One of Branson’s newest attractions, FlyRide at Beyond the Lens, has introduced a new immersive adventure for Christmas.
FlyRide was first introduced to Branson in September and was the combination of five years of work and more than $8 million. For those unfamiliar with FlyRide and their main experience Adventure America, Beyond the Lens Area Marketing Manager Tracey Barton explained that it’s a totally immersive ride.
“Our guests sit in one of our ride bays, and when the reveal doors open, their seat will move forward and their legs will be dangling,” said Barton. “So there will be wind in their hair. They’ll have scents and smells. The motion of the seat will kind of mimic what they’re doing in the film, which gives the guests the feeling of hang gliding across the United States. So it’s totally immersive. You are just really taken into it, and you kind of forget you’re sitting in a seat.”
Now through Jan. 3, 2021, guests will also have the chance to climb aboard The Polar Express: Journey to the North Pole, FlyRide’s newest experience. Barton said for this ride they use footage straight out of the 2004 animated film The Polar Express starring Tom Hanks.
“So what happens is our guests are totally immersed in the section from the film with the runaway train. They will feel like they are on the train with Tom Hanks as the conductor and the children as they go to the North Pole,” Barton said. “They experience the wind in the hair, the ice breaking and all of that being very sensory and immersed into that.”
Barton shared even before Beyond the Lens launched FlyRide this fall, they had begun conversations on what they could do to contribute to Branson’s Christmas season.
“With our partnership with SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment, it allowed us access to a library of adventures, and one of those adventures is Polar Express: Journey to the North Pole,” said Barton. “Early in the year, probably in the summer, we started to look at the Christmas holiday season in Branson, as we know is one of our top times of years for our visitors to come to this area and we wanted to make sure that we added to that Branson Holiday experience. So we did pursue getting Polar Express: Journey to the North Pole on FlyRide.”
Since FlyRide debuted in September, Barton said the reaction from guests has been extremely positive.
“I think ‘amazing’ is probably a word we hear most frequently and how much they enjoyed it. We have guests who go and do it again. They say, ‘We’re going to get another ticket. We’re going to do it all again.’ They just can’t get enough,” said Barton. “So that is just a great compliment to us, and we’re just so happy that they do feel totally immersed in it where they come away feeling that.”
Barton added that, due to the popularity of Adventure America, they wanted to give their guests the opportunity to experience both of their FlyRide adventures.
“Guests can chose what FlyRide adventure they would like to do and many, many of our guests are choosing both, because of the way this immersive experience is and how it makes you feel. We had children just the other day on and the giggles and just amazement on their little faces just makes this a very, very special addition to Branson’s holiday experience.”
In celebration of the Christmas season, Barton said they also wanted to present a gift to area residents by providing local rates.
“We do have a local rate for residents of Taney or Stone County. For FlyRide to do one of them is $9.99 and our regular price is $18.99,” said Barton.
“Our best offer that we have during the holiday season is our holiday combo, which gives the guests the ability to go through Beyond the Lens and the total interactive entertainment that we have through that with the quizzes and the historical perspectives and a lot of hands-on activities and then give them the opportunity to take advantage of both FlyRide experiences.
“Locals can experience that for $28.99 and that is regular $38.99. We do want to have the locals out and want them to experience this great attraction.”
The Polar Express: Journey to the North Pole is based on the Caldecott Medal winning children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg.