More Behind the Scenes Stories

Taking Flight from Grizzly Peak Airfield on Soarin’ Around the World at Disney California Adventure Park

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

When guests depart for their flight around the globe on Soarin’ Around the World at Disney California Adventure park, the journey will be made possible by a special group of aviation enthusiasts. Let’s meet the California Aviators – a group of flying enthusiasts dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of flight.

Grizzly Peak Airfield is a scenic mountain airstrip, home to courageous aerial firefighters who protect the wilderness and its creatures. The story of this area tells us that pioneering pilots flocked to the airfield, drawn to the challenge of learning to fly near and over California’s Sierra Nevadas. Mountain elevations and erratic weather conditions became a proving ground for these courageous pilots, as well as a stimulus for creating improvements in aerodynamics and aircraft design.

Grizzly Peak Airfield

Today, pilots continue to enjoy the challenge of flying in and around the majestic beauty of Grizzly Peak. The old hangar has become home to a new generation of fliers and aviation enthusiasts – some of whom have formed an organization and called the California Aviators. This group of dedicated aviators has developed a sort of flying theater – a hang-gliding simulator that brings the exhilarating experience of flying to all visitors.

Just as Grizzly Peak Airfield serves as a welcome center for California’s Sierra Nevadas, Soarin’ is the gateway to the thrills and wonders of flight. It celebrates man’s continuing search for freedom and exploration, which brings an even greater appreciation of nature’s grandeur.

Join us as we take flight to new destinations when Soarin’ Around the World opens June 17. And don’t miss your chance to experience the original Soarin’ Over California, now through June 15.


  • NOooooooo, this is Disney California! An opportunity to share the whole state and all that is in it. To Bragg and show off the beautiful state of California. For some the state is new and for others it conjures up memories of good times. Around the world we are looking at the same picture post card that we see on TV etc. Really bad idea. Up date the old souring California. I could deal with souring through all the other Disney properties around the world and then come back to California, where we are.

  • Although I want to see the new Soarin’ Around the World, as a Disneyland AP I agree with most of the comments here: While a perfect fit for Epcot, not so much for DCA. I would have preferred an updated California version of Soarin, or perhaps a “southwest” version, but the world version just will not fit. Sorry…

  • Nooooooooooooo. The point of DCA is focusing on California. Don’t do soaring g over the world. They are changing so much in the park and it doesn’t seem California related anymore.

  • I don’t think Soarin Over California ever flew over NYC but downtown Los Angeles at the very end that is why it focused on California?

  • Im so glad to get something new, the original was getting pretty old. Made you nauseous when you fly over NYC , the way they filmed it was not as up to date as it is now. Cant wait to see the new one.

  • Dustin Monroy and Kirk Baghdassarian: “Soarin’ Around the World” has a new music score by award-winning composer Bruce Broughton, and it’s spectacular. We all agree that Jerry Goldsmith’s music for the original “Soarin’ Over California” is one of the finest theme park scores ever written. It so happens that composer Broughton has incorporated moments of Goldsmith’s themes into the new score, so it’s a win-win. Can’t wait to take that ride!

  • I am in the camp that says in Disney World you can soar around he world. In DCA its theme is California, so I should be soaring over it. That is why I likes the ride so much. This may be good, but it kills the ride for me. The park is themed on California, make the ride match the park them. Seems like a shortcut the save money having a single visual for both parks. At at least hope they still pay tribute to the theme in the park and make this one fit better and not just a cost thing like I suspect.

  • Soarin’ Around the World is a better fit for Epcot, I really think they should keep Soarin’ Over California in DCA since the overall theme of that park is the celebration of the golden state itself. There are so many beautiful things to see in CA, if the ride needed an update they could have used some of those.

  • Is the new journey shot and projected in 4K?

  • Is this a permanent change? I love the original and I, along with many others I have talked to about this would be heartbroken if the original never came back.

  • Please tell me that Chief Flight Attendant Patrick is still on the flight crew!

  • I don’t know, In my opinion, Soarin’ Around the World is a better fit for Epcot, I really think they should keep Soarin’ Over California in DCA since the overall theme of that park is the celebration of the golden state itself.

  • Benjamin–
    I felt the same way you did at first. But the way the attraction is set up, and the way the screen appears as people enter, it really does look like a flight simulator, so I guess there is no way around it other than to call it what it is.

  • Wait, so the story of this flight simulator is that it’s a flight simulator? That’s not very creative.

  • Hi Erin,

    Do you know if the new show will have the same score? Soarin’ and the area music is so incredible– it’s part of my regular music rotation at work! I would welcome a new score that’s just as epic, while also maintaining some of the original score. Thanks, looking forward to trying it out!

  • Were new screens ever installed? When I went in November Soarin’ OC was kind of blurry. It kind of killed the experience for me.

  • I’m looking forward to the new experience. It should be fun.

  • I’m really gonna miss the California scenery, but I’m glad they mostly kept the same score!

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