VIDEO, PHOTOS: Soarin’ Over California Returns to EPCOT for Disney100; Now EPCOT’s Most Popular Attraction

    Soarin’ Over California is back at EPCOT and guests looking to experience it during its limited-time run will find some significant wait times. So far, the attraction is averaging a 70+ minute wait, according to data from For comparison, Soarin’ Around the World averaged a 37-minute wait this month before the recent swap to the California version.

    Soarin’ Around the World is on hiatus until 2024

    At an average wait of 75 minutes since its return, Soarin’ Over California has the highest average wait time at EPCOT this month, edging out Frozen Ever After by 2 minutes and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure by 13 minutes. Standby wait times peaked at 145 minutes in the early afternoon this past Sunday, September 24th.

    Given that this is a temporary film swap, there was no need for downtime or significant construction to change Soarin’ Around the World to Soarin’ Over California. Some of the cosmetic changes included an adjustment to the attraction sign, the addition of a Disney100 medallion, and some changes to the attraction entrance. Other than that, the in-queue game remains locked on the Soarin’ Around the World trivia.

    Soarin’ Over California originally opened at Disney California Adventure in 2001 before making its way to EPCOT in 2005. Guests are lifted up to 40 feet in the air, and surrounded by a giant projection dome. They then get a bird’s-eye view of much of the beauty and wonder of California, with an extraordinary sensation of free flight, accompanied by a musical score by Jerry Goldsmith. Walt Disney Imagineering ride engineer Mark Sumner came up with the idea of the unique ride system one weekend by building a model with an erector set he had at home.

    Soarin’ dome at EPCOT
    Soarin’ ride system at EPCOT

    Other versions of Soarin’ exist in Shanghai Disneyland (Soaring Over the Horizon, 2016) and Tokyo DisneySea (Soaring: Fantastic Flight, 2019).

    It is expected that Soarin’ Over California will remain at EPCOT until the end of 2023 with a swap back to Soarin’ Around the World in early 2024. It’s possible that the return of Soarin’ Around the World in 2024 will bring an updated finale with the new look for World Celebration on display during the EPCOT finale segment.

    Most recent EPCOT finale look for Soarin’ Around the World featuring Future World

    Ok, with some of the backstory out of the way, here’s a look at the changes for the return of Soarin’ Over California at EPCOT!

    As always, keep checking back with us here at as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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