Fans Still Claim Changing This Beloved Disneyland Attraction Was A Mistake

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Soarin' Wow

One of the most controversial Disneyland retimes is quite possibly the change of the iconic Soarin’ attraction.

Soarin’ Over California was a Disney California Adventure opening day attraction, opening to Guests in 2001. It took Guests on a hang glider ride around California’s landmarks and popular cities, with the seats configured in a way that allowed riders a full view of the IMAX-style screen and seats synchronized to the video’s movements.


The ride offered 4-D effects with various scents and air pumped through the ride’s interior. The attraction was widely popular with tourists and locals alike due to the views it gave of California, including Napa Valley, Yosemite Falls, Malibu Beach, Los Angeles, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Disneyland itself.

Soarin' Over California entrance sign at Disney California Adventure Park
Credit: Disneyland

In 2016, the ride was changed to Soarin’ Around the World, the same version that can also currently be found in Walt Disney World’s EPCOT. This version of the attraction took Guests around the world rather than just California, and included places like the African Sahara, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Great Wall of China, Egypt, Arizona, and ending back at whichever Park it’s located in.

Soarin' Around the World inside The Land at EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Inside the Magic

The new version has been blasted online for the warping experienced in several of the scenes, as well as the painfully obvious CGI animals and people. Fans of Soarin’ Over California claim it captured the charm of the state well and really fit the original idea of California Adventure. As the Park actively works to incorporate more IPs to replace original attractions and experiences, Soarin’ Over California no longer fits the Park that California Adventure is trying to be.

Riders smile while flying over the Great Wall of China on Soarin'
Credit: Disney

The good news for die-hard fans is that they can still catch the original version of the attraction during Disney California Adventure’s Food & Wine Festival in the spring each year for a limited-time run.

Which is better: Soarin’ Over California or Soarin’ Around the World? Share your opinion in the comments below!

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