History of Soarin Around the World

Soarin opened at Disney California Adventure as one of the few opening day attractions to get near-universal praise from visitors, and plans immediately were developed to bring the ride to other parks.

While initial plans had a world travel version of this attraction going in attached to The Land Pavilion near The Living Seas (now The Seas With Nemo and Friends, it would eventually be decided it would replace Food Rocks on the other side of the building. The original film was also canceled, and Epcot opened its own version of Soarin Over California.

This created a problem though. While Soarin Over California was perfect for Disney California Adventure, it did not fit into Epcot at all.

A fix for this would come with Shanghai Disneyland. They would open their own version of Soarin taking the idea of world travel from the planned Epcot version to create Soarin Over the Horizon, or what the US parks know as Soarin Around the World. This film would then be copied over to both Disney California Adventure and Epcot, although the films are occasionally interchanged at Disney California Adventure.

The Epcot version even got an additional theater in anticipation of the new version.

The new film would not be as universally beloved as the original. Among the criticisms were a less realistic looking film and overuse of CGI. While the original film used computer effects for things like a jump scare, fireworks, and Tinkerbelle, the new film used them in pretty much every scene. While fun once in a while, the overuse of them felt gimmicky to some.

The realism of the film also came under critique with allegations some of the scenes were entirely CGI. The Eiffel Tower scene also became a joke in theme park communities due to its curved appearance anywhere other than the very center seats.

Soaring Fantastic Flight Poster Tokyo DisneySea

This version of the ride would also come to Tokyo DisneySea, with new original sequences and a preshow that tied the ride in with the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.

Soarin Around the World remains a constant in Disney Parks all around the world. While the current film may not be as strong as the original, it remains a great Disney attraction nonetheless.