ride itself is modeled after an Erector Set and can fit a good handful of guests. Each ride vehicle is similar to that of bench and seats a total of 10 passengers.

soarin ride vehicle

When you sit down, you’ll buckle yourself with a safety belt. There’s also a mesh bag underneath each seat for personal belongings.

If your items are too big for the bag, ask a Cast Member. More than likely, you’ll be instructed to place your belongings in the aisle between ride vehicles.

Keep in mind that those who are wearing shoes without backs, like flip flops, will be required to leave them on the floor directly below their seat before the ride begins. This way, you don’t have to worry about your shoes falling off mid-flight.

Is It Kid-Friendly?

Soarin’ is an unforgettable experience. It’s not fast, rough, or dark, but you are suspended in the air, which could frighten little ones. You do feel like you’re actually flying, so kids may or may not like that sensation.

We have a full guide on several other things that might scare little ones at WDW.

PhotoPass/On-Ride Photos

Your photo isn’t taken on Soarin’.

If you want more information on this, be sure to check out our PhotoPass and how Memory Maker works guides.

Video

Take a virtual flight on Soarin’ Around the World.

Bonus footage: here’s what Soarin’ Over California was like.

Other Fun Details

  • Easter Eggs: Pay attention when you’re on the ride for a Hidden Mickey that may or may not have to do with hot air balloons. The Matterhorn seen is obviously connected to the Matterhorn attraction at Disneyland Park. Also, Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle shown inspired the design of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.
  • Play Disney Parks: You can play the “Soarin’ Challenge” travel-themed trivia game.
  • Movie Connections: The ride isn’t based on a movie.
Related News

Ed Syslo

Friday 8th of April 2022

Correction: We were there in summer 2005 and the world experience was shown.

Shannon Albert

Friday 8th of April 2022

Hey, Ed - We were there for the opening of Soarin' Around the World in June 2016. Before that, it was the California version.