Fans of Soarin' are going to be quite happy this evening, as we are ready to share new information that will shed some light on the future of this very popular Epcot attraction. Before starting, we would like to underline the fact that all the information included in this post comes from an extremely reliable source that is very knowledgeable about the project. Anything not yet confirmed will be clearly marked as a rumor. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

As most of our Readers know, the busiest time of the year for Central Florida's attraction is approaching very, very fast. The Walt Disney World Resort is well aware of this, and is planning to do all that is possible to make sure that Guests truly enjoy their stay at the Vacation Kingdom. One of the extra "surprises" that they have in store is referred as the "Surprise Mornings.

What are these "Surprise Mornings?" Simply put, starting from next Monday (December 22, 2014) and through the end of the year, Cast Members will allow a limited number of Guests to enter The Land pavilion OR Test Track one hour earlier than park opening (with the exception of Tuesday, December 30, as the park will already open at 7 a.m. as part of the Extra Magic Hours) to experience Soarin' OR Test Track before the rest of the Guests. The only caveat is that once Guests enter either pavilion, they may NOT exit the building until park opening. In addition to that, remember to note that both Living with the Land and the Circle of Life will NOT be available during Soarin' Surprise Mornings.

Soarin' and Test Track Surprise Mornings schedule:
  • Monday, Dec. 22 - 8 a.m. (Park Hours 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 23 - 8 a.m. (Park Hours 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Extra Magic Hours 9:30-11:30 p.m.) 
  • Wednesday, Dec. 24  - 8 a.m. (Park Hours 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Dec. 25 - 7 a.m. (Park Hours 8 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.; Extra Magic Hours 9:30-11:30 p.m.) 
  • Friday, Dec. 26-  7 a.m. (Park Hours 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, Dec. 27 - 7 a.m. (Park Hours 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m.)
  • Sunday, Dec. 28 - 7 a.m. (Park Hours 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m.)
  • Monday, Dec. 29: No Soarin' or Test Track Surprise Mornings
  • Tuesday, Dec. 30 - 7 a.m. (Park Hours 8 a.m.-10:30 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 31- 7 a.m. (Park Hours 8 a.m.-1 a.m.)
This special opportunity may sound familiar to some, as it was also offered in the past few years as a way to take some pressure off of the park's most popular attractions.

It's going to be crazy, but you should already know that. Cast Members working at the location were notified earlier this week about the extension of the queue line, which is expected to reach (once again ) its usual 5-hour wait at its peak on December 31. This year, they expect Guests to queue up in the former FASTPASS distribution area (now empty), then physically exit the building and continuing to line up in the backstage area, and finally returning to the main building just to enter the regular stand-by line.

That said, this could be the last (or, at the very least, the next-to-last) December in which Guests may have to go through an unthemed extended queue. More on that will be shared later on in this article.

Now the really juicy info begin. In fact, we have confirmed that a new trailer was installed in the construction area where Soarin's third theater is currently being built. Here's an image showing the rough location of this temporary building (taken from Google Earth and  visually modified):

The trailer is being used as part of the project, as it will be used by those involved in this project. In addition to that, a notice-board has been installed near the trailer. Some new permits may soon show up in that particular area. Hopefully someone working in that area will take a peek in the future...

As you might recall, we recently posted a photo on our official Twitter page showing a new crane that was spotted behind The Land pavilion. Here's the picture, just in case you missed it for some reason:

While the crane might have been used for the construction of Soarin's new theater (please, note that this particular piece of information is pure speculation), nothing has gone vertical... yet. That said, if you take a closer look at the Google Maps image posted earlier in this article, you will notice that we also marked area where a new footer was seen. This leads us to believe that walls may start to go up as soon as the beginning of next year. Once again, this has NOT been confirmed by our source.

Yes, a new queue will come to Soarin' once the third theater will open to the public. This news will surely thrill many, as the current Soarin' queue area can be considered very underwhelming, with its incredibly superficial theming and its tacky interactive games that never work. The only word used to describe this new (and confirmed) queue area was "fancy." Take that as you wish.

The reasons behind this addition are many. Among them is the need of a more engaging and visually pleasing area for Guests that have to wait in line for an endless amount of time, even though the situation should greatly improve with the addition of a new theater.

  • IllumiNations FastPass+ on December 31: For the first time ever, IllumiNations will offer FastPass+ service for the first show of the night on December 31, 2014. This should also be the last time ever this will happen, though, as many area managers were against the idea in the first place. The FastPass+ service will not be available for the 11:40 showing of IllumiNations, of course.
  • IllumiNations Showtime Change on December 31: The first showing of IllumiNations is scheduled to take place at 6:00 p.m. this year to allow Guests to leave the park earlier than usual. A record of more than 80,000 people entered through Epcot's turnstiles on December 31, 2013.
And that is all for now. If you enjoyed the article, please, consider liking us on our official Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter for live updates from the parks. Also, feel free to use the big "DONATE" button on the sidebar if you would like to make a donation to OTPN. Thank you for your support!

8 Comment(s):

Felix said...

YES!!! Love this ride! Hopefully they will update/clean the film. I was just there last month and it looked very old. Several guests after the ride were commenting how dirty the film looked.

4K would be great!

Kendall said...

It appears that the office trailer was signed off on the 12th, attached to the document of commencement was a listing of all the contractors for project 87. Steel Fabricators LLC was listed for steel construction, they were the builders of Expedition Everest.

Brian B said...

4k would actually be a step down.

Soarin is 70mm Imax which is 12K.

Anonymous said...

So essentially all the hype really musters down to just a new queue? Rejoice ... Universal build new state of the art attractions, over at Disney we're getting new queueing systems!

Anonymous said...

It's ok. There will be a whole new film and ride system along with the queue. And if you want the E-ticket stuff, you got Avatar and Star Wars to look forward to.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the most recent Anonymous. You have to take into consideration everything. Universal has great stuff on the way, but so does Disney. Just Disney is moving a little slower because of other resort projects, and they have some other things to take care of that Uni doesn't because of their size (example- queues, eating, merch, capacity as in hub; the necessary stuff that people don't get too excited for).

Anonymous said...

Universal builds amazing queues, merch,and food things as well. But just doesnt have as many as Disney.

Anonymous said...

I love it when you can smell the oranges when you fly over the groves. If you look closely, you can see the Mexicans picking the oranges. Thankfully, you can't smell them. Glad there's no such thing as Soarin' Over Alabama.

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