Insider’s Guide to Flyover Chicago at Navy Pier

Immersive Experiences

Flyover Chicago opened today and is one of the best immersive experiences we’ve done in Chicago.

What is Flyover Chicago? It’s is a flight ride film with six degrees of motion that enables you to feel every sweeping movement of the journey, along with special effects including wind, mist and location-specific scents to heighten the immersive flight ride as you hang suspended with your feet dangling.

Having been on the hardhat tour while the experience was under construction, meeting the creators, and experiencing the ride firsthand, we have all the inside information about Flyover Chicago and are excited to share it all with you!

The Flyover Chicago Experience

For those new to Chicago, Flyover Chicago gives an amazing view of the city’s beauty, architecture, culture, and spirit. It’s honestly better than any walking tour you can find. As someone who grew up in the Chicago area and spent time in the city throughout my life, it was incredibly fun to see Chicago in such a new and inspiring way. The experience brought tears to my eyes at times and we were all impressed by this multi-sensory adventure.

Location and Entering Flyover Chicago

Flyover Chicago is located on the second floor of Navy Pier, closest to Polk Bros Park and the West Parking Garage. You’ll see the box office on the first floor, where you can purchase tickets if you haven’t already, then go up the stairs, escalator, or elevator to the experience.

The first thing you’ll see is a bank of lockers. If you have a backpack or bulky coat, we recommend stashing them in a locker. (They are free!) Then head to the left where you’ll find the entrance to Flyover Chicago.

The Gallery

After scanning your tickets, the staff will direct you to The Gallery, which is a waiting room filled with framed screens showing snippets of life from all different parts of Chicago. It’s considered a prologue to Believe Chicago, the immersive introduction to the ride.

Here in The Gallery, immerse yourself as you explore images that reveal and reflect the energy of your journey ahead.

as seen on the wall in The Gallery

We entered about ten minutes before our scheduled time and waited in this area about 15 minutes or so. Then a brief introduction to the experience is shown on the large screen (pictured below). It gets a bit warm in the room as more people arrive, but as soon as we were ushered into the hallway we cooled down.

Believe Chicago

In the immersive introduction to Flyover Chicago, Believe Chicago, you are surrounded by the sights and sounds of the city. The medallion screen in the center spotlights a different people sharing their insights on Chicago, highlighting the resilience and strength of the city. It shows the beauty and chaos with fast and slow-moving video on all sides of the 360 degree theater.

There is a platform around the room, giving everyone a great view so you don’t have to worry about where you stand when entering.

After the film is over, the staff moves your group in an orderly fashion to the next part of the experience, which is the safety briefing then the ride. There’s not much to go over, just filling in the seats, stowing your belongings, and buckling your seat belt.

When you enter the safety briefing room, they ask each group how many people are in the group so they can direct you to a group of dots on the floor. The lines are labeled 1-6.

We were about in the middle of the pack as we exited Believe Chicago and ended up on the circles in row 1, which equated to being seated at the end on the lower level of seats for the ride. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what circles they direct you to because every seat on the ride gives an amazing experience, so no reason to stress about it.

Flyover Chicago: The Ride

There are three levels of seats for Flyover Chicago. Like I mentioned above, the circles that the staff directs your group to stand on ultimately determines your seats. However, we ended up sitting at the very end of the bottom level of seats and the view was amazing.

After everyone is seated and the seat belts are checked for safety, the guard rail rotates down and the seats move forward to reveal a 65-foot spherical screen.

Flyover Chicago starts with a beautiful sunrise and concludes with fireworks lighting up the night sky. I’m not going to spoil the experience by telling you everything you will see, but I will say the ride is exhilarating. You are transported from birds-eye views all the way down to ground level.

There are a few dives down from the height of skyscrapers and it’s enhanced by mists, wind, and scents throughout the journey. You’ll even briefly smell some burnt rubber while following a car chase! The attention to detail is impressive.

If you want to be surprised, don’t watch the trailer below! But in case you want to see some clips of the film used in the experience, check this out:

I often experience motion sickness, so I was a little nervous that I would be hit by nausea at some point during the ride, but I wasn’t! The movement is really smooth and although thrilling, it wasn’t overwhelming.

There was a young girl in our row, that probably just met the 40″ minimum height requirement, who was scared by the experience, but her slightly older brother loved it. You know your kids best, but I think it’s safe to say that if your kids like middle of the road roller coasters, they are going to love this. I have two teenagers (13 and 16 years old) and they thought it was incredibly cool.

