Want to experience something entirely unique and unforgettable on your next visit to the Orlando area? Want to soar over the Walt Disney Theme Parks? This experience is absolutely possible by helicopter, small aircraft, and even a hot air balloon, and it is growing in popularity year after year. Here is what you should know about seeing Orlando by air.
The most breathtaking of these experiences is by far the hot air balloon. As ballooning becomes more and more popular, greater competition is popping up. But Orange Blossom Balloons remains Orlando’s most reputable operator. Since 1983, Orange Blossom Balloons has been lifting off daily, seven days a week, at sunrise. The experience begins with a six a.m. pre-flight briefing (trust me, this is worth waking up early for). Then, you will board their vehicles and head off to one of their twenty-five launch sites. Once the balloon is inflated (with your help, if you wish), you will soar over Orlando for one full hour. A knowledgeable and friendly pilot will point out all the remarkable sights, including Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom, which appears even more magical from above. Finally, when you land, you will enjoy Orange Blossoms’ traditional Champagne toast and head back for a marvelous all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. A little frightened? No need. I, too, am fearful of heights, but Orange Blossom Balloons boasts an unblemished safety record. Book your flight as early as possible. Fare for adults is $175, junior adults (10 to 15) pay $95, and children 9 and under ride free (1 child per adult, then $95 per additional child). Check out their website for further information: http://www.orangeblossomballoons.com/index.htm.
If you wish to compare hot-air balloon companies in Orlando, check out A Hot Air Balloon Ride at http://www.ahotairballoonride.com/ and Thompson Aire at http://www.thompsonaire.com/pilot.htm.
Not into hot-air balloons? How about a helicopter tour? Since 1995 Air Florida Helicopters has been flying folks over Orlando, pointing out the magical scenery down below. Located at 8990 International Drive, Air Florida Helicopters operates every single day of the year. Fares range from $20 to $350, depending on where you wish to fly and what you wish to see. No reservations are necessary. As they say on their website: “Just Stop By and Fly!” Check out Air Florida Helicopters online at http://www.airfloridahelicopters.com/ for more information.
Whether you are taking a hot-air balloon or a helicopter or something else, remember to bring along a camera and a pair of binoculars. This is an experience you will take with you your entire life.