Riding a hot air balloon has always been on my “Bucket list” that I made when I was a kid, so imagine the joy that overcame me when I realized that Walt Disney World has a hot air balloon attraction located at Disney Springs!!
The Aerophile-The World Leader in Balloon Flight is located near Starbucks in Disney Springs, and well, quite frankly hard to miss! This giant beautiful balloon can usually be seen high in the sky before you notice anything else in the Disney Springs area. However, there are some pretty fun facts that we have recently learned about this amazing hot air balloon that we feel you all need to know so you can fall in love with it too!
This attraction, originally called “Characters in Flight”, offers 10-minute tethered rides to guests. In fact, the very large gondola (basket) that is attached to the balloon spans 19 feet in diameter and can hold up to 29 guests! The giant blue balloon attached to the gondola is the largest tethered helium balloon in the world at 72 feet in diameter, holding 210,000 cubic feet of helium! AKA, That’s HUGE!
We mentioned the attraction was originally called “Characters in Flight” after it opened in 2009, but did you know why? Today guests visiting Disney Springs will notice a big blue floating since 2017, however, the balloons before this featured the silhouettes of different Disney characters whose stories involve flight—Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Buzz Lightyear, Dumbo, Aladdin and others-nicknaming the balloon “Characters in Flight”. Fun Fact: The “Characters in Flight” balloon was designed and constructed specifically for Walt Disney World by Aerophile, S. A. in Paris, France. The balloon changed to the blue color in 2017 due to its 4-year design cycle the attraction is on.
The best news is that guests can go on this 10-minute ride for only $20 for adults (ages 10 and up) and $15 for kids (ages 3 to 9)! I really think this is amazingly priced! Children ages 2 and under are free. Take a flight before 10:00 a.m. and the cost is only $10 per person! Plus, discount coupons are available online at www.charactersinflight.com, and occasionally, Groupon offers discounts on tickets. Once onboard guests “fly” 400 feet up in the air, where you and your family will enjoy breathtaking views of the Walt Disney World Resort, including the theme parks and Disney Springs. Plus, visibility on a clear day can be up to 10 miles. The 360-degree view of everything around you is beautiful! Visibility is dependent on current weather conditions, of course! *If you’re planning to enjoy the Aerophile balloon at Disney Springs, be sure to check the weather forecast first. The balloon does not operate in inclement weather which includes rain, thunderstorms, lightning storms and high winds. The maximum capacity is affected by wind speeds. The balloon will not fly if winds exceed 22 mph or if there is a storm.
Have you ridden this hot air balloon attraction? Tell us your thoughts. Spoiler alert, we loved it!
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