For those of you who follow along with me on social media, you’ll know that 2023 has been a busy year full of new adventures, new experiences, and new destinations. I’ve loved where the year has brought me as I celebrate ten years of blogging, and inch towards my 40th birthday in October. I know that for many of you out there it’s also simultaneously been a busy and amid year, and for many of us, we haven’t made the time to take care of ourselves in the ways we probably should. Inspired by a recent trip, I think this is the sign you need to book that flight you’ve been thinking about – but with a twist.
By now, it should be no shock that I believe in planning for special occasions and trips. It’s important to be responsible – Julio & I are saving for adoption, so trust me, it’s not all indulgence for me! – but it’s also equally important to satiate the desire to experience new places and things.
It wasn’t my first time to Las Vegas, and it won’t be my last, but surprisingly the Air Canada flight isn’t the only “flight” that helped to inspire this blog post. While it was amazing as always, there’s a flight experience on the strip that you simply need to experience for yourself.
Alongside new and old friends, this most recent visit to Vegas was all about new experiences and things that might be off the beaten path for those of you planning a visit this fall and winter. I love to do things I’ve never done before. I like to think that’s the spice of life after all. New food, new drink, new places and new people get me excited.
When I heard that a part of my itinerary was going to be centered around a rollercoaster-esque immersive film, I think my first thought went back to 3d films of my youth with bad graphics and even worse seats. Well friends, needless to say I was very wrong.
FlyOver in Las Vegas is located right next door to Hard Rock Cafe, across Las Vegas Boulevard from Park MGM. When you walk into the space you have a moment to immerse yourself in lighting and an ambiance that disconnects you from the hustle and bustle of the strip and allows you to reconnect with yourself and the space.
Upon entry to the lobby you can grab a well deserved cocktail or snack at The Lost Cactus bar and lounge. I had the pleasure of trying several of their cocktails from the menu (click here) and recommend the Canadian Sky and Desert Sunset. This destination is a perfect idea for groups and date night – just sayin’.
Once you enter the theatre portion, there are several steps involves before you strap in and take off. The first being an introductory film to speak to the flight itself.
Once you have enjoyed this introduction, a second waiting station allows further immersion into a history of the experience and flight you’ll enjoy. The room is separated in two with a large circular screen in the center, and wall to wall wrap around screens. This space feels nothing short of magical and I loved seeing the awe in the faces of fellow film goers of all ages.
Once these first two steps of the experience are complete you are escorted by a FlyOver team member to one of two theatres. Two long rows of seats in a mood setting blue lit room await you and once you store any bags under your seat, you clip in using a seat belt and look over a guardrail onto a blank 52.5-foot-wide spherical screen which surrounds you and ultimately puts you right into the action.
As the film begin the guard rail lowers and your motion seats kick in – they are engineered to swoop, dip and turn — giving you the true feeling of flight. Not to mention that throughout the film unique scents are used to transport you to iconic locations for a fully immersive experience. You won’t just see these incredible places. Through special effects you’ll feel them, too with winds and mists.
To say that I was left in awe would be an understatement. The technology used to capture this content is mind blowing. I literally felt as though I was flying over these iconic destinations and places. While I was able to capture content which I will share on my socials very soon, no photos or videos are allowed. But you know what? I actually put my phone down a lot to allow myself to be present and take in the whole experience and recommend that to each and every one of you who book this.
It’s something that I can describe at length with you all, but that has to be seen to be believed.
The three films currently showing in Las Vegas are below, and my personal favourite (though of course I am bias) was the Canadian Rockies inspired Windborne. I loved the Indigenous narrative, inclusion and visuals. Truly moving and I would watch it a hundred more times if I could – something to add to my to do list when Julio & I go back to Vegas together hopefully soon.
WINDBORNE: CALL OF THE CANADIAN ROCKIES
Set off on a journey beyond the summits. Windborne connects you with scenery that has inspired adventure since time immemorial. This flight ride transports you to the remote wonders of the Canadian Rockies. Beyond the beauty, you’ll discover the spirit of the mountains from the people who call the Rockies home.
