Soarin at Epcot

Discussion in 'Walt Disney World News, Rumors and General Disc' started by Talk-to-Ethan, Jan 2, 2017.

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  1. Talk-to-Ethan

    Talk-to-Ethan Member

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    Just rode Soarin 3 weeks ago. It has a new film showing cliche/predictable spots around the world. Very enjoyable and a huge improvement compared to the previous Soarin over California: film quality and relevant subject matter.

    And I'm still curious as to why are we greeted and briefed by a flight captain(Patrick) in the holding pen as if our scenic ride is on his plane or any airplane for that matter. I think we are still hanggliding aren't we?? Or maybe not.
     
  2. phruby

    phruby Moderator

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    They never changed out the pre flight instructions. In fact, at DCA they mute the over California part when Patrick says "Soarin over California". You can see his lips move. Over at DCA, the new film doesn't make thematic sense since we are at a California national park to see a movie about Californa not the World. The old movie was better. It had real locations and much less CG. Too many badly done CG animals in the new version.
     
  3. Talk-to-Ethan

    Talk-to-Ethan Member

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    Good point about CGI. They should not have done that. The world has countless high quality and real things to film already. The CGI should only be used for things that can't be found in the real, corporal world. I guess it's high time for me to reassess Soarin's new show.
     
  4. Talk-to-Ethan

    Talk-to-Ethan Member

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    Anyway I'm still curious as why we are greated by an airplane captain when we are on a hangglider. Well, at least before in DCA and previous EPCOT we were gliding to see the sights not burning fuel like on board a passenger jet or a small Sessna. Are we burning fuel or gliding????
    Which is it??? I wonder if a Disney storymaker can enlighten us(that's imagineer for those playing at home).
     
  5. phruby

    phruby Moderator

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    Your flying therefore you need a flight attendant. It's even weirder at Shanghai were you get a freaky magician doing preflight check. I guess flying is magical in China.

     
  6. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    In addition to the overuse of CGI and gimmicky animals, another downgrade in the new version is the relative lack of movement. The California version had a lot of sweeping turns, along with tilting back and forth to simulate up and down movements. Most of the scenes in the new version have straight flight paths, showing of the scenery but ignoring the motion that popularized the ride in the first place

    I'm also glad that they were able to make new arrangements of the original musical theme for the new locations, but none of them are particularly impactful. The California version had quiet relaxing moments, and big bold moments; the new one seems to be mostly quiet and forgettable. Even for someone who is familiar with the tune, it's difficult to pick out the melody, and the constant changing instrumentation doesn't transition as easily as using a single orchestra and highlighting different instruments along the way

    The new version isn't bad, but it isn't nearly as great as the original. It's just okay. Which is probably not what they were hoping for. At least it fits the overall theme of Epcot a lot better (even if there are relatively few shots that connect it to nature and The Land)
     
  7. Jim in Merced CA

    Jim in Merced CA Moderator

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    Is ANY of the footage real? CGI Taj Mahal? Who cares?

    Even going back to CircleVision 360, it was neat to see actual footage of the actual places. Right?
     
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  8. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    Most of the footage is real, though nearly all of it has been "enhanced" to varying degrees by CGI elements (animals, people, boats, kites, balloons, spotlights, etc). Most of these are relatively minor (similar to the hang glider and golf ball in the original film), but it's the repeated use in *every* *freaking* *scene* that really detracts from the presentation. As far as I can tell, the Taj Mahal is the only scene that is entirely CGI

    When they were filming the original Soarin', Disney had to get special permission to film in a desert state park that hadn't allowed helicopters in nearly 50 years. I have to wonder why they didn't try harder to get permission to film at the Taj Mahal; and conversely, if it was an absolute non-starter, I have to wonder why Disney didn't scrap that scene entirely and film somewhere else (Angkor Wat would fill a similar niche). Considering that they had the entire globe at their disposal, it's really strange that they settled for a scene that is entirely CGI
     
  9. Jim in Merced CA

    Jim in Merced CA Moderator

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    Good points, Ferret.

    I remember when 'Soarin' Over California' opened and people complained about the jump cuts between scenes. Didn't bother me, since it was the same way 'America the Beautiful' jumped from scene to scene.

    Now, with water, dirt, kites, birds and clouds offering transitions between scenes, I'm not sure it's an improvement.
     
