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Will they ever fix Soarin' distortion?

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
Yes.

In some other threads I've posted a big analysis on why Soarin' Over California is much better, but I'm not sure where it is, so to summarize:

- SoC's emphasis was on the ground, and the act of flying over it. The purpose was to reflect on how wildly varied the landscape of California is. Much of AtW's focus is showing you recognizable landmarks.
- SoC had a greater emphasis on changes in altitude. You go from cresting over a mountain or cliff to a huge chasm below, and next you're just a few feet above the ocean.
- In SoC, you are constantly changing speed, pitch, tilt, altitude, etc. In almost every AtW scene you are flying straight at about the same speed. It feels like a screensaver.
- The segmented music track of AtW lacks the flow and emotional impact of the original, which is one complete piece.
- The transitions: I think a few are okay, but there's one for almost every scene change and it feels a bit too "in-your-face" for what is supposed to be a soothing experience.
And bingo was his name-o! 😁 You nailed it. Every bullet point is spot on. I couldn't quite verbalize why SoC is so much better to me, but you hit the nail on the head here. Especially the music track. Because SotW tries to bring in the music intricacies of each culture into the track, by doing so makes it very disjointed. SoC is like a triumphant score akin to the kinds of music you hear during the 4th of July. It's very impactful. When SatW takes you to China and other countries, it loses that punch.
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
I carefully watched for it when I rode the center group and saw no noticeable distortion at all. Others may vary, but that was my observation. I must admit though that I also had seen it from the sides and did notice the distortion, but, frankly didn't care at all.
You need to point me in to which exact seat you're sitting in because I've sat in all of the rows and that Eiffel Tower looks more like an Awful Tower everywhere I sit.
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
Here’s what it looks like from the central gliders:



I don’t consider that awful in the least.
I guess I'm mistook... But, much like Runaway Railway... It's a serious downgrade from the previous attraction if where you sit drastically decreases the quality of the attraction.

Although I was pretty diddly darn sure that when I sat in the center it was pretty dang distorted still.
 

DisneyCane

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Yep. Totally agree. Once again, I completely respect any and all who enjoy the current iteration more than the former. My preference is just for the former. The soundtrack for SoC gave me chills. Hearing, feeling, and seeing the jets come from behind and spread across the desert landscape... I dunno. The whole video and audio of SoC gave me chills. The current version just doesn't achieve that for me.
The original version got an ovation from the vast majority of people right after the ride ended. I have not seen or heard that reaction any time I've ridden since the change. The new film just doesn't have the impact, excitement or realism of the original.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
You need to point me in to which exact seat you're sitting in because I've sat in all of the rows and that Eiffel Tower looks more like an Awful Tower everywhere I sit.
I don't remember exactly except that it was in the center glider. I do not recall it being anymore distorted then some of the things that were in the original show from that position. I also should probably point out that it would not have bothered me if it was a little off because I have been to the place and I knew it didn't actually have that curvature. That would have meant to me that it was shown on a curved screen and doing that would have distorted any straight object because it wasn't the actual Eiffel Tower and projecting 2D pictures factoring in light distortion on curved objects and I would have easily allowed for that in my observation. Considering what they are trying to accomplish with a camera, projector and Imax type screen would probably have entered my mind. The attraction isn't about whether or not it might project a slightly off picture in 2D. It is about creating an attraction that makes you feel like you are flying over land and objects. In that it wins completely.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
The original version got an ovation from the vast majority of people right after the ride ended. I have not seen or heard that reaction any time I've ridden since the change. The new film just doesn't have the impact, excitement or realism of the original.
I have, but it isn't going to create the same reaction that something new and different, technologically would have. Here we have an attraction that attempts to simulate flying in a hang glider over famous objects in the world without any of us moving more then around 20 feet, feeling left and right movement, up and down, forward and backward and never leaving the freaking room, I have to wonder just how much one should expect out of a fantasy ride. When you ride Space Mountain, do you complain that the ride in space just didn't seem real, or that physically, the space ship was attached to rails and was less then a smooth comfortable ride.. You might do the later but I'd bet that you would never have complained the outer space wasn't like you thought it should be. I'm just happy that it ends in WDW and not in Disneyland. That part was always disappointing to me from the second time I saw it. I saw the original in California Adventure the first time. I know that this phrase has been stated a number of times, but in order to be able to accept flaws in theme park attractions you must accomplish willing suspension of disbelief. Without that one might as well just spend time on a back yard swing.
 

