Soarin' over California

Condor Flats
Golden State
Disney's California Adventure

Introduction | Attraction | Touring Tips | Kids/Characters | Dining | Shopping | Interesting Facts

Soarin' over California EntranceINTRODUCTION

Located in the Condor Flats area of Disney's California Adventure, Soarin' Over California takes you on a simulated hang glider ride over some of California's most beautiful scenery. Set to a "Soarin'" soundtrack, the experience incorporates the sights, sounds, and even scents of magnificent areas like Monterey Bay, Napa Valley, Yosemite and Disneyland.


Soarin' Over California is located in the Condor Flats area, which pays tribute to California's history in the aviation industry. The queue extends both outside and inside the building. Once inside the building there are pictures devoted to aviation history -- both the pilots and the aircraft. There are two theaters, and at the bottom of the ramp the queue splits and goes left or right, but both sides feature an identical experience.

At the loading area, Cast Members will direct you to one of three boarding area sections - inside the theater these correspond to the left, center, or right seating areas. In the boarding area there are three rows: two rows of ten and one row of nine, corresponding to the seating area inside the theater.

The Pre-Show features Patrick Warburton (Kronk in The Emperor's New Groove) as the flight attendant giving you the safety spiel. He manages to be serious but entertaining at the same time.

Once inside the theater, place all bags and loose articles in the mesh bag under your seat. If you're wearing flip flops or "slide"-type shoes, put them in the bag or just leave them on the floor under your seat - your legs will be dangling and they could easily come off during your flight.

Each row of seats is sort of like a wide ski lift chair that seats 9 or 10. It's higher than a standard theater seat so shorter people may have to hop up a little bit to get seated. You'll be required to fasten your seat belt. For kids, there's an additional loop that the seat belt goes through for some extra security. There are handles on each side of the seat, but NO bar in front of you. The seat is tilted slightly back so it's very hard to fall forward.

The lights dim and suddenly you rise into the air (about 40' for those in the top row, about 10 feet for those on the bottom) and find yourself "flying" through clouds that have appeared on the huge IMAX screen in front of you. Feel the wind in your face as you break through the clouds and fly over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, then practically dip your toes into Redwood Creek in northern California. Soaring with balloons over Napa Valley is followed by a look at the magnificent California coastline of Monterey Bay. A winter scene takes you flying over skiers at Lake Tahoe (watch for the skier who misses on the jump) and you can smell the fresh pine. Then suddenly it's spring as you glide towards Yosemite Falls, and turn toward Half Dome. Moving to the southern part of the state you'll see and smell some of California's orange groves before flying over one of Palm Springs' golf courses -- FORE! It's like a scene from High Chaparral as you fly over horsemen in the rocky Anza-Borrego desert -- until you hear the unmistakable roar of the Thunderbirds in a fly-by. Next, glide over an aircraft carrier while enjoying the San Diego city skyline. It's late afternoon when you watch the Malibu surfers before taking a fast flight over the crowded L.A. freeways on your way to... Disneyland! Your journey ends as you fly over the nighttime parade on Main Street just as the fireworks begin over Sleeping Beauty Castle, and gently descend back to the ground.

Visit our pages on the Walt Disney World version of Soarin' HERE!


Soarin' Over California is a Fastpass attraction. It opens when the gates to the park are open (e.g. 1/2 hour before official park opening), and that's a great time to ride using the standby line. Plan to exerience this attraction early in the day since the standby line is usually quite long, and all Fastpasses for this attraction are often distributed long before the end of the day.

There is a Single Rider line - see the Cast Member at the Fastpass Return and tell them you are a single rider.

There is a height requirement of 40 inches for this attraction.

This is NOT a roller coaster or fast-moving ride, but those prone to motion sickness, back and neck problems or other medical conditions, and those with a fear of heights should consider the advisability of riding.

If you decide you don't wish to ride, just alert the Cast Member at the boarding area, and you will be directed to the exit.

The ride is about 4:51 minutes long.

The front row of any of the boarding areas will put you in the highest row of the ride vehicle, where you won't be able to see feet dangling above you.

Restrooms are located behind and to your left as you stand facing the "Soarin'" building.

Wheelchairs and ECVs enter the attraction through the regular queue then transfer to the ride seat.

The video portion of the preshow is close-captioned.


Other than a very brief period of darkness at the beginning, this ride seems to be a fun experience for young and old.

"Smaller aviators" who don't measure up to the height indicator on the seat are required to pass their seat belt through a loop between their legs when fastening it to provide additional security.

"Aviatrix Minnie" can often be found greeting guests beside the airplane on the far left-hand side of the attraction building.


Taste Pilot's GrillThe Taste Pilot's Grill is located next to Soarin' Over California.

Disney's California Adventure
Restaurants At A Glance

Menus from Around the Disneyland Resort


Fly 'N Buy -- Aviation souvenirs, Soarin' Over California specific merchandise and pins.

Disney's California Adventure Shopping at a Glance


Soarin' Over California opened with Disney's California Adventure on February 8, 2001.

A special Christmas parade was staged for the final Disneyland scene.

If you have comments or tips to share with others about touring Disney's California Adventure, please email us. Thank you.