In Vancouver, How High Can You Flyover Canada?

11 Mar

OA - FlyOver Canada999 Canada Place #201
Vancouver, BC

Hours of Operation
Daily starting from noon to 8pm (average)

Flyover Canada is a Vancouver-based tourist type attraction with limited appeal for locals to enjoy. But for tourists wanting to know more of what this country (or others) represents, it’s something to check out. Since I sort of fall into the latter category, I decided to take advantage of the discount offered for patrons of Fan Expo Vancouver. Aside from two panels, there wasn’t much left for me to partake in on Monday, the last day of the convention. There were fewer celebrity guests to meet and the focus was more on Family Day type activities for the kids to enjoy or meeting voice over talents. Folks could meet Justin Briner, the voice of Midoriya in My Hero Academia or Jason Liebrecht who did Yeager in Attack on Titan.

This flight simulator is worth looking at when the right virtual simulation is playing. I wouldn’t revisit the visual experience for the same ride though. I’d pay the money for a reimagined and all-encompassing Star Tour. As for its travels around Earth, there’s only a handful offered in sister operations in other cities where variety exists.

The space hasn’t changed much many decades ago when the old IMAX theatre operated here. I remember the segment ILM reshot when this new cinematic format was consumer ready; the opening sequence from Star Wars: A New Hope was awe-inspiring and still sticks to this day. 

Patrons aren’t allowed to take pictures of the interior. Instead, all I can do is describe how the IMAX technology is somewhat used. One aspect is the lack of integration with RealD technology for a 3D experience. It’d help add to the illusion more than the half-hearted holodeck-like teaser. The disembarkation room had rear projection screens in varied polygonal configurations that’s hardly considered 3D. After giving the group a “grounded” teaser of what makes Canada great, people are then led to another chamber where they are organized into rows, and then led to another area to sit in a chair, and be strapped in (for safety). The floor and ceiling then rolls away to where you’re soaring on a paraglider.

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From sea to shore to cityscape, the sights and sounds are everywhere! There’s Niagara Falls, Montreal and Vancouver (to name a few). There may have been the scent of crisp mountain air from Banff, but I could not tell. Fine mist is sprayed when flying through the clouds or nearing a waterfall, but that’s hardly enough when I’ve been to and felt the rush of air at Mt. St. Helens–or getting as close as I can to Yosemite Falls so I can get soaking wet–many years ago. Those real experiences are far more memorable than being in a simulator.

Perhaps the company should amp up the assault to the senses. During my visit, keeping my face mask on was required as per public health order, and it muted out the ofactory experience. There was no breeze. It’s highly possible fans had to be deactivated to prevent the spread of the virus should anyone cough. Now that this restriction has recently been lifted, I’m interested in flying over Iceland. I may do another trip as March break nears, or during the summer when Anime Revolution resumes.

Being at these places for real is more appealing, which is why this attraction exists. It’s meant get people consider going there for real. But not everyone can afford to travel the world, much less rent a balloon or get the clearance rights to paraglide over Luxor Temple, the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx. As long as Pursuit, a subsidiary of Viad Corp, are working on new ideas, I’m game to come back. They took over ownership of this once Canadian operation. Hopefully, the American based company has the idea to capture the Congo, Amazon or Nile with their drone cameras. I can only imagine some truly crazy add-on weather experiences! Yes, I’ll wear a raincoat if required.

3 Stars out of 5

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