Review: FlyOver America At The Mall Of America

I’ve done some pretty exhilarating and adrenaline raising things in the past few years.  That list would include rappelling down the side of one of the tallest buildings in Iowa, twice, and zip lining in the Wisconsin Dells.

I can now add another experience to that list… FlyOver America near Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America.  It’s a thrill ride unlike any I’ve ever experienced.

Through the use of video and special effects, you’re transported across the United States seeing some of the most scenic areas this country has to offer.

We arrived at FlyOver America around 3:30 pm on a Saturday and got tickets for both FlyOver America and FlyOver Canada (it’s there for a limited time).  Then we waited about a half hour before our “flight” took off.

The wait time didn’t seem so bad and passed quickly as my family tried to answer the United States trivia splashed on screens throughout the waiting area.

When it was our time we were escorted to another room with each of us standing on a painted circle on the floor.  It’s a clever way to keep things organized while the staff filled all the seats.  From here we watched a brief video on the rules (there weren’t many) and what we could expect.

After the video, we headed up a flight of stairs to our seats.  There are three different levels with a single row of seats on each facing a massive, curved screen.  My family went to the top level and took our pre assigned seats right in the center.

Our bags and my daughters’ flip flops stowed securely under our seats, we buckled ourselves in.  I’m not going to lie.  I’ve only flown a handful of times so I was a little nervous.  I could tell my wife was nervous too.  My daughters have never flown before and were excited and laughing.

Then the railing in front of us dropped, the lights went out, and our seats began moving forward in the darkness.  There was no turning back.  We were about to FlyOver Canada first.

The scenery was breathtaking and the feeling of flying was real.  So real that I gripped the handles on each side tight.  I could feel the wind blowing and it picked up in intensity as we went faster.

We flew through a cloud and actually felt the mist on our faces.  The feeling of flight was amazing.  Especially as we cleared the top of a mountain and soared down the other side.

About halfway through the approximately 10-minute flight I began to relax a little and I have to say, Canada is a beautiful country I wouldn’t mind visiting someday.

My daughters and I had a blast with that first flight but it was a little overwhelming for my wife.  Turns out she had her eyes closed for all but the first 10 seconds of the flight.  She opted to sit out during our second flight; FlyOver America.

I have to say that I enjoyed FlyOver America a little more than FlyOver Canada… not because of the scenery, or anything else.  I enjoyed it more mainly because I knew what to expect and got comfortable with the whole virtual experience.

The scenic shots in FlyOver America were cool.  We flew over a cattle drive, buzzed over mountain bikers and surfers, got an up close view of the Statue of Liberty, and more!

There were certain points you could actually smell the scenery… like the beach or pine forest.

If you are an adrenaline junkie, thrill seeker, or roller coaster enthusiast there is no doubt in my mind that you will love FlyOver America.  My daughters and I did and will definitely be back for another flight the next time we visit the Mall of America.

If you’re lucky, you might even run into the FlyOver America Eagle mascot roaming the mall.  I did and managed to snag a selfie!

You can learn more on the FlyOver America website… where you can also save on admission if you buy your tickets online.

Disclaimer:  I was provided complimentary passes to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Have you tried FlyOver America? What was your experience like?

If you haven’t, does it sound like something you want to try?

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