"Planes," Disney's newest animated film, debuts Friday. It features an acrophobic cropduster named Dusty Crophopper, voiced by Dane Cook. Dusty dreams of becoming a high-flying racer.
Disney World has always been home to sky-high aspirations, so, in honor of "Planes," here are our five favorite "flying experiences" at the parks. They aren't in the same league as Tinker Bell's flight down from Cinderella Castle during "Wishes," but they should give you a lift.
5. Astro-Orbiter – High above Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom, this attraction almost looks more like retrofuturistic décor than a round-and-round/up-and-down ride. Once upstairs, it's a throwback to a simpler, less themed time. The nearby planets are pretty cool too.
4. Dumbo the Flying Elephant – In many cases, this is your little one's first real ride. And now, with the doubled-up version at New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom, it should take half as much queue time to get baby on board. (Go next door to the Barnstormer coaster to continue the Storybook Circus aerial combo.)
3. Star Tours – The revamped, 3-D version of this simulator at Disney's Hollywood Studios flies through high-speed, not-of-this-world scenes, presented in numerous combinations. Ride again!
2. Peter Pan's Flight – The scene where guests float above London can be mesmerizing and yet not paralyzing at this longtime, popular Magic Kingdom ride. (You also can virtually fly with Pete – not to mention Aladdin and Jasmine -- nearby at Mickey's PhilharMagic.)
1. Soarin' – There's a lot to like in this Epcot attraction, including the uplifting soundtrack, unusual ride apparatus that leaves legs dangling, the scent of orange blossoms and the gigantic, curved screen. But the lightheaded feeling of flight as we skim the ocean, crest a hill and hover above a golf course puts this at the top of our in-flight list. If only it didn't drop us off at Disneyland with their tiny little castle.
Honorable mention, gone-but-not-forgotten category: If You Had Wings, Magic KingdomCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun