For a while now, I’ve been hearing about the “FlyOver Canada” ride at Canada Place (Vancouver, BC). They’ve run ads on the radio and plastered flyers around town but until recently, I’ve never actually considered checking it out. I’ll be the first to admit that I avoided this attraction for the sole reason that I’m a bit of a flight snob.
Four years ago, with the bare minimum of 200 flight hours to my name, I earned my commercial pilots license. I saw the Rockies up close and personal as I tipped my wings past dazzling lakes and snow capped mountains. Flying from Regina to Three Hills with my night rating, I watched the sun set in flaming beauty and saw the glow of summer forest fires shimmering against the distant night sky. I’ve flown around the Lower Mainland, with mountains on one side, ocean on the other and the city below. I’ve caught a glimpse of the Northern lights from inside my little cockpit and touched down as far north as Yellowknife.
Needless to say, I did not think that a simulated flight across Canada was going to be all that great. But, as testified by the goofy grin that was glued to my face for half the ride, I was completely wrong.
FlyOver Canada is an eight minute simulated ride that lets you discover the beauty of Canada from the air. Clipped in, feet dangling, I loved the feeling of “flying” from outside the cockpit. It feels exactly as if someone has strapped your seat onto the nose of a helicopter (minus all the excess wind and noise) and taken you for a tour across each Province.
The simulation was extremely well done and the shots of Canada were incredible! These aren’t just your generic scenery shots – the ride does a fantastic job of bringing each scene to life. Not only does the movement of the ride add to the feeling of “flight” but appropriately timed mist and scents also enhance the overall experience. As you fly across the country from east to west, you feel as if you’re actually exploring little bits and pieces of Canada from the air.
Although the actual ride is only eight minutes long, the entire experience takes about half an hour and begins with the five minute pre-show, “Uplift.” Initially, I found the pre-show to be a bit overwhelming with its fast pace and 360º floor to ceiling screens. However, I still felt that Uplift was well done and enjoyed how nicely it tied into the overall “Canadian” theme.
Following the pre-show, it was on to the main attraction. While I found myself wishing that the ride was a bit longer, I understand that for those with the propensity for motion sickness, the length was probably just right. The ride was thrilling but appropriate for various ages as it was fairly tame. I heard one woman remark that by the end she was “feeling a bit of motion,” however, I felt it was very gentle.
If you haven’t already gone for a ride over Canada, then I would definitely recommend checking it out! Tickets are approximately $20 for adults and $15 for those under twelve. (Keep in mind that there is a height requirement for the little ones.) Although the experience is quite short, I found it very entertaining.
And after topping it all off with dinner at the Keg, this evening definitely ranked as one of my favourite dates thus far. (Duh – I should have figured this out earlier because, of course, anything with the word “fly” in it is going to appeal to the one with a pilots licence.)
Canada is such a beautiful nation and I walked away from this attraction inspired to explore even more of it. There’s so much to see and this ride was the perfect reminder! So now the question is – anyone up for a road trip?