Sometimes less is more and the updated Soarin’ Around The World now takes you all over the world instead of just the beautiful state of California being the perfect example. Gone are the scented orange groves, the smell of the fresh redwood pines in Humboldt, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, and the snow skiing, river rafting, surfing and more.
It was easily my favorite ride at EPCOT and probably in all of the Disney parks.
While the updated Soarin’ Around The World takes you to landmarks such as the Great Wall in China, the Great Pyramids in Egypt, the Taj Mahal in Uttar Pradesh, India, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France among others it doesn’t reach the excitement and the smoothness of the original. There’s SO much to take in and it’s all quite beautiful to look at, but the actual journey feels more like a random playlist of greatest hits around the world rather than a thought out journey that’s focusing on something specific.
If that wasn’t enough, the actual simulation itself simply isn’t as fun or exhilarating. On the original Soarin’ I would hold onto the hand grips in preparation for the dives and the swooping turns. It gave you sweaty palms in the best way. It was exciting and calming at the same time. Soarin’ Around The World is just sort of calming. That’s nice for a hot day in the park, but what you want out of a ride is the same thing you want out of a movie – you want it all. You want to laugh, be scared, and then laugh because the scare was fun and you made it through it.
The ‘sequel’ to Soarin’ suffers from much of what typical hollywood blockbusters suffer from; it’s overstuffed in an attempt to give you everything you thought you wanted and in attempting that it loses the direction of what made the original work and connect with audiences.
Imma miss the scent of those orange groves, man.