We need to talk about Soarin’


#1

I first rode Soarin’ on the last day of my first trip. I knew to ask for B1, so I did. I thought the ride was amazing and I was annoyed I hadn’t tried it earlier and squeezed in a second go.

Pretty much the same thing happened on my second trip.

Then came my Christmas trip last year. I rode it twice, both times asking for B1. But this time, on both occasions, I was in B1 but at the end of the row. My first inkling something was wrong was the Taj Mahal — the top of it was slight wonky. I’d heard about the Eiffel Tower and a bad feeling came over me. I was right to be concerned.

So to enjoy Soarin’ and not be distracted by distortion, B1 isn’t enough. You need to be in the middle of B1.

Isn’t this actually really not very impressive at all? Did Disney not anticipate this? Have they not noticed? Do they not care? Do you think they’ll ever do anything about it?

I’m in two minds as to whether I ever want to ride it again, unless I can somehow manage to sit in the centre of B1. Getting B1 is easy — just ask — but getting in the centre, not so much. I did manage it the second time at Christmas, only to be asked to move by a family so they could all sit together. I could hardly refuse, but I was secretly seething.


#2

I absolutely love Soarin’. I think I could say it’s my #1 ride at WDW. I love it so much I never even noticed the distortion until I read about it on the boards. And even after that, it’s not really that big of a deal to me.


#3

Do you aim for a particular seat, or just go with what you’re given?

Maybe I can distract myself during the distortion moments.


#4

I am trying to imagine you seething secretly…wouldn’t that involve seething quietly? :wink:


#5

My son’s girlfriend feels the same way. The first time we rode it we sat in C, at the end. She thought it was the most magical attraction in the world. She has never been on the first one, she had never been on B. To her, it was perfection.

I have asked for B but she prefer we just “sit where we end up”. In the original Soarin, you could only see the rainbow on the waterfall if you were not in the first row. I realized last trip that there are details you can see from the edges.

I would prefer that Disney imagining fix the curve, but it has hidden treasures this way too,


#6

I sit anywhere they assign me.


#7

I’ve requested B1 for comparison, but either way, it is one of my favorite attractions and DS14s very favorite so we do multiple rides each trip. I find the distortion irritating from a “why couldn’t they figure this out” technology aspect but it doesn’t bother my enjoyment of the ride at all.


#8

If the distortion is that bothersome, may I recommend Impressions de France? Guaranteed all of the straight lines of the Eiffel Tower will be straight.


#9

I saw that on my first ever visit to Epcot and it basically made me cry. France is such a beautiful country and my idiot country is trying to split away from it (and the rest of the EU). Morons.


#10

We have sat in various seats and rows for Soarin’. I definitely notice the distortion if we are not in section B, but find it is only a minor detraction from what is such an awesome ride. My DH finds it much more annoying and it does take away from his enjoyment. Generally I am just so impressed by the ride experience that I refuse to let a bendy Eiffel Tower ruin the experience!


#11

I know I definitely can’t. The more I ride the more noticeable it becomes to me. We typically ask for B1, but as you said unless you are in the center there is distortion.


#12

The distortion is annoying, but I love the smells of the ride too much to ever give it up. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


#13

We love the ride and generally just ride where we are assigned. Typically we ride it enough during a visit we get each of the perspectives. In general we just roll with elliptical Eifel Tower and make it part of the fun on just how far it distorted.

The old film didn’t have anywhere near the same distortion - I’m not sure if it is a product of the technology or just the content of the film - perhaps a little of both. We do love trying to catch the Hidden Mickeys on the ride…


#14

Both. The distortion is there because of the way the theater screen is designed. It isn’t flat, but round. As a result, any “straight lines” projected on the screen will only look straight from a particular viewing angle.

This means that the choice of what you include in the movie should be designed to minimize scenes with lots of straight lines. Soarin’ over California had the same distortion, but you just aren’t aware of it because the scenes didn’t lend themselves to noticing. But if you stick a big, tall, straight object like the Eiffel Tower into the experience, there’s just no getting around perceiving the distortion.

I would expect that if Disney ever re-does the scenes again, they will be more mindful of this flaw.


#15

In the old film, the only “big, tall, straight object” I can think of was the Disneyland castle at the end in the fireworks scene. But I don’t recall any distortion of the castle at all. It wasn’t nearly as tight a shot as the current Eiffel tower one of course which might be part of it. A lot of scenes in the new film are CGI’d as well which may play a role.


#16

This sums up why I really find the new film FAR inferior to the original. Hate all the CGI. Hate it.

My DS19 and I were discussing Soarin’ just a couple days ago, and thought they should do a third film, like “Soarin’ Across America” where it focuses on the beauty of the United States. Then, they could make each of the three theaters play a different film option. You choose: California, America, or the World.


#17

The CGI wipes where something is flying at you are way overdone in the new film. The golf ball was great in the old one, but that was a one off which gave it greater effect. Now, nearly every scene has one which is overkill. In general, I like the new film - the digital technology is noticeably better than the old analog film. Less distortion would be nice though as that Eiffel tower can really bend - I’m worried it’s going to break one day… :sunglasses:


#18

I’ve not seen the new one yet so I can’t comment on those specifics. I’ve seen the old one from just about everywhere in the theater and although the center may have been a bit “better”, I found it exhilarating from any seat.


#19

Oh, that is a really interesting idea–I like it.


#20

I hate it! I would want to do all three. How am I going to manage that?