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$20M flight simulator to open at Mall of America next spring

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A new, $20 million simulator that dangles people up to 25-feet above the ground as they fly over some of America's greatest sights will open at the Mall of America next year.

The Bloomington megamall announced Thursday it will be the home of the first-ever "FlyOver America" attraction, which will open in spring 2016.

The flight simulator sees people strapped in and suspended 10 to 25-feet above the ground in a "specialized ride vehicle" (basically like a roller coaster) in front of a giant dome screen showing flight footage of America's most scenic locations.

Special effects creating wind, mist and even scents will be a part of what FlyOver America calls an "immersive experience" giving people the "thrilling sensation of flight."

"The addition of FlyOver America will offer guests a one-of-a-kind experience while adding to the many lifelong memories we are committed to helping our guests create during each visit to Mall of America," said Jill Renslow, senior vice president for the mall. "The innovative technology and talent behind the attraction reinforces Mall of America as a must-visit tourist destination."

The simulator will be based in the southwest corner of Nickelodeon Universe, but admission will be separate from the Nickelodeon passes. Construction is set to start on Monday.

It will be the first of its kind in the United States, but it has proved a successful venture in Canada, with "FlyOver Canada" a popular attraction in Vancouver.

It is currently the second highest rated attraction in the "fun and games" category for Vancouver on Trip Advisor, with one recent reviewer saying: "A must see when in Vancouver, you feel as though you are actually flying in a plane over snow covered mountains, rivers, cities, it's spectacular!!!! Not expensive for the experience. Loved it!!"

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