Slip the Surly Bonds of Epcot

Took the family this weekend to ride Soarin', a new movie-based flight simulator at Disney World Epcot that zooms over the state of California:

Guests are lifted 40 feet in the air over an 80-foot domed projection screen. Wind effects and gentle tilting of the seats create a simulated flying sensation totally unique to Disney. Scents released at key points during the five minute presentation enhance the experience.

I had the mistaken impression that this was going to be similar to Peter Pan's Flight, but it's more like a smelly, breezy IMAX movie filmed by Superman.

Disney copied this attraction from the California Adventure theme park, and the ride makes the point that California may be the most topographically interesting state in the U.S. That's an odd thing for a Florida-based attraction to do, but I would pity the Imagineer who had to make a similar film about this state, which has a highest point only 345 feet above sea level.

The ride was worth the 30-minute wait, especially when the smell of orange groves and pine forests wafts by as you travel past them. I was a little disappointed that the urban flyover of San Francisco didn't include the scent of bum urine, which always brings me back to a 1989 visit that included a brisk stroll down a rough stretch of Turk Street.


Buckminster Fuller told us how
Great Pirates of Old,
the Masters of
the Earth ,were Vikings
who sailed the Seas
and had the Overview.

Every Star's Day Must Come.

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