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  1. #1

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    Rant about Soarin'

    I know there are plenty of people out there that love Soarin', and consider it a solid E ticket. I personally think the whole ride stinks -- it's no more immersive than watching a movie from a swing set.

    My reason for this thread however, is that this past weekend I did the real thing, and went hang gliding for the first time. That hang gliding experience and these forums got me thinking about how UNREAL the Soarin' ride actually is. It makes me wonder if the Imagineers did ANY research on this one?!?!

    Let me explain:

    From the few times I have ridden Soarin' the only sensation of motion I have ever experienced is the gentle (slow and fairly hydrualic feeling) movement of leaning back and forth -- the rest seems to have been left up to your imagination, and the optical illusion of being in front of such a large screen.

    With the exception of cheap tricks, like orange scent (whoopie), and maybe a gentle breeze? (I forget if wind blows at you) THAT'S IT! That's the whole ride experience.

    With the real thing though, there are for more exhilerating elements to the experience. Namely, thermals and wind! As you are hang gliding, for real, there is wind in your face. Not too strong on my experienc, but enough that your hair is going to be moving (about 20mph) and you can feel it's force. It's not consistent like being cooled by a fan, but rather intermittent in strength and frequency. This could easily been acheived by Disney.

    Thermals are the biggest difference of all. As you are hang gliding, you go through thermals from time to time. The hang glider tugs on your harness with good force and you can feel you are being lifted higher into the sky. The sensation is much more like the feeling of Star Tours entering warp speed than it is with Soarin's gentle leaning back of the glider and pointing upward 5 degrees. What's more -- as often as you fly into these thermals on a hang glider -- you also fall out of air when going through pockets with no lift. The hang glider will drop a few feet, and you get that tickle in your stomache each time it happens. It's a great feeling -- it's exciting!!!

    My thoughts on how it could be improved:
    • Wind need to be stronger, intermittent, and more like the real thing.
    • Wind could die down for a split second, and the glider would subsquently drop quickly to give you a little tickle in your stomache (nothing scary). Conversely, the wind would pick up and simultaneously the glider would lift higher.


    So, I pose this question to you all: The haters, and the lovers of this monster sized erector set with a movie screen. Providing I did a good job of explaining what real hang gliding is like, do you think this ride would be better with elements like this? Does anyone agree with me that the current effects are very weak?

    For me, this ride is NOTHING like hang gliding, but it has the potential to be a unique and exhillerating ride experience if it were more true to the real thing.

  2. #2

    • Minion
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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    Hmm... you make some good observations. I think that maybe a couple tiny drops and swoops up could add to the ride. The wond could probably add to the ride as well. However, I disagree that Soarin' stinks though. All I can say is that everytime I come off the ride, I have a huge smile on my face, and that's good enough for me. And I don't think Soarin' needs to be exciting. It's a wonderful, gentle, calming ride, and I think that is great for DCA. Especially if any new elements (such as small drops) would raise the height requirement, we don't need that. DCA has a fair share of thrills (Screamin', ToT, GRR, Maliboomer, even Mulholland), family friendly rides are what it needs now.
    But if the new effects you are proposing wouldn't raise the height req. or make the ride any more thrilling (so it would deter some riders) then I think that a more realistic Soarin' would be great. Although you have to admit, Space Mountain is not really like rocketing through Space. Nor are the pirates in PotC like real pirates. But they make the rider FEEl like they are, and that is what is important.

  3. #3

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    You are not alone. A friend of mine who is highly-placed in W.D.I. derisively compared the Attraction to Circle-Vision 360 before the park opened. And, I have to admit that I was disappointed, myself, when I first experienced Soarin' over California.

    I had expected something closer to a suspended Back to the Future with actual motion-base simulators. But, as a simple travelogue, the concept for the Attraction is still creative and interesting.

    Soarin' over California could certainly be improved, though. I never did like the lack of transitions from scene to scene, and I have always thought that the camera angles should be off-kilter more than they currently are to enhance the sensation of flight.

  4. #4

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    I don't think the ride *should* be like a hang glider. This isn't a ride designed to give you a queezy stomach; I think it's more about the scenery.

  5. #5

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    Ride's fine the way it is. It's supposed to be dreamlike. If I want the experience of hang gliding, I'll go hang gliding.

  6. #6

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    The original post is absolutely right about the ride not being very immersive and relying on optical illusions. There was a time at Disney were this kind of ride was a single aspect of a MUCH bigger and elaborate ride.

    As for the more realistic additions to the ride, I don't think the ride needs to be realistic personally. Disneyland has always been about escapism through realism, but it has never been about pure realism. I think the ride strikes just the right balance between realism and fantasy. I realize that there is a lot more fantasy in this ride than realism, but most people just don't want to be jerked around and dropped like in real life. If they did, I'm sure that they'd take up hang gliding themselves. I actually appreciate that Disney found it within themselves to make a gentle and family-friendly ride instead of an extremely jerky thrill ride.

