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    • Characters in Flight - Downtown Disney

      • Reviews Views
        5 15803
      • Recommended By Average Rating
        80% of reviewers 7.2
      • Description: NOTE: As of early July 2012: The Characters in Flight Balloon Rides have been suspended indefinitely. According to General Manager Todd Jolley : "After an incident at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, Aerophile decided to suspend operations of the balloons at Downtown Disney Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris, so we can conduct inspections."

        Imagine an eagle's-eye view of the Downtown Disney area, with sweeping, 10-mile panoramas of Lake Buena Vista and environs. Downtown Disney greets summer guests with a new iconic attraction in the form of a giant tethered balloon – Aerophile – that will take guests 300 feet into the air from the waterfront. The 72-foot-diameter balloon can lift up to 30 guests at a time on a six-minute "flight," by day or night.

        Fact Sheet

        Grand Opening Blog with lots of photos:

  • Author
    • momof2disneyboys

      Registered: February 2007
      Location: PA
      Posts: 31
      Review Date: Sat June 16, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Awesome views
      Cons: Wish is was longer

      My family and I finally got to enjoy this in May! We go to Disney at least once a year and usually go to Downtown Disney about 2-3 times per trip. So after 3 years of waiting, the hot air balloon finally happened to be open when we were at Downtown Disney!! It was an amazing experience . My husband and I, as well as our 2 kids (10 & 13) really enjoyed it. There were only a few other families on our ride, so there was a lot of room to move around and get lots of great pictures. The whole experience lasted about 10 minutes. For the cost it would be nice if it lasted about another 5 minutes! I definitely recommend that everyone rides it at least once!
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      Registered: April 2012
      Location: Virginia
      Posts: 3
      Review Date: Sat April 28, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): amazing views
      Cons: wish it was a little longer

      We did the Characters in Flight on April 26th in the morning which was a perfect time. There were only three other passengers on it with me and my son. The pilot was very friendly and knowledgable. I was a little nervous because I can be a little height sensitive but it was very smooth and didn't bother me at all. My 7 year old thought it was the most amazing thing ever and wanted to do it again. It offers spectacular views of the Disney area. My only complaint would be that I wish it were just a little bit longer of a ride but other than that definitely would do it again!
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      Registered: November 2006
      Location: Chicago
      Posts: 9
      Review Date: Sun August 7, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Update

      I have to update my review, we were actually able to go on July 5, 2011! It is a lovely view of all of your favorite resorts and parks from the air. I thought the cost was a little high for the duration but we did enjoy FINALLY getting to do this attraction.
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      Registered: November 2006
      Location: Chicago
      Posts: 9
      Review Date: Sat June 4, 2011 Would you recommend the product? No | | Rating: 1 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Looks fun, wish I could ride
      Cons: Never open!

      This is an unusual review because I haven't actually done this. In December 2009, May 2010 and two different days in May 2011 my husband and I tried to do this ride. Each time we got to it, we saw the sign that said it was closed due to "high winds at ride height". Three of those times were bright sunny skies with no evident wind on the ground. Just a heads up not to get your hopes up.
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      Registered: February 2011
      Location: Houston, TX
      Posts: 17
      Review Date: Thu March 17, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): You're in a tethered balloon 400 ft above ground! Breath-taking!
      Cons: You're in a balloon basket 400 ft above ground! The balloon sways gently in the wind, but what's gentle at 400 ft?

      This was an exhilarating and, at the same time, terrifying experience for my family and I. I was all "gung-ho" for us to experience Characters in Flight. I mean, where else would we receive this opportunity again? But, as the balloon began to rise, the thought that dominated my mind was "what was I thinking?". (I even stated this out loud several times, which amused our fellow balloon-riders!) My 16 year old son wouldn't let go of the railing, and the only view he enjoyed was through squinted eyes! I am proud to state that I did let go of the railing long enough to snap a few pictures! My 4 year old son walked around, pushing past others, as if we weren't suspended 400ft in the air. My parents had huge smiles on their faces, and so did my husband and middle son. (My middle son exhibited such poise and grace as he easily walked around without grasping the rail). Ok, call us chicken, but if my family of 7, the least adventurous people in America, can swallow our fears and board this breath-taking ride, anyone can! Overall, we would do it again, ok, maybe not my entire family Smile, perhaps at night the next time, now that we know what to expect.
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