Christmas at FlyOver Canada is a special winter holiday-themed multi-dimensional flying theatre experience at Canada Place in Vancouver around December.
This past year the shows ran from November 21st, 2019, until January 5th, 2020.
See the FlyOver Canada website for tickets.
Christmas at FlyOver Canada
FlyOver Canada is a movie theatre where you buckle your seat belt and fly over amazing Canadian scenery including Toronto, the Prairies, the Okanagan and Vancouver. The attraction operates year-round but has special seasonal themes at different times of the year including at Halloween and Christmas.
From late November until early January FlyOver Canada gets decked out with Christmas trees and other holiday decorations. Santa makes an appearance on the giant movie screen and there’s a short pre-main show film featuring a couple of elves. It’s a lot of fun, indoors and a wonderful family-friendly Christmas experience.
FlyOver Canada Location
The attraction’s address is 999 Canada Place which is a couple of blocks and around the corner from Waterfront Station which is the city’s main transit hub with SeaBus and SkyTrain services.
Canada Place is located at the northern end of Howe and Burrard Streets. From in front of the Pan Pacific Hotel, walk around to the left (or west side) of the promenade deck of Canada Place. About halfway down you’ll find the entrance to FlyOver Canada.
Dates and Show Times
In the 2019/2020 season Christmas at FlyOver Canada ran from Thursday, November 21st (2019) until Sunday, January 5th (2020).
Films usually show between 10 am and 10 pm every day except for December 24th, when it closes at 6 pm, and on December 25 when it’s closed all day for Christmas.
See the FlyOver Canada website for tickets.
FlyOver Canada Admission
Admission rates to FlyOver Canada over the Christmas season in 2019 vary depending on the date and when you make your purchase. Admission costs less on days when the attraction predicts lower numbers of visitors and higher on days when they expect to be busier. Weekdays tend to cost less and both weekends and days close to Christmas and New Year’s Eve cost more.
Tickets Purchased Online
Tickets purchased in advance online are discounted around 15% or so compared to tickets at the gate. Online tickets cost the following in 2019 (excluding taxes):
- Adults: between $24 and $32
- Seniors (ages 65+): between $18 and $26
- Students (ages 13 to 21): between $18 and $26
- Children (ages 12 and under): between $14 and $22
Note: Ticket prices are subject to change. Also, to experience the Ultimate Flying Ride children must be at least 40 inches or 102 cm tall and accompanied by an adult.
Holly & Jolly Combos with the Vancouver Christmas Market
The same as the year before, FlyOver Canada teamed up with the Vancouver Christmas Market and offered their special Holly & Jolly Combo deal. For just $39 you got admission to both venues plus other valuable perks. Included were a complimentary souvenir photo, fast-pass access to the Vancouver Christmas Market (which was good on busy days) and a non-alcoholic drink at the market.
Note: The Holly & Jolly Combo was only available online and valid up until December 24th (which is the last day of the Vancouver Christmas Market). Also, the cost was the same for adults, seniors and children.
Special Discounts at FlyOver Canada
Other discounts over the Christmas season in 2019 were the following:
- Military Adults: between $20.75 and $25.70 (with valid ID)
- Military Seniors (ages 65+): between $16 and $20.75 (with valid ID)
- BC Residents: Folk with proof of residency in British Columbia can get up to a 20% discount off regular full price admission (or between about $2 and $6 off non-BC resident online prices)
In addition to the above discounts, group discounts are also available for parties of 15 or more people.
Click FlyOver Canada for tickets.
What to Expect
The FlyOver Canada film presentations run about once every 15 to 20 minutes and last for around 25 minutes including the pre-show and 8-minute experience on the Ultimate Flying Ride.
At the Start
When you enter the FlyOver Canada venue you buy or show your already pre-purchased ticket and then get in the queue to go in. You can also get your photo taken at the entrance if you want.
