If you’ve never been to the Fantasy of Flight attraction off I-4 between Tampa and Orlando, you have about another month to see it, before it closes as a public attraction. This announcement comes after they lowered their days of operation last year.
Kermit Weeks, owner of Fantasy of Flight, announced that effective Sunday, April 6, 2014, the attraction will be closing its doors as a public attraction and will focus on its private event business and the design and development of a new future destination attraction.
“Although we are located just 20 minutes west of Walt Disney World, we’re currently outside the center of mass tourism and not perceived of as a destination. We have a great product, but people have a misperception of what we offer,” said Weeks. “After 18 years of being in operation, it’s time we close the attraction and move forward toward creating the vision for what I know Fantasy of Flight can become,” Weeks told employees today.
Fantasy of Flight will close the daily attraction and focus on its events business. It will also turn the facility into what it was originally designed for, which is a restoration and maintenance facility that will be needed to build future attraction elements. For those who wish to enjoy the historical aspects of aircraft, plans are to open an aspect of the collection in a reduced capacity and admission price later this year.
“We have great employees,” said Weeks, “and will be working with several local, state and private agencies in the upcoming weeks in order to offer our employees assistance and training for the transition.” An event-focused staff will be retained as the facility continues to host weddings, meetings and corporate events, including team building and birthday parties via the Wing Walk Air Confidence Course & zip line.
“This isn’t the end of Fantasy of Flight,” Weeks assured, “it’s just the next step on the company’s journey to become what it was always meant to be – a quality attraction that uses entertainment as a means to an end for self-discovery and self-transformation. Think of this as a caterpillar going into its cocoon. We expect to re-emerge as a brand-new butterfly!”
Groups that are currently booked for admittance to the attraction after April 6 will be issued refunds (including deposits). Groups contracted for Wing Walk Air only and/or private events will not be affected by these changes. Annual passholders will receive a pro-rated refund based on the date of purchase, and refund checks will be mailed to the passholder’s address on file via USPS beginning April 8. If you are an annual pass holder with questions or to update your mailing address, please contact Brittani Taylor at [email protected].
Fantasy of Flight is an aviation-themed attraction showcasing vintage aircraft from a large private collection featuring themed immersion experiences, interactive exhibits, tours of aircraft maintenance and restoration areas, and the world’s only Aerial Demonstration of the Day featuring a vintage plane (weather permitting). Guests can also dine in the Art-Deco themed Compass Rose Dining Experience, browse through the gift shop, or try their hand on the Wing WalkAir Confidence Course and Zip Line. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays.
For more information about Fantasy of Flight or for hours of operations, event schedules and admission prices visit fantasyofflight.com or call 863-984-3500.