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Pal Val’s #15 – Soarin’ Around the World!

Even though everyone knows that Future World in Epcot needs a little love and attention, there are so many great rides and shows. It is a park we still love to visit, Soarin’ has always been at the top of my list of favorite attractions. Not only is it a fun ride, any ride where you get to hear Patrick Warburton give the safety spiel, is going to be awesome (Nice work pal!).

Previously, Soarin’ was an E-Ticket attraction that had an incredibly long wait time. It was common to see 180 minutes on the stand-by queue, making Fast Passes necessary, and often difficult to obtain. Before Magic Bands, my one job at Epcot was to run to Soarin’ as quickly as possible so that I could get in the line for the Fast Pass machine. (That hill going into the Land is not for the faint of heart when you are in a foot race with 500 other people!) Thankfully, now we can get those Fast Passes before we even arrive at the park and if we don’t get one – the wait is not nearly as painful for a few reasons.

In 2016, Epcot added a third theater and upgraded the projectors (it also became Soarin’ Around the World instead of just over California). With the addition of the third theater, (plus the new Frozen Ever After ride,) we have noticed the wait times in the stand-by queue to be a far more tolerable 35 minutes or less. I was specifically thankful for the new projectors, because on our trip a few year’s back with our son-in-law, he kindly pointed out black spots on the projection and after that I could see nothing else!!

We love it when we get to be in Row 1 of the middle section of the carriage. Not only are you lifted to the highest point of the screen, but in the middle the picture does not look distorted at all. (When seated in the far right or far left sections, stuff, especially the Eiffel Tower, looks a little bendy.)

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There are a few things that I like to do that makes the ride more special to me. I think about how the Imagineer came up with the idea for the design of the carriage from an Erector Set, so I like to take a quick peek to the left and right to appreciate the amazing design of the ride. If I am wearing shoes that slip off and on easily (like flip flops), I slip them off and leave them on the floor in front of my seat. They are right there when we land and there is something cool about riding the attraction bare foot. If you, like I am, are on the hunt for Hidden Mickey’s and Easter Eggs – there are a few to find during the ride as well!

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Not only is Soarin’ awesome, but in the Land Pavilion where it is located, you will also find my favorite counter service restaurant in The Land. Sunshine Seasons has many different types of food to choose from and they use a lot of the fruits and vegetables grown on property – so it is fresh and everything we have ordered has been incredibly good. It is definitely a step up from the usual quick service fare you might find, particularly in the Future World section of the park. (They also have a bakery with so many yummy options to choose from – you just don’t want to miss this one.)

While the food itself is excellent, the Land offers another great feature for a Quick Service restaurant: it is inside! Because of this, there is protection from the elements, air conditioning, and comfortable seating. The theme is obviously the seasons of the year – take time to look up at the cool hot air balloons hanging from the ceiling. Each area of tables is themed to a different season!!

Let see – anything else…? Oh yeah, have a nice flight!!

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