A Las Vegas Strip entertainment venue introduces an attraction very familiar to Disney theme park fans.
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., in February 2001 opened its California Adventure theme park, which included a soon-to-be popular attraction Soarin’ Over California, a flight motion simulator that virtually flew guests over 13 California landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley and Yosemite National Park.
The attraction later opened at Disney World’s Epcot in Orlando in 2005 known only as Soarin’. The attraction was updated as Soarin’ Around the World at both California Adventure and Epcot, featuring simulated trips over 13 world landmarks, including the Great Wall in China, the Great Pyramids in Egypt and the Taj Majal in India.
The attraction subsequently opened at Shanghai Disneyland in 2016 as Soaring Over the Horizon and at Tokyo Disney Resort’s DisneySea in 2019 as Soaring: Fantastic Flight.
The concept of the Soarin’ attraction was developed by engineer Mark Sumner and the film was shot as an IMAX HD film, Fandom reported.
Disney Has a Soarin’ Rival
A rival of Disney’s Soarin’ attractions, Soaring Attractions LP, in 2013 opened its FlyOver Canada virtual flight ride at Canada Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as its FlyOver America ride in 2016 at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. The company in 2016 sold its FlyOver Canada attraction to Viad Corp. (VVI) for $66.8 million.
Viad in 2019 expanded its FlyOver ride to Reykjavik, Iceland, with its FlyOver Iceland simulated flight ride. The company subsequently made plans to open FlyOver ride venues in Toronto, Chicago and Las Vegas.
FlyOver Las Vegas, next to the Hard Rock Cafe on the Las Vegas Strip, opened on Sept. 1, 2021, with the launch of its “The Real Wild West” flight ride film that soars over 22 of the American West’s most spectacular landmarks, including the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park and Monument Valley in Arizona.
The Las Vegas Strip’s venue has since added a FlyOver flight ride film “Iceland” that features sweeping glaciers, volcanoes and stunning fjords.
Flying Over Canadian Rockies from Las Vegas
FlyOver Las Vegas on Sept. 26 will open its newest simulated flight ride, “Windborne: Call of the Canadian Rockies,” that transports riders to the remote wonders of the Canadian Rockies, including Banff, Jasper and Yoho national parks.
“Windborne” director Dave Mossup of Sherpas Cinema, who was born and raised in Alberta, Canada, shot the film beginning in 2021. Three narrative through-lines help guide the experience: a Blackfoot knowledge keeper sharing wisdom of the Rockies, a young person encountering the mountains for the first time and an invitation for each rider to discover their own calling among the peaks, the FlyOver Las Vegas website said.
“Windborne” puts the spotlight on an extremely specific geographical area — the Canadian Rockies and captures moments and landscapes that can’t be found anywhere else, the website said.
FlyOver partnered with Calgary-based music and sound house 6 Degrees composers Andrea Wettstein and Alec Harrison to compose a sweeping score that captures the essence of the Rockies. 6 Degrees weaved together classical instrumentation, Indigenous drumming and ‘80s inspired synthesizers to compliment and elevate the FlyOver experience to even greater heights.
Tickets for the FlyOver Las Vegas “Windborne: Call of the Canadian Rockies” are priced $36 for adults and $26 for children 12 and under with a minimum 40-inch height limit.