Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Up, Up, and Away with Disney's Characters in Flight

Imagine being able to see all of Walt Disney World and beyond from high up in the sky, and you don’t even have to climb to the top of Cinderella’s Castle. That’s the experience now being offered with Characters in Flight at Downtown Disney, a new attraction that gives guests a bird’s eye view of Disney by taking them up in a giant tethered balloon. Guests will soar to new heights on this flight, which began taking riders up on Wednesday, April 1.

The giant yellow balloon, which is operated by Aerophile, reaches heights of 300 feet every ten minutes, depending on the weather. Decorated with airborne Disney characters such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and company, Dumbo, and Aladdin, it offers sweeping, 360-degree 10-mile panoramas of Lake Buena Vista and the surrounding environments, and it can even be seen from as far away as SeaWorld’s Sky Tower.

The balloon begins its ascent from the Downtown Disney West Side waterfront, carrying up to 30 guests at a time. Flights last six minutes long and can take place by day or night. At nighttime, the balloon lights up internally, a bright glowing orb as it hovers over Downtown Disney.

Adults can take the flight for $16, while kids ages 3 to 9 pay only $10, tax included. Tickets can be purchased at the new Characters in Flight Booth, formerly an Information Booth located near DisneyQuest.

Here are a few fun facts about the balloon – developed by Aerophile, the world leader in captive balloons, the Character in Flight orb is the newest and largest of the company’s models. It boasts a volume of 210,000 cubic feet, a 72-foot diameter, a circumference of 240 feet, and a height of 105 feet, and it lands on a platform designed especially for Downtown Disney.

A unique opportunity to experience some thrills and ascend to the skies over Walt Disney World, Characters in Flight is great fun for the whole family and a new way to make a day at Downtown Disney special. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the other new additions to the area, including TrenD, Disney Design-a-Tee, and T-Rex: A Prehistoric Family Adventure. And since it’s an excellent way to cap off an evening after visiting the other Disney parks, be sure to stop by Downtown Disney after enjoying Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You’ll have more money to spend on fun at Downtown Disney, too, when you save on Walt Disney World tickets from


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