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Soarin’ Around the World

Soarin’ Around the World is an Epcot attraction that offers somewhat of a simulated hang gliding experience. This attraction is one of the most popular experiences at Epcot.

In this review, we will discuss height requirements, best times to ride Soarin’, and other need-to-know information.

Here’s a quick reference chart for Soarin’ Around the World.

Soarin’ Around the WorldEpcot Attractions

Location:

The Land Pavilion

Height Requirement at Disney :

40″

Epcot FastPass:

Yes, when available

Ride Type:

Screen-Based Attraction designed
to mimic hang-gliding.

Seats Per Vehicle:

Average of 10 per row

Rider Switch at Disney:

Yes

Extra Magic Hours:

Mornings
Evenings

Good For:

Anyone without a fear of heights.

Scary Factor:

Low, unless you have a fear of heights.

Must-Do List:

High

Perfect For:

Children, Tweens, Teens, and Adults

Special Mention:

Make sure to store your belongings
underneath your seat before sitting down.

Soarin’ Around the World

Soarin’ Around the World opened to guests back in June of 2016 in Epcot’s Land Pavilion. It replaced the original ride experience that opened back in 2005, Soarin’ Over California.

The newer version of this attraction offers the opportunity to “soar” over various famous landmarks worldwide. The landmarks you’ll see represented in Soarin’ are as follows:

  • Swiss Alps
  • Polar Bears in icy Greenland
  • Sydney Harbor in Australia
  • Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany
  • Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania
  • The Great Wall of China
  • Great Pyramids of Egypt
  • Taj Mahal in India
  • Monument Valley
  • Fiji’s Lau Islands
  • Iguazu Falls in South America
  • Eiffel Tower at night in Paris
  • Epcot with a bit of a surprise!

When riding Soarin’, it’s important to keep a few key factors in mind. This is a Tier 1 category FastPass option at Epcot, and more than likely, you’ll want to experience the attraction with FastPass when possible. However, I do feel it’s probably best to reserve Test Track or Frozen Ever After initially.

We have had excellent luck with getting a FastPass for Soarin’ later in the day. If you decide to ride without a FastPass, the best time to ride Soarin’ is first thing in the morning or after 6 p.m. Lines tend to slow down into the evening, especially after Living with the Land closes, and there aren’t as many things to do in the Land Pavilion.

The idea of Soarin’ is to mimic a hang gliding experience over destinations throughout the world. In all actuality, you are sitting in a normal position in a row of chairs that lifts off the ground. There are several different sets of chairs per-theater each offering different rows. The different sets of chairs for a theater are positioned toward the screen on either center, left, or right-hand sides. The rows are positioned as rows one, two, or three.

For the most optimal experience, you could request that the cast member seat your group on row one. You might be asked to stand to the side and have to wait for an extra turn to get this position. Personally, I don’t feel like it’s worth the trouble, but you will probably see someone asking, and you can as well if desired.

The only real difference is row one goes the highest so you can’t see anyone’s feet dangling from above you, where you can on rows two and three.

Those with a fear of heights might have issues with the idea of flying over these locations. The third row is the closest to the ground, but if you have a strong fear it might be better to skip this fairly mild attraction.

The most common issue I have seen over the years riding Soarin’, is fear of the unknown from children. Many people wait in line for the attraction for a decent amount of time, meanwhile anticipation builds, especially for kids. Once they enter the theater it’s pretty dark and the seating arrangement might appear a bit intimidating. I have seen numerous children get to the ride part and bail before getting seated.

There’s not really anything scary about Soarin’ at all, but children do often try to be brave until their fear eventually wins out. I also know as a parent it’s easy to forget these things. And I think the majority of you probably do visit Disney World in order to have fun with your kids.

As more of an observer in the parks the past few years, I look back and know there are many things I wish I had done differently. But now I can see more clearly why and remember the times cringe-fully that I pushed a little harder than I should have.

Lastly, Soarin’ does has an 80 foot IMAX screen that the actual ride is projected on.

If you would like to check out other attraction reviews at Epcot, you might enjoy these:

While we cover a good deal of information on the site, Resorts Gal specializes in providing detailed information about the Walt Disney World Resorts. Browse our Disney Resort Reviews to begin planning your next Disney vacation.

And if you are planning a trip to one of the Disney water parks, check out our full ride guide to Disney’s Blizzard Beach.

And don’t miss out on our full list of Disney restaurant reviews. They include character dining, signature dining, table service, and quick service.

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