MoA straps in for spring flyover

There will be an exciting new reason to visit America’s largest shopping centre from this spring.


FlyOver America, a flight simulation ride that promises to take guests on a memorable aerial tour of some of the greatest landmarks and regions across the country, will debut at Mall of America located in Bloomington, Minnesota, aroundy 15 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The attraction, utilising the newest virtual flight technology, will be a ‘fully immersive experience’ that exposes riders to ‘wind’, ‘mist’ and even ‘scents’ as they soar across some of America’s most spectacular sights.

During the ride, suitable for ages four and older, strapped-in guests will be suspended in the air with their feet dangling 10 to 25 feet above the ground, seated in specialized ride vehicles before a giant half-spherical dome screen. They will feel the sensation of ‘flight’ as they move in concert with the FlyOver America film and use of special effects.

The custom-built attraction is being created by a worldwide team of technicians, manufacturers and consultants, including Los Angeles based former Disney ‘Imagineer’ Rick Rothschild. Production is currently underway for the FlyOver America film with the FlyOver film crew visiting every region in the country, filming from a helicopter over the course of the year to capture all seasons.

FlyOver America will be located in the southwest corner of Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America, home to more than 520 world-class shops and attractions.

Hogwarts comes to Hollywood

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is scheduled to make its arrival at Universal Studios Hollywood, California, on April 7.


The ride, based on the hit series of books and films, promises even more enhanced technology and user features than its Orlando theme park equivalent.

Universal promises that the new area, which is currently being created at the park, will ‘faithfully recreate the visual landscape of the fiction and films’ and will include recreations of the village of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts Castle.

New attractions due to open include the signature ride, ‘Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey’, which features a pivoting 360-degree robotic ride system. The area will also include an outdoor family roller coaster, ‘Flight of the Hippogriff’.

A number of retail locations in Harry Potter World will include Honeydukes, Ollivanders, Zonko’s Joke Shop, Gladrags Wizardwear and Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods.

Universal Studios Hollywood in-park guests can already experience and purchase merchandise that includes wands, robes and other collectibles from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, available within the Features Presentation shop, located just inside the theme park’s main entry.


Mako appears on Orlando skyline

Construction is underway at SeaWorld Orlando as Mako, the all-new ‘hyper-coaster’ opening this summer, begins to make an impact on the Orlando skyline.


The coaster was crowned when cranes installed the tallest point of the structure, the tracks of the signature 200-foot tall hill, at the start of the year.

When it opens, Mako will be Orlando’s tallest, fastest and longest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 73 mph along 4,760 feet of track. The ride will be the centrepiece of a two-acre, shark-themed realm in the park.

Guests visiting SeaWorld Orlando over the next few months will witness the rise of what is being billed as one of the world’s few true hyper-coasters. This type of coaster is known for high speeds, steep drops and hills that create a feeling of weightlessness or ‘air time’.

The best-value ticket for visiting SeaWorld Parks in Florida is the three-Park SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens Ticket or the Discovery Cove Ultimate Ticket.

It offers 14 days’ unlimited entry to three parks for the price of two – SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa. For guests booking and visiting before December 31 2016, prices start from £98 per adult and £94 per child.

The Discovery Cove Ultimate Package includes one day at Discovery Cove (with a 30-minute dolphin swim experience, all meals, snacks and beverages) plus 14-day unlimited entry to SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Aquatica Orlando – offering customers more savings and flexibility for their Florida holiday. Prices start from £169pp.

Customers with a Three-Park SeaWorld, Aquatica and Busch Gardens Ticket or a Discovery Cove Ultimate Ticket, for visits from January 1 2016, also get free parking at all parks for 14 consecutive days, meaning that they can come and go as they please.