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
You need to point me in to which exact seat you're sitting in because I've sat in all of the rows and that Eiffel Tower looks more like an Awful Tower everywhere I sit.
For the record, I am pretty hard-line anti-SatW in general and pro-SoC, but in fairness I found this video that shows the Awful Tower look pretty accurate. You can skip to 4:04 to avoid the rest of the video. 😁 That said there must be at least one seat that doesn't show terrible distortion...
 

Pepper's Ghost

Well-Known Member
The original version got an ovation from the vast majority of people right after the ride ended. I have not seen or heard that reaction any time I've ridden since the change. The new film just doesn't have the impact, excitement or realism of the original.
I agree about SoC always getting applause. I've heard on these boards, but not witnessed myself that SatW has gotten applause, but I don't believe it. 🤣
 

Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
Agree 100% with going back to to natural images of land (like the pavilion it resides in is supposed to highlight). The CGI Taj Mahal is really embarrassing. Most video games have more realistic looking buildings.

I guess you are correct. I did watch a youtube POV from when they brought the original back in CA on the current projection system and it didn't look much more distorted than the video posted above from the IMAX film projection system. Maybe the lack of so much distortion has to do with shot composition and possibly also the lenses they shot the scenes with. The original "Soarin' Over CA" doesn't display the obvious distortion in the center of the screen that the current version does, even on the current projection system. The bridge distortion is the worst visible in the old film but even at the frame edge in your comparison, the support tower isn't bent nearly as much as the Eiffel Tower in the new version and that is dead center where it is most noticeable.

At WDW, I wish they would dedicate one theatre to the original version and let you choose which version you want. I'd always pic the CA version.
YES!! I feel like I'm tryin' to beat the proverbial horse here, I've suggested that too many times to mention...there are now 3 "theatres" for Soarin'...put the Cali version in one and the ATW version in the other 2 and let the guests decide.
 
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WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
I have to wonder just how much one should expect out of a fantasy ride.
The best quality possible. It's Disney.
When you ride Space Mountain, do you complain that the ride in space just didn't seem real, or that physically, the space ship was attached to rails and was less then a smooth comfortable ride..
Feeling like I'm in space on Space mountain does a better job than the current version of Soarin' trying to make you feel like you're actually hang-gliding, yes... Also, the rides can't really be compared. Space Mountain is a roller coaster, so you expect a roller coaster. Soarin' is a simulator, so you expect a simulation, which is literally supposed to be the action of deception in this attraction's case.
You might do the later but I'd bet that you would never have complained the outer space wasn't like you thought it should be.
Side note -- Which ride opened in 1977 again? Star Tours, ROTR, Mission: Space, (and hopefully GOTG) make me feel like I'm in outer space... And I'm sure everyone thought they were in Outer Space on Space Mountain in 1977 lol. Imagine how awesome Space Mountain would be with modern technology.
I'm just happy that it ends in WDW and not in Disneyland.
Those are some low standards.
in order to be able to accept flaws in theme park attractions you must
--create attractions without flaws.
Without that one might as well just spend time on a back yard swing.
At least my house won't bend sideways when I look at it as I swing.
 

WondersOfLife

Blink, blink. Breathe, breathe. Day in, day out.
Saying "you have to have suspension of belief" to defend Soarin' is a useless argument when AK has Flight of Passage.

It's like saying "You need to have suspension of belief in order to enjoy Carousel of Progres." ...No... Disney shouldn't get away with it that easily. They should upgrade the attraction's AAs to the quality of American Adventure, or the AA at the end of River Journey.

If Disney can do better, then why be like "Aaaahh it's fiiine guys! I only spend the same amount of money I would spend on a brand new car for this vacation! Give em some leeway!"