  7. #7

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    You should of been there for the testing. It was much more realistic. Problem was too many people need barf bags. Since then it got toned downed for the masses to be able to ride it.

    It was different being on it for testing expically when you start to wonder why the seats on both sides of you are missing (seat belts were there though), but your's is there.

  8. #8

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    I also feel the ride is less than expected. It's a good idea but I think they missed the boat a little, could have been better. If I ride it I always ride it first thing as the park opens when it it purdy much walk on. IMO the ride is not worth a 45 min wait. I feel the same way about buzz lightyear's astro blasters. It's not the "big thrill" which Disney bills it as but it's still a good ride. If it's an E-ticket ride it would be at the bottom of the list of E-tickets.

  9. #9

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    I like Soarin' just like it is. The experience is not so much about motion simulation as it is about beauty. The slight amount of movement is enough to enhance the experience without being a distraction. It's one of the few attractions I've ever been on where, almost without fail, the audience will emit a whoop of satisfaction or even erupt into spontaneous applause at the end. That tells me the attraction is doing its job.

    That said, I do wish Disney would do a little renovation on the attraction. It really detracts from the illusion when the screen is ripped and dirty.

    BTW... I also liked CircleVision.
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
    -Art Linkletter July 17, 2005-


    When you wish upon a star your dreams come true.


  10. #10

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    i'd love to see it re-done with more movement, but i'd rather see DCA's name changed...lmao!!

    really, though, i think my biggest pet peeve of this ride is that the orange smell comes after the pine smell from the same vent. there still so much pine scent left in the vent that i almost can't smell the orange once it finally breaks free of the pine.

    i also vote for fixing the screen. very annoying!
    <o>

  11. #11

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    I love the ride but think it could be improved with a few slight drops and a cleaning of the screen everyday, or it would be great if they had 2 or 3 movies and you never knew which one you would see.

  12. #12

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    Quote Originally Posted by ryborg
    I know there are plenty of people out there that love Soarin', and consider it a solid E ticket. I personally think the whole ride stinks -- it's no more immersive than watching a movie from a swing set.

    My reason for this thread however, is that this past weekend I did the real thing, and went hang gliding for the first time. That hang gliding experience and these forums got me thinking about how UNREAL the Soarin' ride actually is. It makes me wonder if the Imagineers did ANY research on this one?!?!

    Let me explain:

    From the few times I have ridden Soarin' the only sensation of motion I have ever experienced is the gentle (slow and fairly hydrualic feeling) movement of leaning back and forth -- the rest seems to have been left up to your imagination, and the optical illusion of being in front of such a large screen.

    With the exception of cheap tricks, like orange scent (whoopie), and maybe a gentle breeze? (I forget if wind blows at you) THAT'S IT! That's the whole ride experience.

    With the real thing though, there are for more exhilerating elements to the experience. Namely, thermals and wind! As you are hang gliding, for real, there is wind in your face. Not too strong on my experienc, but enough that your hair is going to be moving (about 20mph) and you can feel it's force. It's not consistent like being cooled by a fan, but rather intermittent in strength and frequency. This could easily been acheived by Disney.

    Thermals are the biggest difference of all. As you are hang gliding, you go through thermals from time to time. The hang glider tugs on your harness with good force and you can feel you are being lifted higher into the sky. The sensation is much more like the feeling of Star Tours entering warp speed than it is with Soarin's gentle leaning back of the glider and pointing upward 5 degrees. What's more -- as often as you fly into these thermals on a hang glider -- you also fall out of air when going through pockets with no lift. The hang glider will drop a few feet, and you get that tickle in your stomache each time it happens. It's a great feeling -- it's exciting!!!

    My thoughts on how it could be improved:
    • Wind need to be stronger, intermittent, and more like the real thing.
    • Wind could die down for a split second, and the glider would subsquently drop quickly to give you a little tickle in your stomache (nothing scary). Conversely, the wind would pick up and simultaneously the glider would lift higher.


    So, I pose this question to you all: The haters, and the lovers of this monster sized erector set with a movie screen. Providing I did a good job of explaining what real hang gliding is like, do you think this ride would be better with elements like this? Does anyone agree with me that the current effects are very weak?

    For me, this ride is NOTHING like hang gliding, but it has the potential to be a unique and exhillerating ride experience if it were more true to the real thing.
    you know, Space Mountain is not life like either. If it was, you would probably be burned so bad you body would vaporize, but it's a fun ride.
    Soaring is fine the way it is

  13. #13

    • That Guy
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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    I would like to complain about IASW, because I went on a real boat ride for like an hour, and I wasn't even in a different city, let alone different countries, like the ride portrays.... They should change the ride so that in the several minutes you are on it, NOTHING happens, just like a real boat ride.

  14. #14

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    Good Idea.
    Go Bengals.


    WDW>DL

  15. #15

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    Re: Rant about Soarin'

    I would be scared if bystanders started singing songs in diffrent languages.............
    Go Bengals.


    WDW>DL

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