Tickets: $36 USD/adult | $26 USD/child
Sweeping glaciers, stunning fjords and ancient mysteries. That’s what you’ll experience when you adventure to the land of fire and ice aboard this incredible flight ride. Hang on to your seat and be swept away to explore volcanoes, glaciers, history and legends as you soar across pristine Iceland.
Tickets: $36 USD/adult | $26 USD/child
WONDERS OF THE AMERICAN WEST
Discover America’s rugged west aboard an epic flight ride adventure. Wonders of the American West (formerly The Real Wild West) brings the United States’ most iconic locations to life, including Lake Tahoe, Zion National Park, the Mojave Desert and the Grand Canyon.
Tickets: $36 USD/adult | $26 USD/child
Honestly, I loved the FlyOver experience amid a fabulous trip to Vegas. It was like having three additional trips during one to one of my favourite cities in the US and I cannot recommend it enough to those of you who live in and are traveling to Las Vegas.
Click here to check out the FlyOver website and to book your tickets now.
Now of course it was a trip to Vegas which meant I also had to eat at some of the best restaurants and see some of the best sights. Below is a highlight of just a few of the attractions I would recommend you also add to your Vegas to do list.
Stay at Planet Hollywood Vegas – I loved how conveniently located it was, the rooms were spacious, the pool area was epic and the casino was a lot of fun. Would absolutely stay there again!
Dinner at Mon Ami Gabi in Paris Hotel & Casino – Mon Ami Gabi is a French bistro featuring fresh seafood, Steak Frites, exquisite bites and French rolling wine carts. While it does lean in on the theme a little heavy, the food was spectacular and I loved that it was my first meal of the trip. Personal favourites included the steak tartar and french onion soup. Yum!
I can finally say that I’ve eaten at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant which for me is a milestone.
Gordon Ramsay Burgers was incredible! “Planet Hollywood’s hangout for high-end burgers, hot dogs & drinks in a snazzy, colorful atmosphere. The Gordon Ramsay Burger Las Vegas menu uses only the freshest, quality ingredients. Beef patties are cooked over an open flame fueled by hardwoods – the only restaurant on the Strip to use this method – creating a
more complex and powerful flavor. Vegan options are available.”
A Guided Tour of The Mob Museum was pretty cool and I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. The three floor museum offers a history of organized crime from the beginning in Vegas and had me and my new friends pretty captivated actually!
“From interactive exhibits to artifacts from the past, you’ll learn all about Las Vegas’ tenacious history with the Mob. After the tour, travel back in time to the Prohibition era, when thousands of speakeasies operating in hard-to find-places satisfied the nation’s thirst for forbidden spirits. Sip on a hand-crafted cocktail menu inspired by the 20s.”
Dinner at 8 East was a WOW moment for sure. Asian inspired cuisine, spectacular cocktails and decor, and a sharing style menu made for a meal I won’t soon forget. I even texted Julio to let him know I have to bring him when we make our way to Vegas next!
“Sample diverse Pan-Asian dishes at 8 East, that were inspired by chef and restaurateur Dan Coughlin’ youth and travels throughout Asia. Dig into a selection of popular plates spanning Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean and Thai cuisines in a space inspired by metropolitan Asian food markets. Menu favorites include Brisket Fried Rice, Dan Dan Noodles and Sizzling Noodles.”
Last but certainly not least, a visit to The Neon Museum is an experience you’ll only get in Vegas and one that is pretty amazing if I do say so myself.
“Explore Las Vegas’ past at The Neon Museum and learn about the historic signs of the city. The Neon Museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. You’ll experience its outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard, where you will hear and see the history of some of Las Vegas’ most iconic neon signs; and its visitors’ center inside the former La Concha Motel lobby.”
All in all, my getaway to Vegas offered some spectacular memories and experiences that I had never had before. This is the time to remember that you deserve to book a trip just like this one to experience new things for yourself!
Photos: Daniel Reyes Cocka and participating brands
Don’t forget to be kind & laugh a little more this year
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