Yeeaaaa!! Let em keep cardboard cut outs of the 3 Caballeros for months on end. It's fine. Disney needs a break. They are obviously lacking the resources. :)

Okay... Sorry guys. I'm done here. I obviously don't care for lazy attractions like Soarin' Around the Warp. I'll see myself out.
 

DisneyCane

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The best quality possible. It's Disney.

Feeling like I'm in space on Space mountain does a better job than the current version of Soarin' trying to make you feel like you're actually hang-gliding, yes... Also, the rides can't really be compared. Space Mountain is a roller coaster, so you expect a roller coaster. Soarin' is a simulator, so you expect a simulation, which is literally supposed to be the action of deception in this attraction's case.
Bingo. Soarin' over California made you feel like you were hang gliding, or at least what someone who has never hang glided expects it to feel like. Flights of Passage makes you feel like you are riding on a Banshee/Ikran, or at least what you think it would feel like. Soarin' Around the World feels like you are in a suspended chair watching a poorly done IMAX dome movie. They just didn't do a good job with the new film.

The original was a must ride E-ticket. The new version is something we ride just because it is there as long as we don't have to wait more than 30 minutes. For an equivalent wait, I'd rather ride Living with the Land.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
The best quality possible. It's Disney.

Feeling like I'm in space on Space mountain does a better job than the current version of Soarin' trying to make you feel like you're actually hang-gliding, yes... Also, the rides can't really be compared. Space Mountain is a roller coaster, so you expect a roller coaster. Soarin' is a simulator, so you expect a simulation, which is literally supposed to be the action of deception in this attraction's case.

Side note -- Which ride opened in 1977 again? Star Tours, ROTR, Mission: Space, (and hopefully GOTG) make me feel like I'm in outer space... And I'm sure everyone thought they were in Outer Space on Space Mountain in 1977 lol. Imagine how awesome Space Mountain would be with modern technology.

Those are some low standards.

--create attractions without flaws.

At least my house won't bend sideways when I look at it as I swing.
You have made some good points about quality and in as much as I do not know what type of technology might have corrected that, I cannot really say anything about that but really some of your responses on this pose tend to make me say wow!

In this case, we are dealing with a situation that I cannot control and being happy with the fact that we land in WDW instead of Disneyland is somehow "low standards"? Or have I also lived on this planet long enough that I can truthfully say that there is no such thing as anything without flaws. I have also learned that I am much happier if I accept that seeing some 3D object in 2D is distorted by the lack of that third dimension. Your house is in true 3D and your optic ability is governed by your eyes ability see something in full dimension and your brains optic center adjusts what you are looking at in a manner that makes it appear properly. Try this experiment. If you have that swing you are talking about, go on it and look straight ahead. Now pay attention to what happens when the house outside dimensions move from your straight on vision to your peripheral vision. I think you will find a lot of distortion there. What you see as you look straight ahead at Soarin' is that the screen is acting as your peripheral so it does make a difference depending on what direction you are seeing it from. I think that a lot of the concern really be chalked up as unrealistic expectation. Just because Disney is good doesn't mean that it can alter the laws of physics.
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Unless you sit on the sides.... (2/3rds of the attraction's capacity. lol.)

Flight of Passage wins that title completely. Not this version of Soarin'.
Flight of Passage is also viewed in 3D and moves so fast that any distortion is just lost unless you are just concentrating on that and why would you do that during that sit in one place "ride"?
 

JusticeDisney

Premium Member
The distortions are most definitely there and I wish they weren’t. That said, it never ceases to amaze me how people let something like that ruin their experience. I get on that ride and just enjoy the hell out of it, every single time. Even with the distortions, I find it to be an amazing and fun experience. Oh well, maybe that’s just me.
 

SteveAZee

Well-Known Member
I don't think this has been mentioned, but optical sensitivities can vary from person to person. For example, you can put an 'optical illusion' in front of someone and some people will see it, some won't. People who wear glasses get used to the distortion that the lenses create in the periphery. Your brain can compensate once it's trained.
 

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