  10. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    I agree. The CGI transitions seem more like a distraction than an improvement. Instead of looking at the scenery, your eye starts to try to find the thing that will cut in front of the camera to make the transition. If there were only one or two of these it would probably be fine, but it's used to the point that it feels very gimmicky
     
  11. phruby

    phruby Moderator

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    Every time that really fake looking elephant throws dirt at us I want to shield my eyes from it. Why do I want to be blinded by dirt kicked up by an elephant? Also, where is the splash of water when the fake whale splashes down? They could have put in that 4D effect. Each transition throws you out of the reality of it even more so than before.
     
  12. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I remember that discussion. I was firmly in the camp that the jump cuts were fine - the MUSIC made the transition happen as much as the visuals - and transitioning between scenes with clouds or water or whathaveyou would simply become its own cliche. Better to have the quick cuts.

    I haven't seen the new version yet, but adore the original. If the new one is really a comedown, I'd love to see them (at least at DCA where California makes sense) bring back the original either in one theatre (so you always have the choice), or alternate films at different times of day like they used to do at Circlevision in TL (China in the morning, USA in the evening).
     
  13. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    As a music person myself (there are several mediocre films that I love simply because of a good score), I think this is one of the big places that the new version falls flat. The new score follows the original tune, but it's more "variations on a theme" than a new arrangement; unless you really know what to listen for, it's all but unrecognizable for long periods. It also seems to rely too much on calming strings and woodwinds (though mostly appropriate for the locations shown), while failing to live up to the big brassy moments that made the original score so memorable

    The new film isn't bad, per se. It's just disappointing knowing how good the original was, and seeing the new version fail to surpass it. In a weird way, I have similar fears about the new version of Fantasmic! that will open this summer; Disney has opened 2 other F! shows that never quite managed to capture what made the original so special, so I have low confidence at this point
     
  14. KrisKid

    KrisKid Member

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    Although I like the new version of Soarin', I get that people would have their problems with it. For the most part the CGI animals and the transitions don't bother me but the completely CGI Taj Mahal makes me cringe every time. It's so obvious. I agree with Ferret that they should have filmed another location instead. Would anyone have missed the Taj Mahal if another location was used in its place? Would we have even thought "where's the Taj Mahal?"
     
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  15. Goofyernmost

    Goofyernmost Active Member

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    Don't over think this thing! This is a Disney Park not a brain surgery suite at a hospital. The pilot connections has to do with FLYING not what you are flying in. It doesn't have to make logical sense, it just is there to amuse and place people in a fantasy mood. There are enough things happening in the world that don't make sense... try a little fantasy to lighten the load.
     
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  16. Talk-to-Ethan

    Talk-to-Ethan Member

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    Sorry, but continuity, consistency, and logistics count just about everywhere- yes, even in a theme park that charges $115 per visit.

    Again if we are on a hang glider then what is with a pilot in full stereotypical commercial uniform briefing us as if we're doing the Tomas Hayden Church "Wings" thing.
     
  17. FerretAfros

    FerretAfros Active Member

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    Soarin' and Mission:Space both share a conceptual problem: it's really not clear if we're supposed to be boarding a simulator/training device, or if we're boarding an actual aircraft. M:S takes itself much more seriously than Soarin', but neither is especially clear on what the premise is

    The new version of Soarin' tends to be even more simulator-esque than the original, with the screen lit while the mechanism goes into position at the beginning of the film, and all the gimmicky effects along the way. It's interesting that Star Tours managed to make its concept very clear in 1987, but the simulators form the 00's are much more confused
     
  18. Goofyernmost

    Goofyernmost Active Member

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    Soarin in California was, if not still is, themed as an airport hanger. With all kinds of airplane stuff all around it. It was obviously meant to imply that you were flying (or soaring, if that makes you feel better). The theme was flying more then it was hang gliding. If that were following reality it seems that you would have been suspended under it. I don't ever remember seeing a hang glider that you could sit down in along with a large group of other people. Some suspension of disbelief is necessary from the public to make these things function. You need to practice your suspension a tad.
     
  19. Dabob2

    Dabob2 Well-Known Member

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    I see what you did there.
     
  20. Talk-to-Ethan

    Talk-to-Ethan Member

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    Look, I'm just trying to air out some of my concerns; I can assure you no one is flying off the handle here.
     

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