Why the Soarin Hate?

April 21, 2016, 3:14 PM

I can't help but notice that Soarin over California gets a lot of negative reviews on this site. Personally, I love the ride, so I'm generally curious as to why so many people seem to dislike it. Comment your thoughts!

Replies (20)

April 21, 2016, 4:09 PM

I don't hate it but its a prototype.

April 21, 2016, 7:00 PM

I enjoy Soarin! It may not be he best ride, but nevertheless it's still a good ride.

April 21, 2016, 7:47 PM

What elements don't you like?

Edited: April 21, 2016, 9:36 PM

First off, let me say that I don't hate this ride, but I think that it is often grouped in the wrong tier of rides. For instance, at DCA I would say that the top tier of rides contains RSR, California Screamin', Tower of Terror, and Toy Story Mania. These are the absolute must dos. I would put Soarin' in the next tier with GRR (note that I am only grouping the rides, not the shows).

Also, be aware that some of the stuff that I am writing about Soarin' OVER CALIFORNIA, not over the world. So lets begin.

To start, they put a ride dedicated to California in Florida. And they put it in the Future Section of the park, which the ride has nothing to do with. When I went to WDW, I felt like Soarin' was just plopped there without really thinking about how they could change the ride to make it fit in more with the rest of the park.

The queue at DCA is kind of weird. You are going all this aviation history, yet the ride has nothing to do with aviation. Yeah you're in some glider thing, but the main focus of the ride is California.

Next up is the ride vehicle. What is this thing supposed to be? Are we pretending to be hang gliders? Are we on some never before seen brand new type of plane? One could argue that the ride vehicle shouldn't matter much, because the ride vehicle on a lot of rides are random, such as the Doom Buggies or the ride vehicles on Pinocchio and Snow White. However, if a ride has the vast majority of its queue dedicated to aviation, the aviation that you are in, aka the ride vehicle, should matter.

Next up is the ride video transitions. These suck. In real life, you aren't in the mountains one second and the snow the next. I know it would be hard not to do this, but I feel like a cool transition would be better than the direct cut they have right now.

Finally, the thrill level. This ride is not thrilling. The movements are very subtle and slow.

So at the end of the day, Soarin' is poorly themed and not all that thrilling. Once again, Soarin' is a good ride, but not a great ride.

April 21, 2016, 11:40 PM

The main problem with Soarin' Over California is that it is difficult to classify exactly what it is, and depending on how you look at it the attraction can be underwhelming. If you look at it as a ride, it is below average as there is limited motion. If you look at it as a show, it is even worse as the movie itself is a collection of disjointed clips. However, if you ignore classification and just look at the overall attraction it is actually really good (at least in my opinion). No, it isn't DCA's best attraction, but it is one I do on every visit. In fact, until Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened Soarin' and California Screamin' were the only reason I ever bothered to visit DCA (well, Grizzly River Run too if it was warm). Soarin' is pretty much an example of "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts," and while I do consider it a must-do attraction at DCA I also understand why it doesn't appeal to some people. Hopefully Soarin' Around the World will fix some of the issues with the original version of the attraction.

April 22, 2016, 12:31 AM

It's not a thrill ride, and the conceit of being in the air limits what the camera can do in making this a top-notch travelogue. As a result it lags in both categories. But, as AJ suggests, the attraction is greater than the sum of its elements.

Still, I think many of us around here welcome the opportunity to deflate the hype that Soarin' gets from other fan communities. It's good... but it ain't "let's wait two hours for it" good. I'd rather watch Impressions de France six times than wait that time for Soarin'.

April 22, 2016, 9:23 AM

Soarin' was billed as the top ride at DCA when it opened. Now, it manages to be the top ride at Epcot even with Test Track in the same park. So who's right?

I do think Soarin' is an excellent ride and it always leaves me happy in the end.

Edited: April 22, 2016, 11:12 AM

I think there are two factors: 1) The lines are quite long and 2) some people don't like screen-based attractions regardless of how well-designed they are.

