When EPCOT opened in October of 1982, it was unlike anything else the world had seen.
The Early Days
Designed to capture the concept of a World’s Fair, the park had two sections. In the front was Future World, an area dedicated to showcasing and displaying technologies and sciences of the past, present, and future.
In the back of the park was the World Showcase, which initially contained nine pavilions, each featuring a different country.
Related: Russia in EPCOT’s World Showcase?
The park has undergone many changes through the ’80s, ’90s, early 2000s, and today. We have seen many rides and attractions completely removed, such as the World of Motion, Horizons, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and The Wonders of Life Pavilion (which included Body Wars and Cranium Command).
In addition, many other attractions have undergone major retheming and redesigns, including the transition of Maelstrom to Frozen Ever After, The Living Seas rethemed into The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends, and Journey into Imagination turned into Journey into Your Imagination…and then Journey into Imagination with Figment.
And, of course, there are classics like Spaceship Earth, Living with the Land, and The American Adventure audio-animatronic show.
But there’s another indoor venue that has an extraordinary history. A 60,000 square foot space inside The Land pavilion.
This area once housed Kitchen Kabaret and then the show Food Rocks! But today, it houses Soarin’.
Kitchen Kabaret was an audio-animatronic musical show that focused on food groups and nutrition. The 13-minute performance ran from the park opening until January 1994.
Food Rocks! was presented by Nestle and ran for ten years (1994-2004). It also featured audio-animatronic figures of various food items, educating viewers on health and nutrition. It was eventually replaced by the original Soarin’ ride.
But even Soarin’ wasn’t free from updates. The original Soarin’ ride took guests on a flying experience. Based on the Disney California Adventure theme park attraction with the same name, it took guests through orange groves, mountain peaks, and golf courses and ended at Disneyland Park.
Related: Rides You Can Skip at Disney’s EPCOT
In 2016, both versions of the ride became Soarin’ Around the World. The new iteration of the attraction took guests to the Eiffel Tower, The Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbor, Taj Mahal, and many other famous landmarks and cities.
Original Soarin’ Ride Coming Back
Walt Disney World Resort has recently announced that the original version of Soarin’ (Soarin’ Over California) will be back at EPCOT starting today (September 22). This is part of the Disney100 celebration at EPCOT. It’s currently slated to stay running at EPCOT until the end of 2023. However, many guests hope the return of the ride’s original version will remain beyond that.
It was a groundbreaking attraction with its unique ride vehicle when it first opened nearly 20 years ago. But nowadays, the ride holds more nostalgia for park guests than thrills or cutting-edge technology.
However, any fans of the original ride at Disney California Adventure or EPCOT will have a unique opportunity for the next few months.