The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

Writing her conclusion
Power up your summer

‘Flyover Chicago’ offers thrilling multisensory experience of the city

Flyover+Chicago%2C+a+4-D+experience+of+the+city+of+Chicago%2C+opened+on+March+1+with+adult+tickets+costing+%2424.95+and+tickets+for+children+13+and+under+costing+%2414.95.+The+event+starts+with+a+short+movie+played+in+a+round+theater.
Peyton Palmer
“Flyover Chicago,” a 4-D experience of the city of Chicago, opened on March 1 with adult tickets costing $24.95 and tickets for children 13 and under costing $14.95. The event starts with a short movie played in a round theater.

The city of Chicago is known for many things. A few that come to mind are deep-dish pizza, Cloud Gate and the Ferris wheel — then, if you care to get a bit more obscure, there’s the Museum Campus, the Art Institute and Wrigley Field. On March 1, an event opened at Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier that allows you to experience all of these at once from a new and exhilarating perspective.

In addition to the aforementioned landmarks, Flyover Chicago invites visitors to experience the culture, people and atmosphere of the city from a unique point of view. The ride promises an “entirely new perspective” on the city as you take a four-dimensional journey over the skyline, through iconic buildings and above recognizable scenes of the city. Adult tickets currently cost $24.95, and tickets for children 13 and under cost $14.95.

The first moments of the experience take place in a rounded gallery, with a description of the experience and video projections on the walls. 

“At Flyover we believe wonder is an energizing force,” the text reads. “It motivates, inspires, and provides a moment to breathe.”

The interactive and atmospheric gallery features video projections depicting multiple different scenes from Chicago — people gardening, swooping shots of the skyline, and dancers performing ballet and hip-hop routines. They create an ambiance of movement and light, and you can’t decide where to look.

“Here in the gallery, immerse yourself as you explore images that reveal and reflect your journey ahead,” the text reads. 

The experience begins with a short movie played in a round theater. The walls are completely made up of screens. Viewers stand around a small circular screen and are essentially encapsulated in the film itself. It describes and displays Chicago not only as a physical city, but as a hub of “resilience,” “diversity” and “wonder.” The most notable part of the film, though, is a scene depicting a children’s choir rehearsing a soulful song about Chicago — the students grit their teeth as their teacher pushes them to sing the song better, for at some point, he says, they’ll be performing it at the Chicago Theatre. 

Then, you’re led into the main event. Sitting in a large mechanical swing with a roller coaster-style seatbelt on, the IMAX theater screens project CGI-enhanced drone footage that makes it seem like you are truly flying over Chicago. It’s thrilling and exhilarating, especially with added 4D elements such as cool breezes and mists of water. The experience is easy for a tourist or someone not so well-acquainted with the city to fall in love with, yet full of more obscure references that only a true Chicagoan could fully understand. Teenagers play basketball, dancers practice inside the iconic Joffrey Ballet — and, in a touching full-circle moment, the children’s choir from the original film performs their song on the golden stage of the Chicago Theatre. 

Flyover Chicago promises a new perspective on the city that some viewers already love and others are just getting to know — and that’s exactly what it delivers. As Navy Pier welcomes this high-budget and exciting addition, tourists and Chicago residents alike should eagerly await the memories and breathtaking views in store for all who dare to take flight.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Light Dohrn
Light Dohrn, Assistant Editor
Light Dohrn is a member of the Class of 2026 and a Midway assistant editor. As a ninth grader, she joined the journalism team during the 2022-23 school year. Her favorite piece she has written for the Midway is “Through authenticity and humor, biology teacher inspires passion among students.” Outside of journalism, she enjoys Middle-Earth fantasy books and Tarantino films. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, Boston convention: Excellent, review writing 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, San Francisco convention: Honorable mention, press law and ethics
Peyton Palmer
Peyton Palmer, Photographer
Peyton Palmer is a beginning photojournalist and is a member of the Class of 2026. Her favorite parts of photojournalism are learning how to shoot significant photos and taking pictures for others to enjoy. Outside of photojournalism, Peyton enjoys music and hanging out with family and/or friends. She also participates in U-High tennis. Awards: 2023 Journalism Education Association National Student Media Contests, Boston convention: Honorable mention, first-year photo

Comments (0)

All U-High Midway Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *