Back when I used to do my nine-day West Coast Tours, they would always start in Los Angeles and I would fly in a day early just so I could make it to Disneyland. When I arrived at the House that a Mouse built, I headed straight over to Disney California Adventure Park.
My goal was to beat the crowd already in line to experience “Soarin’ Over California”. For me, it was probably one of the best rides in the park and certainly a better way to experience the highlights of California without needing to get a tetanus shot afterward.
Well, for those of you who have experienced the ride or one of its incarnations like “Soarin’ Around the World” at Walt Disney World, I have good news for you. A new company is bringing that style of attraction to the Las Vegas Strip. It’s called “FlyOver Las Vegas” and it will open this fall.
To help understand what this is, let me explain the Disney version: For the California Disney experience, the original ride film, which lasted about four to five minutes, took the guest on a simulated hang glider tour of California. Appropriate scents (citrus, pine, sagebrush, ocean mist) fill the air as the ride vehicles themselves move gently to simulate the sensations of flight. In addition to the state’s various landscapes, the ride also highlights its diverse recreation, including snow skiing, river rafting, kayaking, golf, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, surfing, and of course, hang gliding.
Get it? It’s an amazing experience that makes you feel like you are “soaring” over whatever it is you are seeing. Although you are in a room filled with a bunch of other guests, it never felt like they were there. It was just you and your seat companions on your adventure. As you flew, you felt the sea mist, smelled the florals, and “felt’ what was visually around you. It was seriously immersive!
This fall, global attractions and hospitality company Pursuit is bringing a similar experience to Las Vegas, called FlyOver Las Vegas. To better explain what this is, here is what they tell us in their press release:
“The FlyOver flight ride utilizes a unique and state-of-the-art moving platform with six degrees of motion, multi-sensory special effects and a 52-foot spherical screen that provides guests with an unparalleled flight across iconic locations and natural landscapes. Special effects, including wind, mist, and scents, combine with the ride’s motion to create an unforgettable entertainment experience. Owned and operated by Pursuit, this new Las Vegas location will mark the third FlyOver attraction for the global tourism and hospitality brand, which also includes FlyOver Canada in Vancouver, FlyOver Iceland in Reykjavik, and FlyOver Canada in Toronto (expected opening 2024). The new attraction, anticipated to open fall 2021, is located next to Hard Rock Café on the Las Vegas Strip. For more information about FlyOver in Las Vegas, visit flyoverlasvegas.com.“
They actually started to build this attraction before the Covid crap hit and shut everything down. They had already gutted the closed AMC Theater that was located across an alley from the World of Coke store, next to the MGM Resort. I can honestly say that I have seen a lot of activity at the construction site the past couple of weeks. So they are moving at a pretty good clip and that just means this is really going to happen!!
The Vegas Factor
I have always said that Las Vegas is a completely different universe when compared to other major cities. Just because your idea was successful in Chicago or Miami, doesn’t mean it will be successful here in Las Vegas. If you come to Vegas with that mindset, you will fail miserably.
The Vegas tourist crowd is different. With everything else to see and do here, It’s not easy to “WOW” the Vegas tourist. And just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it will survive the long haul. Especially when it involves cutting-edge electronics (insert the names of the 100’s of shows and attractions that failed this part). In Las Vegas, you really need to know what you are doing, you need to have a great team of experienced people behind you and you need to know how to sell it to the unique and always evolving audience that is “The Vegas Tourist”.
So the people behind this project went for one of the best in the business. Someone who definitely knows a thing or two about cutting-edge entertainment and making it work successfully in Las Vegas. They tapped Jack Kenn to be their general manager. What makes Jack so special?? Jack was Cirque du Soleil’s Technical Director during the creation of “O” in 1997. Those are the types of credentials you want someone to have when opening a new attraction in Las Vegas and have it be successful!
Here is a sample of what it’s like for the Canadian experience. Now imagine what they will do for the Las Vegas edition!
Go ahead, tell me this will be one of those “Must-Do” and “will do again” things when you visit Las Vegas this fall.
Stay tuned for more news and an open date later this summer!