I love Soarin' and don't agree with the hate, but I understand it.

April 22, 2016, 11:26 AM

I don't think there is that much hate for the DCA version, that actually makes sense. But the one at Epcot uses the same exact video and ends at Disneyland and is a carbon copy of the film and flying over California.

April 22, 2016, 11:38 AM

I was not impressed first time I rode, but have grown to love the attraction. I am very excited about the new film, but I'm wondering how and why they are using the same score (as I have been lead to understand). I love the music, but I think it will be strange hearing the same score with different images. Yet to be seen.

Edited: April 23, 2016, 1:04 AM

There are so many things wrong with the ride. It's not that I hate it, but it's far from good.
- Queue: After endless uninspiring hallways you and up under a huge mechanical machine that is clearly visible. Nothing (after the main entrance) transport me to some kind of airport.
- Flying: Stepping in a huge machine in front of a screen is so much different then stepping on a seat where Hermione cast a spell and the thing flies. I never saw the ride mechanism and it felt like flying.
- Theme: We are in Future World to learn about Living with the land, the future of getting food from our soil. Instead of the future we fly over California (and later the World) to show us the current beauty of the world. That is a conservation message fit for AK not for this pavilion.
- The Movie: When I saw it for the first and last time it was 15 years ago. The movie was dirty and blurry. Beyond that I got instantly out of the flight when I flew out of Disneyland and it got worse with every hardcut transition. There is no story, it's a demo real of a ride that lacks everything. Some digital cloud transitions wouldn't explain the huge laps in space but soften the blow a bit. Sitting in the lower part I could see the edges of the screen all the time and the shoes of the people above me. It all took me out of the experience.
- Smell: As one of many asthma patients I don't do well with strong smells. I left the ride wheezing in a bad way.

This could be a great ride. Immagine a bigger screen that wraps around. The 8K laser projectors are a great choice. Create a new character or use Goofy in a futuristic hang glider with portable transportation device made by Gyro Gearloose. Gyro explains the machine that pulls you over the world and transports you to different areas on our planet. The transitions could be cool cloud and light effects.
It doesn't solve a lot of problems but it would be more enjoyable.

April 23, 2016, 1:47 PM

I like Soarin' at both resorts. It is one of the few attractions that just about anyone can ride and have a somewhat thrilling, extremely pleasant experience.

April 23, 2016, 3:41 PM

I think the concept is good, but Disney seems to have just threw it together when it opened, especially at EPCOT.

Lets see if the new one will be better...I am thinking it will!

Then again, I always thought it should have gone in World Showcase.

April 23, 2016, 4:25 PM

I agree with OT

April 24, 2016, 3:46 AM

I love the ride, personally. The one and only thing that bothers me is that the screen never seems to be as clear as I'd like. I always see black spots, and do my best to imagine they're birds. But I know it's just a lack of proper maintenance and cleaning.

But I do love Soarin'. I'm looking forward to Soarin Over the World, regardless of the score. I love the score of the original, just like I love the Star Wars theme. If the music in Star Wars can be so familiar after 65 years, why can't the music of Soarin?

April 24, 2016, 6:15 AM

Gabriel, I saw Star Wars (when it was the only one) during its opening week while I was in college. You just made me 85 years old. (I know, you were just joking about the 65 years part...weren't you?).

April 24, 2016, 6:45 AM

@Juan Hamilton
I think we all agree with OT.

April 24, 2016, 7:17 AM

@James - yes, I was just joking. :p
@Jaiden - maybe read the comments again? :p

April 24, 2016, 7:36 AM

@Gambriel Schroll
Well at least I do

April 24, 2016, 8:54 AM

It's just ok. The ride itself seems to be at least enjoyed by most people of all ages, but the queue is most definitely lacking. The Only reason Epcots is so long of a wait is simply the lack of rides that are present in the park. If it had the 30 minute wait or less that I usually see at California Adventure, you wouldn't see it as the most popular ride at the park.

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