There is always something new at Mall of America in Minnesota, and this month it is the anxiously awaited FlyOver America. We – meaning everyone – have been waiting over a year for this attraction to come to life.
Not long after the announcement the southwest corner of Nickelodeon Universe went under construction while week after week workers created the vision that was soon to draw visitors from all over.
At last, the doors opened and the attraction took off. This week my two older children (ages 10 & 11) experienced FlyOver and it was worth the wait! Mind blown.
What is FlyOver America? It is a flight simulation ride best compared to Disney’s Soarin’ Over California. Guest feel like they are flying or, better yet, hang gliding across America.
What to expect. The eight minute ride holds up to 62 people. We went on a weekday when it was slow so we didn’t have much of a wait. However, I’m assuming a long line should be expected during peak hours.
The ride says to allow at least a half-hour for the process. Before the experience a photographer takes a green screen photo of your group hang gliding (available for pick up after the ride).
Then guests are ushered into a holding area to watch a really fun and catchy safety briefing on a big screen TV (no selfie-sticks!). Afterward guests walk up stairs to the FlyOver America theatre.
I should add this is all done in a very orderly fashion. You won’t have a problem sitting next to your friends or family.
Seats are claimed then guests stash their belongings in a bag beneath their seats before strapping in.
When everyone is situated, employees check seat belts, point out the exit and encourage guests to enjoy the ride. Then the thrill begins!
After a moment of darkness guests find themselves suspended in the air (during the ride those heights range anywhere between 10 to 25 feet) and facing a massive giant half-spherical dome screen.
The experience goes well beyond a flying sensation. Think misty clouds, regional scents (I won’t spoil the fun of what kind), wind, and even temperature changes.
As someone who loves all things airborne this was a dream come true. The best part was thinking: “Wow! This is our country!”
The scenery, colors, sounds, scents and other sensations will likely make your heart ache for more and don’t be surprised if you get an overwhelming urge to pack your bags to run off and see America.
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Afterward, head to the gift shop and see your souvenir photo available for purchase as well as a number of other gifts including cute FlyOver America themed bears.
Don’t miss the FlyOver America Locations map on the wall. There is a good chance you will say, “Oh! That was (fill in the location).”
Cost: Adults and Children are cost the money. Group discounts are available for 15+ people. Like I said, as soon as the ride was over I wanted to ride again and so did my children.
If you feel the same way you can ride the same day for half-price. Also, it’s best to opt for the timed ticked rather than standby. Prices are the same. Is FlyOver America worth it? In an easy answer: YES.
Where to park: West Parking ramp is the closest parking option. The first floor main entrance between Macy’s and Nordstrom is ideal.
Location: The FlyOver America ticket counter is located in the southwest corner of Nickelodeon Universe, left of the Peeps store (there are restrooms between the two) and to the right of Hard Rock Cafe. Look for the logo sign (in photo above).
Family travelers: This is important. Children must be at least 40″ (102 cm) tall. There is a Statue of Liberty height guide by the main entrance. Kids (12 and under) must be accompanied by an adult or guardian (14 years or older).
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