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Europe's first flying theater takes visitors on an 'Extraordinary Journey'

December 27, 2016, 4:37 PM · After this year's IAAPA Expo in Orlando, I wrote about the trend toward flying theater attractions that fans can expect to see in parks around the world over the next few years. When I visited Bollywood Parks in Dubai earlier this month, I rode one of* (*fixed) the Middle East's first flying theater attractions, Krrish: Hero's Flight. At the same time, Europe's first flying theater was debuting at Futuroscope in Poitiers, France.

The Extraordinary Journey follows the model established by Disney's Soarin' in taking riders on a tour around the world, flying from Futuroscope to Egypt, then on to Dubai, India, the Himalayas, and Yellowstone National Park in the United States, before returning to Futuroscope. While Krrish introduced characters and a more narrative-driven experience to a flying theater ride (here's my POV video), The Extraordinary Journey extends the experience with what might be the most immersive pre-show yet for a flying theater. (Both attractions were developed by Dynamic Attractions, which built the original Soarin', from Disney's design.)

Visitors queue into the departures terminal of "SkyWorld Airlines," before boarding an airport shuttle to their departure gate for their SkyLoop adventure. It's that shuttle experience that really distinguishes the Futuroscope installation. Surrounded by "window" screens, a la Universal's Hogwarts Express, visitors feel as though they are on a moving shuttle train that is taking them through Futuroscope's "research and innovation" area, to see what the nearly 30-year-old theme park could look like in the next 30 years.

From there, it's into the flying theater for the global tour. Unlike Soarin', which pull individual benches up into the air, The Extraordinary Journey's flying theater works by tilting the theater floor forward as the seating rows rotate into their vertical, stacked position. Here's an illustration:

The Extraordinary Journey
Image courtesy Dynamic Attractions

Or, better yet, check out this video of the experience, including the opening moment from the attraction's first day as well as some "behind the scenes" view of the theater's operation:

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Replies (2)

December 28, 2016 at 1:34 AM · Actually, the first flying theater in the middle east opened in Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in 2012, and is called "Viaggio in Italia".
December 28, 2016 at 8:06 AM · Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon ... soon we'll all get to "fly" here in the US

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