Oh, Soarin’ Over California, How I’ve Missed You!

Oh, Soarin' Over California, How I've Missed You! soarin-california-epcot-wdw

Soarin’ Over California is back at EPCOT for a limited time as part of the Disney100 Celebration. I have always loved this version of the attraction and missed it dearly. This version started up again on September 22, 2023, and I haven’t been able to catch a flight since it opened, but today is the day.



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I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts and experience with you and see if I still feel the same way about this version of the ride.



The Scents

One of my favorite things about Soarin’ Over California is the different scents. The minute the pine scent was pumped through the room, I was immediately transported back to my childhood. The best one is still the orange scent that comes through as guests glide over the orange groves.

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I will say those smells made me feel nostalgic and got me a little emotional. I love old EPCOT, but I understand the need for change, transformation, and the use of new technology. Riding this attraction gave me that feeling of old EPCOT I’ve been missing.



The Projection

Obviously, the projections aren’t as clear and crisp as Soarin’ Around the World because of the technology used. Even though the projections weren’t perfect, it was still great to fly over California. Now, I did notice that the projections in this version do more twists and turns, making it feel more thrilling, which I love.

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When I got off the ride, I wondered how cool this version would be if they used the new technology to redo the projections. It would be so beautiful and breathtaking. I loved seeing Disneyland at the end and soaring over the mountains and the ocean; it’s just iconic.

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My Overall Thoughts

My opinion might get me in trouble, but I love Soarin’ Over California just a bit more than Soarin’ Around the World. I promise you I have valid reasons. I think because it’s been a long time since I’ve experienced this ride, my immediate reaction was, “Wow, I missed this so much, and I love it so much,” because the nostalgia hit hard. Of course, Soarin’ Around the World is better technology-wise because the images are clearer, but there are no weird warped buildings in the old version of the ride.

In a perfect world, they would have Soarin’ Around the World showing in two of the theaters and have one showing Soarin’ Over California so we can pick and choose which version we want to experience each time we visit. I know that will never happen, but hopefully, they will do another limited-time showing of the original attraction in the future so we can all get that old EPCOT fix.

Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.
























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