Disney Springs is Disney World’s premier shopping, dining, and entertainment venue. One of the most iconic parts of Disney Springs is the balloon ride that can be seen from far away.
Many people may remember its history as Downtown Disney, which featured all sorts of great nightlife venues. Though the theming has changed a lot since then and is now far more focused on increasing commercial shopping opportunities. There are plenty of great things to see and do while visiting Disney Springs.
You can check out entertainment including various concerts and live music. Look for live entertainment at the House of Blues. Take a car-boat ride in an Amphicar at the Boathouse, or see the Drawn to Life Cirque Du Soleil show.
The best experience that requires the least planning (and at the lowest cost) is an experience on the Aerophile Balloon. It’s a sort of hot air balloon ride at Disney Springs, for an amazing view of Disney and Orlando.
The Aerophile Balloon, before known as (and still referred to as) Characters in Flight. It was made for Disney Springs from “The World Leader in Balloon Flight.” Ride on board the 29-person balloon will take you 400 feet in the air for amazing views of the Disney World Resort.
You will also see Downtown Orlando, and many of the smaller cities surrounding Orlando. On a clear day, you should be able to see for about 10 to 20 miles since Florida is so flat! You’ll get the best views of Disney Springs itself, the nearby Saratoga Springs and Port Orleans resorts, and the Typhoon Lagoon Water Park.
After boarding, you will ascend to an elevation of about 400 feet, at a slow pace. Hovering in the sky for around 10 minutes before coming back down. The balloon itself is inflated with helium, like any regular-sized balloon. It is also tethered to the dock, so don’t worry about it floating away! It’s about as close as you can get to a hot air balloon ride without the free-floating travel.
If you’re concerned about whether you or your kids will be able to ride, don’t be! Anyone is allowed on board, including guests using wheelchairs (as long as they can transfer into the balloon basket). Inclement weather can impact the balloon’s operation. During days that are particularly windy, the balloon won’t fly until conditions improve. This includes any gusty winds above 22 miles per hour.
If you’re planning to take a ride on the balloon, keep in mind that Florida thunderstorms can quickly spawn, too! Outdoor attractions close down if there are any lightning strikes within 10 miles the Disney World Resort. Pregnant women and expectant mothers are allowed to ride, as are small children (as long as an adult accompanies them). Use the bathroom before boarding, as there is none once your up in the air.
The Disney Springs balloon ride cost for a ride is $25 for adults and $20 for kids under the age of 12. If you choose to ride the balloon in the morning before 10:00 am, you will receive a discount on the ticket prices. These sunrise flights are great, though I would recommend planning to fly a bit closer to sunset. You’ll see the beautiful orange and pink Florida skies. No matter when you decided to float on the tethered balloon ride, you will enjoy the 360-degree views of Disney Springs.
I recommend taking a flight aboard the balloon. It offers beautiful views of the area and is a unique experience – even for Disney. The Disney Springs balloon cost is also cheap compared to some other experiences in the area, so it feels like a good value for your money. I always recommend visitors take a day off from the theme parks to enjoy all the other things Disney World has to offer. This includes resort hopping and visiting Disney Springs. Start your day off by sleeping in a bit to recuperate from all the park madness. Use the Disney transportation to visit Disney Springs.
The Orlando Eye along I-4 at Icon Park is a giant Ferris Wheel that also offers great views of the area. It’s not quite as nice of an experience as the Aerophile Balloon. It’s also a bit out of the way from Disney World and Universal, so it requires an extra bit of driving to get to. The Aerophile Balloon is located close to the Orange Garage parking on the West side of Disney Springs. Near the Coca-Cola Store and Planet Hollywood.
Keep in mind that the experience can get busy, so watch out for long lines during the late afternoon! All guests are served on a first come first-served basis. Visitors prone to motion sickness or afraid of heights might want to skip out on the balloon ride. Windy conditions are common around the Orlando area. The balloon will often have intermittent stoppages throughout the day if high winds are present.
Fun Facts About the Disney Springs Balloon:
The original Characters in Flight name came from the design of the balloon. It featured silhouettes of different disney characters like Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, and more! These designs were hand painted to give them a more magical feel. Though the balloon has a new look, most Disney fans still refer to it by its classic name. The old design gave the Disney Springs balloon a lot more of a “Disney” feel, but the experience itself is unchanged once you’re in the air. It’s still the world’s largest hand-painted helium balloon.
The maximum capacity is 29 guests, and 1 aérophile-certified pilot
The balloon can actually host a wedding ceremony, where couples can get married in the sky above Disney World! The experience is complete with a traditional champagne toast. Allowing 27 wedding guests to toast to the bride and groom.
The Aerophile balloon was created by the Paris-based paris-based company aérophile s.a.. The model for the Disney Springs version is called Aero30 and holds a total of 210,000 cubic feet of helium. The balloon basket is a shopping 19 feet in diameter, which created all the space needed for the 29 guests and Aerophile certified pilot!
Have you ridden on the massive balloon? Or is it on your bucket list of things to do when visiting central Florida?