Journey To The North Pole: Polar Express pulls out of Branson’s FlyRide station

Journey To The North Pole: Polar Express pulls out of Branson’s FlyRide station

It’s an extraordinary gift, one that can be experienced by only those who still believe in the magic of Christmas.

That’s what one critic said about the movie “The Polar Express.” But it might also be said of a special holiday event taking place at FlyRide, a unique attraction located at 3115 W. 76 Country Blvd. in Branson.

FlyRide, which opened in September 2020, is the first of its kind in this part of the country — opening even before the same planned attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., which is scheduled for the summer of 2022.

“FlyRide is located inside Beyond The Lens! and provides a fully immersive adventure that allows passengers to experience the thrilling feeling of flight through a sensory phenomenon that includes wind, mist, scents, and motion,” says Larry Foster, director of operations. “With the adventure ‘Take Flight Across America,’ passengers soar above more than 20 of America’s most awe-inspiring national landmarks, giving them a breathtaking flight experience.”

“It is more than a movie,” adds 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.”

Throughout the season, FlyRide offers guests a bird’s eye view of America from the comfort of a theater seat. But during the holidays, visitors can climb aboard the Polar Express for a journey to the North Pole.

The film “The Polar Express,” released in 2004 by Warner Bros. Entertainment and based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg, follows the adventures of a boy who has just about decided Santa isn’t real. Invited on a train journey by a mysterious conductor (voiced by Tom Hanks), he discovers the true spirit of Christmas and learns “that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.”

“This is the second season at FlyRide for ‘The Polar Express Journey to the North Pole’,” Foster says. “Last year’s response was extremely positive. We see children excited and laughing as they exit the ride with their parents and grandparents, which is really what the holiday season is all about.

“This year, we have added to the experience, increasing the length of the adventure,” he goes on. “In addition to feeling the dips, turns, slides and chilling ice of the train’s runaway episode, guests will see and smell the serving of hot chocolate. Guests will also be alongside the characters as they save Billy when his car is accidentally separated from the train at the North Pole.

“Utilizing SimEx-Iwerks’ design, technology and relationship with Warner Bros., we can bring this holiday classic to FlyRide Branson,” Foster says. “We immerse guests … to give them the feeling of being right there alongside the train conductor and children.”

FlyRide is, however, just part of what visitors can unwrap every day at Beyond the Lens! And describing those options in full might take longer than the FlyRide experience.

“Beyond The Lens! provides entertainment through technology,” Foster explains in the short version. “The exhibits at Beyond The Lens! feature fun interactive gaming and trivia, two-minute escape rooms, virtual reality games, an augmented reality scavenger hunt, an alien egg ball pit, hunt for Bigfoot and photo ops.”

“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.”




‘The Polar Express’

WHEN — Open at 10 a.m. daily

WHERE — 3115 W. 76 Country Blvd. in Branson

COST — $14.99-$40.99


Categories: Family Friendly