EPCOT – The Seas and Soarin’

Our second day at EPCOT started at The Seas. Last time we came here Son was in a stroller, he was mesmerized by the oversized reef at the front of the building and the pesky seagulls shouting – straight out of Nemo. Some things never change…..

10.20.024 - The Seas

We saw Mr Ray, Crush and Nemo all outside before we headed indoors.

10.20.022 - The Seas

10.20.025 - The Seas

10.20.026 - The Seas

This attraction revolves around one of the largest saltwater aquariums in the world but also has a Finding Nemo ride, lots of displays and plenty of interactive stuff. The aquarium is vast – apparently the Spaceship Earth golfball would fit in here with room to spare. They have dolphins, sharks, turtles, rays, loads of other sealife and oodles of multi-coloured tropical fish.

10.20.038 - The Seas

We watched the manatees for ages, spotted sharks and a few turtles then Son had a picture taken with a diver emerging from the tank.

10.20.033 - The Seas

10.20.035 - The Seas

10.20.036 - The Seas

The Sea With Nemo And Friends is a tame little ride – no thrills – you enter at the seashore, go “underwater” and travel in a Clam Mobile with Mr Ray. As expected Nemo goes missing and the ride continues with a mix of animation, puppets and right at the end a cute effect where Nemo and friends “swim” in the aquarium tank with the real creatures.

Son really enjoyed Shark World, lots of interactive displays about these interesting creatures and we touched shark skin, peered into a periscope and explored an underwater wreck.

10.20.039 - The Seas

We had a Fast Pass for Turtle Talk with Crush. The theatre was so incredibly packed and I remembered nostalgically the last time we did this when Son was 3. Not too many other people at the show and that made such a difference. The technology is still impressive – an animated Crush has a real-time conversation with the audience. Adults sit on benches at the back, children sit right at the front and a Disney employee hosts the session. Our lady was really disappointing and didn’t engage well at all with the little ones. Crush and his facial expressions were hilarious but he only chatted with one child, answered a couple of questions and it was nowhere near as interactive as we remembered. A bit of a let down.

Away from all things marine we had time for one more thing – Soarin’. We loved this and actually got to ride it several times – with a Fast Pass – the line seemed to range from very long to super long at all times. It is great though, definitely not your typical motion simulator ride. The building in which it is housed for a start is shaped like an aircraft hangar and from the moment you step inside the theming is superb. It really feels as if you are about to board a flight.

10.20.049 - Soarin

No pre-show, just a safety video then we were ushered into our seats. There are 3 large and open ride vehicles, each has 3 rows and the very best seats are in the front row of each closest to the screen. We managed to get these seats first time and it was a real wow experience – you feel as if you are flying. We never managed this again, it wasn’t a big problem but elsewhere you are aware of other peoples’ feet and seats and the experience is a little less wonderful.

When the movie starts the front row lifts and is highest, the others go below and slightly to the rear. Super comfy and very wide seats and with just an aircraft style lap belt there is no claustrophobia and a comfortable feeling as it all starts. You lift up swiftly and smoothly in front of a massive screen, fly through some stunning scenes over California from snow capped mountains to desert canyons and rocky seashores to gorgeous beaches. Right at the end you swoop up Main Street USA to Cinderella’s Castle and finish at the evening firework display. The seats move left and right, angle up and down and are perfectly in sync with the camera on the screen. We loved every second and felt just like we were hang-gliding or the next best thing. Combined with other effects including the wind blowing on your face, the scent of lemons as you pass over trees and more all add up to a great experience and one not to be missed.

37 thoughts on “EPCOT – The Seas and Soarin’

  1. It must have been a nice experience, to feel you are flying ! Do you think some people get an upset stomach ? I remembered the first time I went to disneyland, I tried space ship thing and I had the feeling we were falling down and I didn’t feel that great 😀

    • My husband always always feels sick and really bad in simulators, however tame and lame they are he gets off green and feeling terrible. Not here however, he was fine with this, you’re not confined and the “scenery” and fresh air feeling as you “fly” probably helps a lot. This is the only type of these rides where he was perfectly ok so that probably means you’d be fine on it!!

      • Poor hubby, he has my sympathy (sorry but can’t help to laugh at your comment).

        Oh yes, I know what you mean but the fresh air feeling 😉 I think it would help me as well 🙂

    • We all loved that simulator Pam – hang-gliding over California is not something I think we’ll ever try but this was the next best thing!! The aquarium is amazing, I could have stayed there all day.

  2. Soarin’ is my absolute favorite! Glad you enjoyed the Seas too, a lot of people overlook it because they say, “oh, we have aquariums near home”, but this one I think is one of the best.

    • I completely agree, we’ve been to a fair few aquariums around the place in our time and I thought this was right up there. Soarin’ is an incredible ride – we just couldn’t get enough of it, thank goodness for Fast Pass!!

  3. we love Epcot the best of all the Disney parks, but never got to do Soarin’ because the wait was too long and we didn’t plan well 😦 Definitely will get to it for our next trip there! great post!

  4. Because I found Epcot to be pretty shabby and uninteresting, for me the whole Nemo / Aquarium area was a highlight. The ride element was pretty tame but I liked the way the animations were projected into actual tanks and we all liked seeing the actually marine animals.

    • My husband has motion sickness too George, he can ride the meanest rollercoaster but any simulator at all – even for infants – sends him green and queasy. He sucked it up here too and loved it – we all did!!

  5. I think I can recall this when I was there! I remember loving it. My son woul love this as he’s a big Nemo fan. We definitely need to start thinking of a trip to Orlando!

  6. What a fascinating sounding place Joy – like a cross between a theme park and an aquarium! We have the WA Aquarium just down the road from us and have always loved going there (with our girls and now our granddaughters) but it a bit tame compared with this one in Orlando! “Soarin” sounds amazing but alas probably wouldn’t suit me as I get travel sickness very easily! Hope you’ve had a good weekend – we have a public holiday tomorrow (WA Labour Day) and have had a very busy weekend so far so hoping for a relaxing day tomorrow!

    • We’ve always loved aquariums right from when our son was very little – you’re right though Rosemary, this one blows everything else away, it’s amazing. My husband gets queasy on any simulator or spinning ride but was fine on this.. you might be ok!! Enjoy your day off, hope it’s a relaxing one. We’ve had snow here on Friday, all gone now though, just lots of shivering!!

      • Yes I thought the one here was good Joy as you go round on a conveyor belt with all the sea life in the huge tank above you and you get to see the divers feeding the sharks and stuff like that. It’s amazing when the manta rays swim over you!! I might be ok then on the simulated rides – I’m usually ok on planes unless there is bad turbulence! Brr sounds cold – my dad said they’d had a couple of days snow in Yorkshire. We fly out in just over 4 weeks time (to London first to see our daughter). Today we’re going to take the train into Perth city centre to check out the new Elizabeth Quay, which is a grand new waterfront area on the Swan River that they’ve been building for ages – finally opened and friends have said it’s well worth visiting. No doubt a blog post will be coming up! Enjoy your week and hope it warms up soon and spring arrives! 🙂

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