Every theme park attraction is somebody’s favorite, but most theme park attractions have a shelf life, which means eventually they will be replaced. Maybe it will go away because technology becomes outdated, or the IP it's connected to becomes less popular. Sometimes rides will be changed or updated just for the sake of making them new. Sometimes the focus of theme parks change over time and certain rides no longer fit. But when it happens, the old attraction is usually gone forever. But that’s not the case for Soarin’ Over California, which is set to return to Disney California Adventure next month, though only for a limited time.
The good news for fans of the original Soarin’ Over California is that it’s coming back, at least for a while. When the Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival gets underway on March 4, Soarin’ Over California will return as well. Although Disney says it will only be back for a limited time. The Food and Wine Festival runs through April 26. Based on the language from Disney, it sounds like this version of the ride may only be part of the festival, but it’s possible the ride may hang around a bit longer.
The popular Soarin’ attraction sees guests lifted into the air in front of a massive projection screen and they have the sensation of flying over well known locations. The attraction opened as Soarin’ Over California when Disney California Adventure opened in 2001, but the video was replaced and the attraction became Soarin’ Around the World in 2016. The scenes of California landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and redwood forests were replaced with the Great Wall of China and the Sydney Opera House.
While Soarin’ is still a popular attraction in any incarnation, it’s one of our favorites at California Adventure, the general consensus is that the California version is superior to the World edition. When one sees the Eiffel Tower, which gets strangely distorted on the massive screen due to its extreme height and being centered on the non-flat screen, it’s hard to argue otherwise.
A lot of fans would like to see Soarin Over California permanently return to Disney California Adventure, since it makes sense to have the California focused attraction in the California focused theme park. It’s likely the reason that the attraction is being brought back as part of the Food and Wine festival, which will also focus on California food.
Soarin’ Around the World also exists at Walt Disney World’s Epcot, but considering the World Showcase and the global focus of that park, that version of the attraction makes sense there, much more than it does at Disney California Adventure.
If we really only have less than two months to experience the return of Soarin’ Over California, then fans will want to be sure to make their plans soon to experience it before it’s gone. And it’ll be worth showing up for the Food and Wine Festival too, as the food is just one of the reasons Disney California Adventure is an underrated park.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.