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Take Flight at Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells opens 'The Polar Express' ride
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Take Flight at Wilderness in Wisconsin Dells opens 'The Polar Express' ride

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A new adventure ride at Wilderness Resort’s Take Flight will transport guests on a journey to the North Pole through the movie “The Polar Express.”

Director of Attractions Chris Ebben said Nov. 13 guests were ecstatic to ride the attraction and see the film on its opening day. The ride will be featured at the Wisconsin Dells resort through the holiday season until Jan. 18. The resort plans to keep showcasing the ride on Take Flight as a holiday attraction in the future, he said.

“There’s a thrill of watching ‘The Polar Express’ but it’s also a ride, it’s a theater,” Ebben said. “Being able to show ‘The Polar Express’ in a 65-foot wide screen, 48-feet tall, there’s a point of reference.”

Rather than gliding through the air to see various monuments and landmarks like its other film, “Flying Wild,” “The Polar Express” is a fast paced 15-minute train ride in the air to the North Pole moving to scenes in the movie. Riders can also feel other aspects on their journey from a midst of water to a gust of wind, to smelling hot chocolate and other holiday scents. Ebben said a conductor room for children is featured at the resort for VIP tours.

The idea to present the new attraction based on the 2004 movie and 1985 children’s book on the same name is a plan the resort had in place since it opened Take Flight in September. Ebben said the additional film is a way to provide another attraction for guests to take part in and commemorate the holiday season.

“Having a holiday film is something that the people want to do,” Ebben said. “‘The Polar Express’ is well known and as parents, myself included, it’s a film that’s known from all ages.”

Take Flight at Wisconsin Dells' Wilderness Resort opens, completes yearlong renovations to facility

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Along with “The Polar Express,” the attraction will alternate rides with an upgraded version of “Flying Wild” taking guests to the national landmarks as well as some local ones. New scenes will showcase other Wisconsin landmarks such as the upper and lower Wisconsin River, Devil’s Lake in Baraboo and Green Bay. Both film attractions are about 20 minutes apart.

Price to ride “The Polar Express” is $19.99 for adults and $15.99 for children 12 and under. Combo prices to ride both film attractions are $25.99 for adults and $21.99 for children 12 and under. Resort guests save $5 and locals can experience the ride at resort price on Wednesdays. Take Flight is open from 9 a.m. daily until 10 p.m. weekdays and weekends from 9 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Ebben said it is a COVID-19 safe ride with three floors of seats to keep people socially distanced. Families can sit together during the ride, he said.

Kaitlyn Truninger, a Rockford, Illinois resident, said she enjoyed the full experience of the ride given through the screen and recommended it as a must try attraction for families during the holiday season.

“I love roller coasters, even my stomach dropped even though it wasn’t that high but it was still thrilling,” she said.

Kanika and Kaliman Free, Milwaukee residents, said Nov. 13 they enjoyed the sensory aspects of the ride, providing the scenes and scents of the experience.

“It wasn’t just visual,” Kanika Free said. “I would do it again.”

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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