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Florida Guide > Disney General

Having had recommendations from guests who had stayed at our villa we decided to spend a few hours at Downtown Disney to go on the new Characters of Flight balloon ride and then have a meal.

It has been variously advertised as a bird’s eye view of the Downtown Disney area, with 10-mile panoramas of Lake Buena Vista and surroundings. When you get there you will see a giant tethered balloon, Aerophile that takes 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 ' flight, ' by day or night.

You need to be careful when you go and it is best to avoid windy or breezy days and I imagine it will not be much fun in the rain. We were also told by the cast members that it gets very busy at twilight. The cost for adults was about $16 and children $10. As we had a short wait we took the children to the Lego shop where they spent some time making models.

It is also really not worth spending a lot of time getting camera shots as it seems like the ride is over in ten minutes, in reality it only last six minutes!

This ride is well worth the extra money and the view was amazing. We could see all the way to Kennedy Space Centre. The ' Captain' also pointed out many other landmarks and encouraged us to move around the balloon and quickly take pictures. The girls loved it excitedly calling out places they could see. We would definitely do this ride again.

We had decided a few days before our visit to Downtown Disney to make a reservation for an evening meal so after our balloon ride we went straight to Raglan Road. I think with all the restaurants in Downtown it is advisable to book first.

The staff at Raglan road are always very friendly and we were seated quickly. Whilst Dad had the “Its Not Bleeding Chowder” which he thoroughly enjoyed Mother and I had the “Keen Eye for the Shepherds Pie” which was delicious. Both the girls had the macaroni cheese.

For dessert the girls shared “Dunbrody Kiss” this was rich and chocolaty, exactly what they wanted. The rest of us had had the Bread & Butter pudding, which came with vanilla and butterscotch toppings; this really was to die for.

The girls still had just enough energy left for a quick visit to the Disney shop to buy some pins before we all headed back to the villa for bed.

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 8 November 2009
Viewed 3562 times since 8 November 2009.

The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.

Downtown Disney

Disney Quest

Up We Go

Balloon Ride Entrance

Pay at the Kiosk

Full Price List

Adult Prices

Walkway by the Ride

Characters in Flight Tower
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