Uncertain if anyone has detailed this experience before and while I know I'm certainly not the first but thought I would try sharing.
I was invited by a division of Disney to the Resort for a hosted experience which amongst other things, included a visit to both parks both "on" and "backstage". As we entered DCA, my host indicated they would be taking me to Soarin and I assumed this would be a fun escorted front of the line experience a la walking with a plaid. My host was not a plaid but fun none the less. We politely moved ahead of the queue and jumped right on and the ride was fun as usual... As the exit spiel was going, I began walking left to the exit as usual but my host stopped me and said "but wait...there's more!". I was pulled over to the control panel area and the two CMs working turned around and escorted us down a flight of stairs to the pit under and behind the projection screen.
My hand was twitching as I wanted to reach for my phone to take and share photos with Micechat but I was threatened with the penalty of death if I did so.
The pit is about another 10-15 lower than the ride floor and everything is blacked out down there. I was able to reach up and touch the screen surface from underneath and it appeared to be metallic and perforated with holes like a colander. The CM explained that if I did pull out my phone or any light source while the show was in motion, the guests would be able to see the light source. Also he indicated there is a mechanical cleaning system that wipes down the surface of the screen nightly to remove any unwanted materials that were intentionally or unintentionally placed by guests. He did warn me not to go too far forward under the screen into the "splash zone" while the show was in motion. Yuck. Yes code "V"s occur in here too.
So I took a couple of steps back and the next set of guests were ready for take off. Room goes dark, projection begins and now I am able see through the perforations and see all 9 rows of guests. Seeing the cantilevered ride system moving the guests up and close the screen was amazing! Also, since I was an additional 10-15 beneath them, they appeared to be perched even higher than you imagine. The perspective was interesting as I was able to see the "wow" on the guests faces, the swinging of the legs as they went up and over the skiers on the mountain (we all do this right?) and smiles as they fly over the Christmas Parade and through the fireworks.
While the tech and construction aspects were interesting, it was being able to have this unique perspective to see "others" experience was what I will remember most of all.
The beginning and rest of my day included other very unique experiences as well and I'm dying to share, however while this was an official Disney sanctioned outing, I do not want my host feeling like their efforts were just for me to post a trip report as the whole day was for a professional purpose.