Condor Flats opening day description: This high desert airfield pays tribute to the daredevils and dreamers who lead us from the barnstorming age to the space age. From early existence man has looked to the sky with dreams of one day experiencing the thrill of flight. It was in California that many of those dreams were first realized.
Overview: Condor Flats opened as one of the original lands in Disney California Adventure Park on Feb. 8, 2001. The story goes that Condor Flats was the hub of jet testing and rocket research in the early years of aeronautics. When the industry was relocated to Los Angeles, an early test pilot wanted to share the areas significance and created the “Condor Flats Scenic Air Tours” to keep the history of the area available to all. Condor Flats features Soarin’ Over California, a first-of-its-kind simulator that swoops and dips aviators over the California landscape.
Don’t miss: Soarin’ Over California, an innovative FastPass attraction, simulates a flying, hang glider experience over the vastness of the Golden State, wowing guests with a total sensory experience along the way. Aviators on board enjoy the thrill of flight, soaring over iconic California locations such as Yosemite, San Diego and the Golden Gate Bridge, ending with a finale only Disney can create.
- Soarin’ Over California
Dining: Condor Flats’ main dining location is Taste Pilots’ Grill, where great food is rocket science. Taste Pilots’ Grill is the only location where hungry aviators can indulge in top-flight hamburgers, chili cheese fries and sound barrier shakes and quench their thirst with liquid fuel, such as fountain drinks, juice boxes and hot cocoa.
Imaginative landscaping: Condor Flats is situated in a desert and features a “wildscape” design where the plants have no sheared hedges or shaped shrubs. Rocks, cacti, palm trees and other drought-tolerant plants accent the desert feel.
Did you know?
- Walt Disney Imagineers scouted more than 35 locations for Soarin’ Over California. The locations featured in the film include the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Redwood Creek, Napa Valley vineyards, Point Loma, snow-capped Lake Tahoe, Palm Springs, Yosemite Valley, orange groves in Camarillo, Anza Borrego State Park, San Diego and Coronado Naval Yards, Malibu, Downtown Los Angeles and Disneyland.
- The Fly ‘n’ Buy gift shop features a clock that stopped at 10:27 a.m. on Oct. 14, 1947 to commemorate the date and time Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier.
- Condor Flats is named after the California Condor, the largest North American land bird, which can fly to speeds of up to 55 mph.
- Taste Pilots’ Grill formerly featured a replica Bell X-1 aircraft, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier, at the entrance of the restaurant. A smaller version still exists inside the Fly ‘n’ Buy gift shop.
- Guests riding Soarin’ Over California not only see the landscapes — they also smell them. The attraction features scents such as orange and pine during the flight.
Cast member tips:
- Sharp-eyed aviators can spot a Hidden Mickey while flying over the Palm Springs golf course on Soarin’ Over California.
- Condor Flats is the only area in Disney California Adventure where guests can refuel with caramel corn.
- The dining area in Taste Pilots’ Grill has a Space Shuttle Main Engine nozzle “hidden” in plain sight. The nozzle provides the propulsion needed to boost shuttles into orbit.
- A jet engine near the entrance of Soarin’ Over California periodically simulates testing, giving guests a chance to cool off in the desert.
- The queue for Soarin’ Over California pays tribute to California’s aviation history. Guests can learn about famous aircrafts in the “Wings of Fame” section as well as the impact pilots had in the “Legends of Flight” section.
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