The latest Soarin Rumours don’t fill us with hope for lower line waits!

IMG_5652A recent update from Screamscape talked about a possible update to Epcot’s Soarin that would not only switch away from the current IMAX system to a Digital system of some kind (similar to the Transformers ride at Universal).
While the quality will change (to be either better or worse) the main reason for the upgrade could be to add in random sequencing of scenes (Star Tours style).
The possibilities of ‘going digital’ are tremendous, as it opens the path for Computer Generated Animation, effectively allowing the Soarin‘ flight to take you anywhere the Imagineers wish!

There’s been a lot said about image quality of digital v IMAX, but that barrier looks set to fall very soon.  We ourselves aren’t cinematography experts, but although IMAX Digital is in its infancy, Michael Bay (Transformers) is believed to be shooting Transformers 4 on IMAX Digital this year.  I guess if it is good enough for him, Disney will be pleased, and very aware of the new technology too!
New footage for Soarin could be shot fairly quickly.  More importantly, a ‘switch over’ of the systems would take days not weeks of attraction closure if the recent Spiderman upgrade is anything to go by!

The only fly in the ointment is ride wait times for Soarin.
The Land Pavilion is absolutely crammed with guests and even in low season there’s a hustle for a seat.
Most FastPasses are gone by mid afternoon and 60 minute waits are as tedious as you could possibly imagine in that awful narrow corridor.  The arm waving interactive ‘game’ works a little, but is hardly tolerable for the entire hour of your time in the line!

As Screamscape’s Editor rightly comments, if Soarin’ 2 (Soarin’ over the Horizon) is kicked into gear, the existing 2 theatres currently running at Epcot would struggle badly with the increased attention that an upgrade would bring.
Epcot could do well by adding another two theaters!

For now, this rumor isn’t on our radar, but could easily develop that way, simply because Epcot is slowly slipping behind in terms of development work as a park!
The last major upgrade for some time was Test Track last year and that to be honest has not turned out as popular as it should have.  The ride is now stripped of its ‘test track’ elements that made the whole thing work so well!  It looks more like a scene from Tron!

With that in mind, the odds point safely to something big happening soon.

With rumours that the Imagination Pavilion is to close soon (Figment and Captain EO), there’s always the possibility that Soarin’ gets duplicated and rehoused in there on a much larger scale!  (Now that is another rumour fuelled by already thin Soarin’ Rumours!)