Opening May 5, 2005 in Epcot’s Land pavilion, Soarin’ Over California was the original iteration of the Soarin’ attraction at Epcot. An exact copy of the film used in its sister attraction at Disney California Adventure, the attraction took guests on trips to California, and replaced Food Rocks, which previously used some of what ultimately became the queue and lobby space for Soarin’.
Unique in its design, Soarin’ features a mechanical lift system (originally designed using an erector set), and a large domed screen into which guests are lifted to simulate hang glider flight. Wind, motion, and scent effects are used to add realism to the experience, along with subtle, sycnhronized movements of the lift system.
Soarin’ Over California closed officially to guests June 15, 2016, reopening two days later with a new film, Soarin’ Over the World.