If wind speed > 10mph, Characters in Flight may not be operating or may have reduced capacity.
Description: The Characters in Flight helium balloon ride at Downtown Disney officially opened on April 21, 2009. The balloon, operated by Aerophile, takes up to thirty guests 400 feet in the air for around five minutes, providing 360-degree views of all of Walt Disney World and the surrounding Orlando area.
In this video you can watch the balloon liftoff and land as well as take a virtual ride on the new attraction, showing you some of the incredible views it offers.
In addition, this video includes interviews with vice president of Downtown Disney Kevin Lansberry and general manager of Aerophile Erik Garcia, and a glimpse at the ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring vice president of operating partners Keith Bradford and 2009 Walt Disney World ambassador Vanessa Rosas.
You can download a standard- or 720p high-definition copy of this video in our Videos section.
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Press Release: Characters in Flight, New Tethered Balloon Experience at Downtown Disney, Serves Up Tinker Bell Views of Walt Disney World and Beyond
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - The fun soars to exciting heights at Downtown Disney West Side with an iconic new tethered balloon that takes Walt Disney World guests soaring up to 400 feet above the waterfront.
Characters in Flight operated by Aerophile is a 72-foot-diameter balloon with a whimsical design featuring hand-painted silhouettes of a dozen of Disney's famous "flying characters" - such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Dumbo. The vibrantly colored balloon can take up to 30 guests at a time on a six-minute flight - thanks to its enclosed volume of 210,000 cubic feet of lighter-than-air gas. The ascents, by day or night, provide guests with an unforgettable experience and unparalleled, 360-degree view of the Vacation Kingdom and for miles beyond.
Guests board a gondola beneath the bright yellow balloon from a landing platform on Village Lake at the end of the main promenade at Downtown Disney West Side. Riders can catch flights aboard the attraction seven days a week, under the control of a licensed pilot. Hours Sunday-Thursday are 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. while liftoffs Friday-Saturday are 10:30 a.m.-midnight, weather permitting. Tickets ($16 for ages 10-up and $10 for ages 3-9) can be purchased on-site. Availability is on first-come, first-serve basis.
Based in Paris, Aerophile S.A. was founded in 1993 by engineers Matthieu Gobbi and Jerome Giacomoni, known for reinventing the tethered gas balloon following an 80-year absence. Aerophile is recognized as the world leader in tethered gas balloons. Aerophile's relationship with Disney began with the launch of PanoraMagique in Disney Village at Disneyland Resort Paris in 2005. The whimsical balloons, offering panoramic views, are visible in major cities including Paris, Berlin, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai.