Oriental Land Co. (OLC), owner and operator of Tokyo Disney Resort announced in October 2016 that as part of their 2020 horizon expansion plans; a simulator attraction is coming to Tokyo DisneySea. The ride will debut at Tokyo Disney Sea during their financial year 2019. No names were revealed at the time except for a tentative one “Soarin'”, but we could presume it was a Renaissance one as it is going in the Mediterranean Harbor port in the park. The concept art shows the familiar wings with a Leonardo Da Vinci Flying Machine appearance.
Details were finally revealed when the ride was named Soaring: Fantastic Flight. Set in the beautiful Museo Del Volo Fantastico (Museum of Fantastic Flight) behind the Zambino Brothers Ristorante, this beautiful facility houses incredible paintings showing its beginnings, honoring famous pioneers of flights before guests go downstairs inside the museum proper.
Today’s featured exhibit is Camellia Falco, who devoted her life toward advancing humanity eternal quest for flight. Imaginative and sometimes humorous ways of flying are shown in the central rotunda along with four exhibits focusing on the following aspects: La Storia del Volo (Story of Flight), l’Archeologia del Volo (Archeology of Flying), la Biologia del Volo (Biology of Flying) and la Tecnologia del Volo (Technology of Flying.)
We then pass under a banner mentioning Camellia Falco 100 Anni & Sviluppi a Nuove Altezze. This translates to Camellia Falco 100 years & developments to new heights. We then proceed toward one of the two galleries.
Museum plan showing how the lower level is set-up. The terrazzas are the actual theaters.
The gallery is where the magic happens. We see a portrait of Camellia in the center, and to her side, a statue of her Falcon. Various paintings of flying insects, animals, and machines are seen around the room as well. Suddenly, Camellia comes to life along with her falcon in incredible lifelike projections, allowing her to explain to us that her greatest invention, the Dream Flyer, will allow us to use our imagination to fly around the world. Shadows of the Dream Flyer along with various flying objects and machines are projected on the wall. The butterflies in a portrait fly away as well. It is an incredible presentation that impressed guests and left them with an expression of awe.
The preshow gallery.
Next, we are directed toward a corridor where at the end, one member of the museum staff leads us toward one of the exhibition room. Beautiful murals and painting adorn the walls here as well. The one showing a Dream Flyer comes to life to illustrate the safety procedures and rules of the attraction. It is also where are divided in rows for our flight.
The main show room is themed to a night time terrace of the castle. Instead of the familiar metal railing seen in other installations, a beautiful marble fence separates guests from the screen. The side walls are covered in marble and this also reinforce the theme, along with the screen projecting a night sky filled with stars.
For the first time since Mystic Manor, the actual ride vehicle is named and given a starring role. Dynamic Attractions did an incredible job aging the seating units to give them the appearance of being constructed fully out of hard wood. Leather straps seemingly hold the things together as well. It is subtle enough while being of such high quality that the vehicles are breathtaking. It is not over the top and looks very authentic.
The movie starts with the Erector sets lifting our Dream Flyers in the air. The first scene is now the familiar cloudscape, with Camellia’s falcon calling out to us and flying away. The movie is identical to Soaring around the World from this point until Iguazu Falls.
The Eiffel Tower scene was always a challenge since the filming method as well as the projection method make the Eiffel Tower always appear a little bent on the screen. Here, that scene is replaced by a dramatic flight above Tokyo Bay, turning toward Tokyo Tower at night. It solves the issues of the Paris scene, adds an incredible finale and the music transitions toward its ending notes as we arrive above Shiba Park. The falcon reappears as we move to the main entrance plaza of Tokyo DisneySea with fireworks above Mount Prometheus going off as we pass Hotel Miracosta.
The attraction show building, while obviously massive, was buried in the ground to reduce the visual impact in the park. Along with that, the top part of the museum was decorated as an Italian village in the distance, continuing the architectural style of the rest of Meditarrenean Harbor. It appears like the ride was always there since the park opened in 2001.
You can see the museum architecture in the lower portion along with the italian village above.
The show building for Soaring Fantastic Flight is the italian village in the center of the photo.
Hotel Miracosta to compare the above photo with.
Great merchandise was released for the attraction grand opening. Focusing on the Dream Flyer along with Mickey and his Friends riding one, here are a few examples of the items you could see at the park when the ride opened on July 23rd, 2019.
For a limited time as well, Zambino Bros. Ristorante offered a blue Pineapple Soaring Churro along with a lychee tapioca drink served in a pretty glass.
A popcorn bucket with a moving Dream Flyer on the lid was released near the ride and on the Mediterranean Harbor bridge.
The most interesting food was served over at Magellan’s, inside the Fortress at the base of Mount Prometheus. A special menu consisting of themed gourmet dishes was composed and offered to guests dining at the restaurant. The themed Saucer and dish was available exclusively for those enjoying the special menu.