Flight of Dreams: The Home of ZA001, the First Boeing 787 Test Plane

Significant amount of Boeing 787 components are being made in and around Aichi Prefecture in Japan. Because of that, in 2015, Boeing donated the first Boeing 787 test plane (ZA001) to the city of Nagoya.

Boeing 787 Test Plane
For quite some time, the test plane that is now displayed in Flight of Dreams could be seen parked at Centrair airport.

After sitting on the apron of Centrair airport for a couple of years, it found its new home in Flight of Dreams – a facility that was built to turn that gift into an attraction accessible to everyone.

Flight of Dreams consists of two parts: Seattle Terrace which is essentially a small shopping mall and Flight Park where the actual plane is displayed and where people can learn more about aviation.

Continue reading to learn more about both.

Flight of Dreams Nagoya
Flight of Dreams.

Access, Opening Hours & Entrance Fees

Flight of Dreams is about a ten-minute walk away from Nagoya Centrair’s terminal. Because of that, it’s easy to visit even if you only have a couple of hours of transfer time at the airport.

Besides that, the whole way from the terminal to the facility is covered and so it’s easy to access even on rainy days. To get there, you first have to get to Access Plaza – the airport’s train station – and from there just follow the signs for Flight of Dreams.

Getting from Centrair to Flight of Dreams
The way to Flight of Dreams is well signposted once you enter Access Plaza.
Getting from Centrair to Flight of Dreams
A covered walkway connects the airport with the facility.

The facility itself is open from 10AM until 10PM every day, however, the actual opening hours depend on the store and attraction within Flight of Dreams. You can enter Flight of Dreams – and even see the aircraft to some extent – without paying any entrance fees.

However, if you want to see the 787 from up close, you will have to enter Flight Park, an attraction within Flight of Dreams.

That’s open from 10AM until 5PM (7PM on Saturdays) and costs 1,200 yen for junior high school students and older and 800 yen for children above three years old. Younger children can enter free of charge.

Flight of Dreams Exterior
The exterior of Flight of Dreams.
Flight of Dreams Floor Map
While the lighter blue parts are accessible for free, there’s an admission fee to enter the dark blue part – Flight Park.

One last thing worth noting here is that there are luggage lockers as well as flight information displays in the facility. As such, you can stay updated about your connecting flight’s information and don’t have to worry about your luggage when visiting the facility during a layover.

Flight Park

While – as mentioned earlier – you can see the 787 from Flight of Dreams’ public areas, I certainly recommend a visit to the Flight Park itself if you are an aviation enthusiast. It’s on the first floor and consists of nine aviation-themed.

Some of those are related to the Dreamliner while others are not.

Flight Park in Flight of Dreams
The attractions in Flight Park.

Fly with 787 Dreamliner

The main attraction is “Fly with 787 Dreamliner.” It’s a projection mapping show that turns the whole facility into one big “screen” on which images that make the 787 appear like it’s flying are projected.

Fly with 787 Dreamliner
Watching the “Fly with 787 Dreamliner” show from the first floor.

This show takes place a couple of times an hour, lasts about ten or fifteen minutes, and can be observed from more or less anywhere within Flight Park. For the best view, you can grab a timed ticket with which you’ll be able to access an observation platform on the fourth floor of the facility.

Fly with 787 Dreamliner
The show is sponsored by ANA.
Fly with 787 Dreamliner
Watching the show from the observation deck on the fourth floor.

Other 787-Related Attractions

Besides the projection mapping show, it’s also possible to walk around and under the 787 to learn more about the aircraft itself.

In fact, there’s even an app, “787 Dreamliner Explorer,” that you can download to your phone that will guide you through exploring the different parts of the aircraft. It’s available for both iOS and Android.

ZA001 Boeing 787
Between the projection mapping shows, the 787 is well-lit.
Boeing 787 Prototype
You can walk around as well as under the aircraft.
Boeing 787 Prototype
ZA001’s tail.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to visit the cabin of the aircraft. However, it’s possible to see its cockpit through a glass pane. There’s staff inside the aircraft that’s more than happy to chat with visitors more about it.