Flyover Chicago does an amazing job capturing the spirit of the city and it’s an experience that we won’t forget.

Tips for Flyover Chicago

  • Buy your tickets in advance and get there at least ten minutes early. There are not assigned seats for the ride, so you just purchase a general admission ticket for the time slot of your choosing.
  • Put your belongings in a locker (they are free!) so you don’t have to carry anything. Just don’t forget to go back upstairs when the ride is over so you can retrieve whatever you stowed in the locker.
  • If the line for the lockers is long and you don’t have much, you are welcome to bring it in with you and put it under your seat during the ride. There is a mesh pocket underneath each seat for small personal belongings.
  • Don’t stress about where you are standing in each room or what circle they tell you to stand on before entering the ride.
  • Flyover Chicago is wheelchair accessible, however to experience the ride itself those in a wheelchair need to be able to transfer themselves to the seat by themselves or with the assistance of a companion. Whoever is assisting can either go on the ride or wait off the ride platform for their own safety. There is an elevator that can take you to each level of the experience, but you will need to take an alternate route from the group and meet back up with them in each section.
  • Those with sensory sensitivities should be aware that the aim of Flyover Chicago is to give guests a multi-sensory experience, which means that there are flashing lights, water mists, scents, and wind blowing gently in your face.

Quick Facts

  • You must be 40″ tall to experience Flyover Chicago.
  • The entire experience lasts about 30 minutes, while the actual ride is 9 minutes.
  • The maximum capacity for each time slot is 60 people.
  • Flyover Chicago was produced using drones, while the previous Flyover experiences in Iceland, Canada, and Las Vegas all used helicopter footage. The use of drones enabled the team to take the audience alongside car chases, under bridges, and in between buildings, which makes Flyover Chicago an even more unique experience.

Hours of Operation

March 1 – May 24, 2024:
Flyover Chicago is open Sunday through Thursday from 11am-8pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am-9pm.

Memorial Day – Labor Day:
Sunday through Thursday from 11am-9pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am-10pm.

Tickets and Pricing

March 1 – May 24, 2024:
Adults (ages 14 years old and up) are $24.95, children 13 years old and younger are $14.95. Flyover Chicago offers a military discount, which makes the adult ticket $19.95.

Memorial Day – Labor Day:
Adults (ages 14 years old and up) are $31.95, children 13 years old and younger are $21.95. Flyover Chicago offers a military discount, which makes the adult ticket $26.95.

You can purchase tickets online through the Flyover Chicago website or buy them at the Flyover Chicago box office on the first floor of Navy Pier, across from Chicago Children’s Museum.

Flyover Chicago
600 E. Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Meet the Creators of Flyover Chicago

Attending the media night leading up to the opening of Flyover, I was able to meet the creators of Flyover Chicago. I talked with Lisa Adams, the COO and Executive Producer pictured above on the left, the longest and loved the passion she has for giving everyone a true taste of Chicago. Originally from Australia, she now lives in Canada, but talked a lot about how the team spent countless hours interviewing and talking to hundreds of people in the city to get a diverse, full, and deep understanding of Chicago before producing the film.

Rick Rothschild, second from the left, was a Disney Imagineer, spent 40 years at Disney and developed to innovative ride Soarin’. Richard Daniels, pictured right, is the owner of City Lights Music and not pictured but also there and involved in producing the music and score is Elliott Wheeler, who also did the music for The Great Gatsby and Grammy award winner and CEO of Soul Children of Chicago, Dr. Walt W Whitman Jr.

Behind the Scenes

While Flyover Chicago was under construction, I was invited on a hardhat tour to get a sneak peek of what the experience entailed. The general manager, who gave the tour, and I both have an engineering background, so I was fascinated to learn about how the ride works.

The canopy above the seats enables the mist and scents to reach each rider without noticing the magic behind the effect.

And flight motion seats are engineered to swoop, dip and turn, giving guests the smooth feeling of flight. Check out all of the mechanics and technology that make it happen!

Owned and operated by Pursuit, the new Chicago location marks the fourth Flyover attraction for the global attractions and hospitality brand, which also includes Flyover attractions in Las Vegas, Reykjavik, Iceland, and Vancouver, Canada.

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