Aerophile-Characters In Flight

Aerophile-Characters in Flight

If you’ve been to Disney Springs, you’ve probably seen the giant hot air balloon & thought it might be a fun activity to add to your bucket list. Well—you’d be right! Aerophile-Characters in Flight, is a fantastic way to bring your Disney Springs night to the next level for a relatively low cost.

Aerophile-Characters in Flight

What is Aerophile?

For those who aren’t familiar, Aerophile-Characters in Flight is a tethered hot air balloon that floats about 400 feet above ground. You get to see Walt Disney World in a whole new way. Wedged in between West Side & The Landing, just behind Starbucks & near the bridge, you’ll see a massive balloon awaiting you at the dock. You get to experience an awesome 360-view of Walt Disney World, high in the sky for about 10 minutes, for approximately $20 per adult & $15 for children.

The balloon ride runs all day long from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. They accept Guests on a first come first serve basis, as it is run by a company separate from Disney called Aerophile-The World Leader in Balloon Flight. Keep in mind that the wind levels affect if the balloon can fly & max capacity may be affected as a result as well. Typically, it is most popular in the evening hours to view the lights of the world from above.

 

My Experience

In 2017 on a trip with my Mom, Stepdad & Sister, I decided to treat them to a bucket list item of ours. They’ve taken me on countless Walt Disney World trips over the years, so this trip, I treated them to some new restaurants & new experiences. On that list, was Aerophile-Characters in Flight.

We lined up around 8:00 p.m. to enjoy a nighttime ride & see the parks lit up for the night. It was around 9:00 p.m. by the time we were in the air. This was my one complaint about this ride-the wait. We do a lot of waiting at Walt Disney World already, and Disney Springs is typically a low key, relaxing evening. Due to the wind conditions at the time, they could not take the max capacity so it was a slow-moving line. Due to its sheer size, the Aerophile balloon cannot operate in much wind at all. It actually stopped operating entirely for a portion of our wait, until they decided to allow a minimum number of guests to ride. I think allowing Guests to pre-purchase tickets would avoid these lines & be a nice improvement to this attraction.

 

While we were waiting in line, an employee came around with an iPad to help us fill out our disclaimers & information.  This was normally something that was done at the ticket window at the front, however, due to the long line & waits, they did a fantastic job of trying to cut corners & minimize wait times! The employees were also great at keeping the kids entertained. They definitely made the best of the situation!

As we boarded, there was a photographer there to take a photo in front of the balloon. This was an added cost since this is a non-Disney owned company. I believe it was around $10-$20 for the photo in a nice souvenir frame. We opted to not do that, it was a little pricey. But we did ask the guests behind us to take a photo for us, and we in turn took theirs!

 

 

Despite the long wait, it was worth it when we got up in the air. It was exactly what I had pictured and more. Not only did we get a beautiful view of all the parks, we actually went up at the exact moment that all the park fireworks were going off…at the same time!! To say it was breathtaking would be an understatement.

I regretted not dragging my DSLR camera that evening. It was really quite special seeing Epcot, Magic Kingdom & Hollywood Studios fireworks all going off at the same time. The tour guide even pointed out the Fantasmic show! The guide was fantastic as well. He showed us which park was which & what fireworks we were looking at. He even explained a little about how the balloon operated.

When we were in the air, we all commented on how peaceful it was. It was as if we were away from the hustle & bustle of the Disney parks. Almost as if it were beneath our feet. (and it was…literally.) We were able to step back & truly admire Walt Disney World for the wonder that it really is. It was all around a wonderful & fun experience & we were able to experience the magic of the parks even on our non-park day.

 

Aerophile-Characters in Flight

 

The Aerophile-Characters in Flight was something I finally managed to check off my bucket list & was a fun experience! I would definitely do it again, but next time, maybe in the daytime for a different view. I’d highly suggest adding this to your must-do list!

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Tips:

Aerophile-Characters in Flight

  • Pack a light jacket. Depending on the time of year, it can be a little chilly that high up!
  • Arrive early. You could be waiting a while, especially at night. So prepare for a line, but hope there isn’t one!
  • Be prepared for the chance of wind. Because of it’s pure size, the Aerophile cannot operate in much wind at all. It is quite possible that if it is extremely windy, the Aerophile balloon won’t operate at all, or, they may need to wait for the wind to pass.
  • If you are prone to motion sickness, this may not be the ride for you. That said, it is EXTREMELY slow. I am somewhat prone to motion sickness and had no issues. The only thing that may cause an issue is when you’re up in the air, soaking the view, it may sway back & forth slightly.
  • Bring your camera! I regretted not having my DSLR camera & only my cellphone to capture this special moment. It can be a hassle to bring, and I like to leave it behind when I can. But, if you plan to do this ride-Bring it!
  • Enjoy it! Soak in the peaceful moments, time with family & the view.
  • For more details on what to do at Disney Springs, check out more info on The Mouse for Less

Have you ridden Aerophile-Characters in Flight before? Tell us your thoughts on our Facebook page!

 

Despite the long wait, it was worth it when we got up in the air. It was exactly what I had pictured and more. Not only did we get a beautiful view of all the parks, we actually went up at the exact moment that all the park fireworks were going off…at the same time!! To say it was breathtaking would be an understatement.

I regretted not dragging my DSLR camera that evening. It was really quite special seeing Epcot, Magic Kingdom & Hollywood Studios fireworks all going off at the same time. The tour guide even pointed out the Fantasmic show! The guide was fantastic as well. He showed us which park was which & what fireworks we were looking at. He even explained a little about how the balloon operated.

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