Land pavilion with Soarin' logo above

Great Disney World Queues: Soarin’

Soarin' queue

I’m probably in the minority on this one, but Soarin’ might be my favorite Walt Disney World queue. I know it doesn’t have the Millennium Falcon or Avatars in water tanks or a talking Mr. Potato Head, but it does have the best musical score. Oddly enough, that music has nothing to do with the ride itself. Instead, Disney Imagineers chose 40 film score excerpts to entertain guests.

Soarin’s Playlist

The playlist features beautiful themes from many of the greatest film score composers. What I love is that they aren’t those composers’ most iconic themes. Instead of showcasing John Williams’ Star Wars, ET, or Jaws, the playlist highlights Always, Far & Away, and Hook. Likewise, Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek and Planet of the Apes aren’t featured, but his Explorers music is.

The finished product is a cohesive medley of film music deep cuts. And while you won’t hear a lick of it while flying over a crooked Eiffel Tower, it makes me think of Soarin’ every time I listen.

Ride Music

Okay, so Soarin’s queue music is great, but none of it was composed for the ride. Luckily for all of us, Jerry Goldsmith did create something beautiful for Soarin’ Over California, the ride’s original theme. He was the perfect choice as his two main passions were music and flying. Before composing, he rode Soarin’ and was moved by the experience.

I’d do anything to be part of this project. I’d even score the film for free.

Jerry Goldsmith

When Disney reimagined the ride in 2016 as Soarin’ Around the World, they hired Bruce Broughton to adapt Goldsmith’s original themes for the new scenes. Both scores are brilliant.

Soarin’ Challenge

For those who don’t geek out over film music, the queue does feature an interactive quiz called the Soarin’ Challenge. The questions are also displayed on large screens if you’d rather play casually.

Soarin' Challenge questions read by guests in the queue
Soarin' Challenge leaderboard
Soarin' queue sign describing the attraction to guests

We always laugh at the CAUTION sign that greets guests before loading. I think it overstates the action just a tad. This is the first paragraph:

In Soarin’ you will be suspended in the air for an exhilarating, gliding adventure that includes dramatic drops, turns, swoops and lifts.

My wife is terrified of heights but still rides. Your mileage may vary.

I also need to mention Patrick Warburton’s pre-flight safety video. It’s greatness. I tune out most pre-show videos now that I’ve ridden everything dozens of times, but Patrick always draws me in. Sorry I caught him while blinking. I’ll do better on our next trip.

Patrick Warburton's Soarin' pre-flight safety video

Okay, back to the music…

The Soarin’ Playlist

  1. Have a Nice Trip from Explorers
    Jerry Goldsmith
  2. Yeager’s Triumph from The Right Stuff
    Bill Conti
  3. Battlestar Galactica (1978) theme
    Stu Phillips
  4. Free Flight/The Parachutes from Air Force One
    Jerry Goldsmith
  5. The Broken Cloud from Christopher Columbus: The Discovery
    Cliff Eidelman
  6. Awful Waste of Space from Contact
    Alan Silvestri
  7. The Trees from Medicine Man
    Jerry Goldsmith
  8. Rich and Famous Suite
    Georges Delerue
  9. Steel Magnolias Suite
    Georges Delerue
  10. Cody’s Flight from The Rescuers Down Under
    Bruce Broughton
  11. End Title from The Boy Who Could Fly
    Bruce Broughton
  12. Good Friends from Consenting Adults
    Michael Small
  13. Dear Father from Jonathan Livingston Seagull
    Lee Holdridge
  14. End Titles from Father of the Bride
    Alan Silvestri
  15. Suite from Indecent Proposal
    John Barry
  16. All Systems Go – The Launch from Apollo 13
    James Horner
  17. Flying Away and End Credits from An American Tail
    James Horner
  18. Among the Clouds from Always
    John Williams
  19. Re-entry and Splashdown from Apollo 13
    James Horner
  20. Mr. Destiny
    David Newman
  21. Main Titles from Dave
    James Newton Howard
  22. Dorinda Solo Flight from Always
    John Williams
  23. Main Title from The Musketeer
    David Arnold
  24. Prologue from Hook
    John Williams
  25. Theme from Grand Canyon
    James Newton Howard
  26. Main Title from The Last Starfighter
    Craig Safan
  27. End Credits from Field of Dreams
    James Horner
  28. End Credits from Contact
    Alan Silvestri
  29. End Title from Arachnophobia
    Trevor Jones
  30. End Titles from Dave
    James Newton Howard
  31. The Land Race from Far and Away
    John Williams
  32. End Title from Explorers
    Jerry Goldsmith
  33. End Title from Emma
    Rachel Portman
  34. Rocketeer to the Rescue / End Title from The Rocketeer
    James Horner
  35. Theme from The Great Whales
    Lee Holdridge
  36. Flight Through Neverland from Return to Neverland
    Joel McNeely
  37. The Trees from Medicine Man
    Jerry Goldsmith
  38. The Magic Spirit from Bicentennial Man
    James Horner
  39. The Land Race from Far and Away
    John Williams
  40. Suite No. 1 from Band of Brothers
    Michael Kamen

Listen to the entire playlist on YouTube