Soarin’ Over California was one of the attractions available on opening day of Disney California Adventure in 2001. Since then, the immensely popular ride was duplicated at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park in 2005 as part of the “Happiest Celebration on Earth” for Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary. Fans can also find versions of Soarin’ at Shanghai Disneyland Park as well as Tokyo DisneySea. Now you don’t even need to visit a Disney Park to ride Soarin’, as clones of the attraction are popping up around the word.
In Branson, Mo., SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment has opened FlyRide, a 40-seat attraction that simulates the feel of flying via a curved 4-story high screen complete with wind, mist, scents, and space effects. FlyRide is part of Beyond the Lens family fun center on the Branson strip, and takes passengers on a trip across the country with the film “Fly America.”
IMAX and large screen pioneers MacGillivray Freeman Films produced “Fly America” and take guest soaring above more than 20 of America’s national landmarks such as the Grand Canyon, Teton Mountains, and more. Admission to Beyond the Lens starts at $25 for children and $35 for adults.
At the Wilderness Resort, an indoor waterpark resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment has opened a 60-seat dome FlyRide attraction called Take Flight – Wilderness Aerial Adventure Ride. The film “Flying Wild” was created and produced by SimEx-Iwerks and MacGillivray Freeman Films in collaboration with Wilderness Resort Management, and takes passengers on a flight across America. Tickets to Take Flight start at $16 for children (under age 12) and $20 for adults. Guests of Wilderness Resort receive $5 off admission.
FlyRide is not the first Soarin’ clone on the market. In 2013, FlyOver Canada opened in Canada Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. Owned by the attractions and hospitality company Pursuit, they opened the FlyOver Iceland flight ride experience in Reykjavik in September 2019 and plan on expanding the collection to Las Vegas, Nev. (2021) and Toronto, Ontario (2023).
Are you a fan of Soarin’? Would you take a flight on one of these Soarin’ clones? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.