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story.lead_photo.caption MacGillivray Freeman Films, an independent producer of giant-screen 70mm films for IMAX theaters, is a partner in providing the images for FlyRide, like this one of Big Sur. (Courtesy Photo)

Not all adventures require the physical experience of a roller coaster or a Ferris wheel. FlyRide, new this weekend in Branson, offers a bird's eye view of more than 20 iconic locations from the comfort of a theater seat.

"It is more than a movie," says spokeswoman Tracey Barton. "It's an immersive experience with a four-story-high curved screen, full motion seats that dip, turn and soar and amazing effects that give the guests the feeling of flight."

FlyRide is the first of its kind in this part of the country -- opening even before the planned attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., scheduled for the summer of 2021. It is not, however, the first property in Branson for Frontpage Attractions, which also operates Beyond the Lens! at 3115 W. 76 Country Blvd. And describing everything at Beyond the Lens! might take longer than the 20-minute FlyRide experience.

Open since September 2019, Beyond the Lens! includes:

• The Search For Bigfoot -- With more than 6,000 reported sightings of Bigfoot in the United States alone, there's a chance he's been spotted in your neck of the woods. Find out for yourself in the Search for Bigfoot, an interactive experience full of sights, sounds and convincing encounters. You might just catch some photographic evidence of your own!

• The Alien Egg Pit -- Thousands of translucent white eggs fill this alien nest. While Mama Alien is away, take your chance and jump right in. Adults welcome.

• The Human Kaleidoscope -- Flashing lights and pulsing colors turn this 20-foot long kaleidoscope into an ever-changing sensory experience.

• Virtual reality games and an escape room.

• And Flip Zone -- New for 2020, Flip Zone bumper cars turns the bumper car experience upside down. Drive around bumping into friends as your chair flips a full 360 degrees horizontally and vertically.

"Beyond The Lens! has been an evolution of creative thinking that has allowed us to adopt the latest in technology and combine it with entertainment for 'techno-tainment,'" says Barton. "We want our guests to always have an interactive, immersive experience. Being on the forefront of technology, we are continually developing new concepts like FlyRide.

"With the development trends happening in Branson, we felt FlyRide would be a perfect addition to the attraction-based entertainment that has seen significant growth in recent years," she adds. "We will continue to expand in tourist markets that embrace attractions as an entertainment option for their visitors."

Up to 40 guests can experience FlyRide at the same time, no virtual reality equipment required. And as they zoom over Yellowstone, the Redwood Forest, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Mount Rushmore and more, technology adds the experience of wind, mists and "other amazing effects," Barton says.

With an investment of more than five years and more than $8 million, it seems fair that its developers bill FlyRide as "a world-class attraction."

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SimEx-Iwerks has built more than 350 attractions that offer its patented three-dimensional and four-dimensional content, including the new FlyRide in Branson. One of the stops on the virtual tour is the Grand Canyon. (Courtesy Photo)
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FlyRide, the newest attraction on the Branson strip, gives patrons a bird’s eye view of iconic locations like the Grand Tetons. (Courtesy Photo)
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FAQ

FlyRide

WHEN — Open at 10 a.m. daily

WHERE — 3115 W. 76 Country Blvd. in Branson

COST — $34.99 for adults, $24.99 for children includes Beyond the Lens!, Flip Zone and FlyRide

INFO — flyridetickets.com

FYI — “There are no age or health restrictions,” spokeswoman Tracey Barton says. “We do have a 32-inch height restriction and 300-pound weight restriction.”

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