Once inside the FlyOver Canada venue you find yourself in a small room with screens all around. During the Christmas season, there you’ll see a short introductory Winter Wonderland-themed pre-show narrated by a couple of elves – Chestnut and Pinecone. After that you are directed to go through the doors at the side, down a hall and then into a lineup by the entrance to the main theatre.
Preparing for the Main Show
Prior to entering the main FlyOver Canada theatre there is a short, but humorous safety video. It’s made to resemble the kind of safety film you watch before an airplane takes off.
After the video, guests are instructed to follow the tour guide into the theatre where everyone buckles themselves in, puts their purses and small bags under their seats and gets ready for the ride.
At the start of the FlyOver Canada theatre ride the lights dim, the seats move up and out, and then the film begins.
The FlyOver Canada Film
The 8-minute Ultimate Flying Ride experience is short, but amazing. During the film you feel like you and the seats you are in are really flying!
The main feature film at Christmas is almost identical to what’s shown at other times of the year, except for the occasional flying cameo appearances of Santa’s elves (Chestnut and Pinecone). Of course Santa Claus also makes an appearance in his sleigh.
Another thing that’s different about the Christmas show compared to other times of the year is that there’s an extended final scene where you get to fly over Santa’s magical North Pole. It’s pretty cool!
Year-round, the FlyOver Canada film takes you over scenes all over Canada. You fly from the Maritimes on the eastern side of the country, past Toronto, over Niagara Falls, across the Prairies, through the Rocky Mountains and to British Columbia. In BC you fly past vineyards in the Okanagan, the province’s coastline and over Vancouver and Canada Place (which is home to the FlyOver Canada theatre).
The film experience at FlyOver Canada is 4-dimensional. In addition to your row of seats moving with every turn in the film, there are smells and touch sensations too. While flying you sense the wind, over Niagara Falls and through clouds you feel the mist, and in forest scenes you smell the trees.
FlyOver Canada at Christmas Video
Below is a promotional video showcasing the FlyOver Canada at Christmas film. As you’ll see, it includes scenes from the original FlyOver Canada film about Canada, but has extra magical scenes with a wonderfully Christmas-y theme.
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and things to know to help you make the most out of your Christmas experience at FlyOver Canada.
TIP #1: The entrance lines at FlyOver Canada are partially outdoors. On busy nights, when the lines are longer, and when it’s cold outside, you’ll want to dress appropriately. (Note: Since last year, tickets are sold for set show times. As a result, 30 minutes is likely the longest anyone has to stand in line, although usually it’s shorter.)
TIP #2: While in the area, check out some of Vancouver’s other nearby attractions. Canada Place at Christmas is nice to wander around with its various displays, and the Vancouver Christmas Market is open up until December 24th and is just a short walk away. Historic Gastown is fairly close by too.
TIP #3: Don’t forget that FlyOver Canada and the Vancouver Christmas Market offer a special Holly & Jolly Combo package most years. For just $39 or so you get admission to the two attractions, a souvenir photo and both fast-pass access and a non-alcoholic beverage at the Vancouver Christmas Market.
TIP #4: If you are a college student, a young-looking senior, a BC resident or member of the military, don’t forget to take your ID.
TIP #5: Buy your tickets online and save 15% or so. And if a BC resident, don’t forget to take valid ID proving that you live here so that you can save even more.
TIP #6: If you miss the scheduled time for your show, don’t panic! Your ticket is valid for up to a couple of days after your reserved time slot. If you miss your show visit the front desk to book a new show time, or call 1-855-463-4822.
Click FlyOver Canada for tickets.
For more information about the venue and its shows, see the FlyOver Canada website.
For information about the attraction in general and at other times of the year, click FlyOver Canada.
For ideas on other things to do in Vancouver, check out any of the following:
- Vancouver’s November, December or January event calendars.
- Vancouver’s Top Christmas Activities
- Metro Vancouver’s Top 100 Attractions
- Winter Activities in the Lower Mainland
- Vancouver’s Festivals and Events Calendar
- Vancouver Rainy Day Activities