Sunday, October 18, 2009

1 Day to Disney: I can see my house from here!

Well folks... We've done it. We've made it to the end of the Disney Countdown, you and me. It's been a crazy ride, has it not?

Not so fast, though... There's still one final Disney thing to talk about before we but this bitch to bed.

It's interesting to me that the top item on the whole shebang this time around is a ride that had just opened right before I wrote the first countdown in 05, and I didn't know a single thing about it. THAT'S how much I've been blown away by Soarin' at Epcot. To make that kind of impression on me in that short amount of time is pretty amazing to me.

I am hesitant to talk too much in specifics about the ride itself, because there's no way to do it justice. It sounds so...regular. I think that's theme of this year's countdown... Disney has mastered making things that sound completely simple and unimpressive become so amazing based on two very specific goals they seek out to attain every time.

1) The difference is in the details. Soarin' is basically a flight simulator. There are simulators all over the place at dozens of amusement parks around the world. Disney has taken this "regular" thing and made it so specific and detailed in every facet, from the entry area to the waiting queue (with Patrick the Flight Attendant) to the scents and breezes you smell and feel as you "Soar". It's simple, but amazingly elegant because of the detail.

2) They execute it perfectly. Aside from the detail of the experience, the efficiency each individual aspect of the ride makes the experience go so smoothly that it sets it apart from any other experience of it's type. The mechanics of the ride vehicle are one of a kind. The movement is crisp and seamless. The loading and operations are hitch-free. If you think you'd get that same level of elegance at Universal or Pidgeon Forge or whatever else then you've not been reading this whole time.

When I first rode Soarin' in 2005 I was blown away. It went by so quickly that I had barely enough time to process it. I rushed back around and rode it again right away. It was mid December, so the crowds were light. Then I got a fast pass and rode it again later that day. It's just beautifully done from start to finish. It's the first ride I want to go on every time I visit Disney.

So... with that, I bring my countdown to an end. This time tomorrow I'll be on a 737-800 flying down to Disney World and an amazing vacation with the Tofu Muchacha, who has had to deal with my insane Disney obsession first hand, and doesn't have the option of simply not reading the blog for a couple of days to take a break.

Thanks for reading along with me. I can't wait to tell you all about the trip next week.

And now... The Last Disney Trivia Question of the Day

Trivia: How many different scents can you sniff (aside from the ones made by your co-riders) as you ride Soarin' and what are they?

If you think you know, please send an e-mail to

Everyone with the correct answer will receive a point. An incorrect answer gets 1/2 a point. The person with the most points will get a Limted Edition Pin purchased during my stay.

Answering Cut-off will be at 9:00 PM tonight, and the Contest Wrap-Up Blog will be posted tomorrow, with the winner announced and all of the answers posted.

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