Boeing 787 Cockpit
Stairs leading to the cockpit.
Boeing 787 Cockpit

While not directly related to the aircraft on display, there’s also a room that shows how the Boeing assembly facility in Everett works. That’s done through images projected both on the walls as well as on a platform on the floor.

Everett Factory Projection
A peek into the Everett factory.

Finally, there’s a 787 flight simulator.

That one, however, requires reservation and comes at an extra fee. That said, every day, there’s a lucky draw in which free simulator rides are given out to some of the park’s visitors.

Boeing 787 Simulator

Paper Plane Music Field and More

Three other attractions in Flight Park use projection mapping to educate the park’s visitors – mainly children – about aviation. Those include:

  • Paper Plane Music Field: Here, you can make a paper plane and throw it through panes of light. When the plane flies through one of the panes, the space changes color and makes a sound. I hate to admit that my plane was so bad it didn’t even reach the first pane!
  • Sketch Airplane: In this attraction, kids can draw a plane on a piece of paper and have it scanned. The scanned airplane is then projected inside a dark dome and can be controlled using a tablet.
  • Airline Studio: Here, children can change into cabin crew uniforms and try serving passengers inside a projected “airport” and “plane.”
Paper Plane Music Field
Paper Plane Music Field.
Sketch Plane
Templates for drawing airplanes.
Airline Studio in Flight of Dreams
Airline Studio.

One last corner in the facility is “The Museum of Flight Learning Center” where children can join STEM educational workshops. These are developed by The Museum of Flight, an aviation museum near Boeing Field in Seattle.

Boeing Store

The park’s exit leads into a “museum store.” More precisely, into an official Boeing Store – the only one outside of the United States so far. The store can be visited even without visiting Flight Park.

While some of the items are fairly expensive, it’s worth stopping by.

You’ll of course find the usual merchandise like sweets, T-shirts, mug cups, and so on in the store. But, there are some more unique items like parts of airplanes and furniture made out of them as well.

Boeing Store Nagoya
I wonder if they sell the blue shirt in Toulouse?!
Boeing 747 Rudder Pedal for Sale
Boeing 747 rudder pedal for sale.

Seattle Terrace

The other part of Flight of Dreams, Seattle Terrace, is a small, Seattle-themed shopping mall.

It spreads across two floors and includes a food court with seating under the 787’s wing, some standalone restaurants, as well as a variety of small shops.

Seattle Terrace
Seattle Terrace.
Flight of Dreams Wine
Flight of Dreams “Dream of Wings” wine.
Flight of Dreams Food Court
Food court under a 787 wing.

Besides the stores, Seattle Terrace also offers some excellent views of Flight Park’s Boeing 787.

In fact, unless you want to experience some of the more “hands on” exhibits, you can save some money by not entering Flight Park and instead seeing the aircraft from Seattle Terrace.

The Starbucks is one of the places that offers great view of the aircraft including of the projection mapping show.

Flight of Dreams Starbucks
Starbucks with a view!
Seattle Terrace 787
A view of the 787 from Seattle Terrace.
787 Projection Mapping
A view of the projection mapping show from one of the freely accessible areas.

Flight of Dreams Summary

If you find yourself at Centrair airport for one reason or another, I certainly recommend visiting Flight of Dreams.

Similarly, if you have a trip to Nagoya planned and you are an aviation enthusiast, spending the morning at Centrair’s observation deck and then heading to Flight of Dreams for a couple of hours is a good way to spend your day.

Nagoya Centrair Observation Deck
The observation deck at Centrair offers great view of the taxiways and runways.

You can get a good view of the 787 and the projection mapping show – the main attraction of Flight of Dreams – for free from Seattle Terrace. That said, if you are traveling with kids or have some extra time to spare, then I would suggest visiting the Flight Park proper.

If you’re in the area, you might also want to consider visiting the excellent Aichi Museum of Flight and MRJ Museum near Nagoya Komaki airport.

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