This virtual soar across America delivers a big wow as it follows mountain bikers down a perilous ridge in Moab, Utah, heli-skiers in remote mountain peaks of Alaska and surfers riding into a translucent wave off Maui’s coastline. The ride, similar to Disney’s Soarin’ ride at Epcot and California Adventure, dangles seated riders above a giant half-spherical dome screen for a bird’s eye view and an exhilarating, but gentle speed 10 to 40 feet above the landscapes. Moving seats and special effects such as mist or the scent of suntan lotion add realism to the experience.
The $20-million ride, launched in 2016, follows a film that flows into more than two dozen scenic settings, from Niagara Falls and the Florida Keys to Minneapolis and Crater Lake, Oregon. Lasting about 10 minutes, it stirs a sense of patriotism with its sampler of the country’s diverse and beautiful landscapes and cityscapes.
Other films, such as seasonal ones, may be added. The Mall of America attraction sits in the northwest corner of Nickelodeon Universe and can seat about 60 people on its three tiers per showing. The pre-ride wait can last 15 minutes or more, but includes trivia and a playful musical rendition of safety instructions as diversions. Children must be 40 inches tall to ride FlyOver America.
$16.95, adults; $12.95 for children 40 inches to 12 years old
Monday through Thursday – 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Friday to Saturday – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday – 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.