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Florida Guide > Other Activities

Have you ever wanted to feel like a bird gently gliding through the skies? It’s an amazing feeling words cannot express. Today more and more people take part in a hot air balloon rides, looking down on nature’s beauty and Florida’s many lakes and parks. There are several companies from which to choose from which cover Orlando and Tampa areas. You can book a romantic flight on a colourful hot air balloon and float above green groves and sparkling lakes.

What can I Expect from a Hot Air Balloon Ride? You should experience a breathtaking opportunity to float in the air and view the magnificent scenery. The best way to find out is to experience it for yourself. The flight will take approximately one to 1 ½ hours, depending on weather and landing conditions, however, you should count on about a 3 hour adventure, which will include inflation time, your flight, and packing up.

Ballooning is Safe and your company should be registered to meet FAA regulations. The pilots and crew will do everything they can to ensure that your flight is very safe. They regularly attend seminars and are up to date on all the safety rules and regulations. Should the pilot in charge have any concerns for safety of the passengers, he will cancel the flight and reschedule it at your earliest convenience. Safety is the number one priority.

Ballooning is for everyone - kids to parents to grandparents. It is an exciting day out and a wonderful experience to savour for years to come. Balloons vary in size and can take from 1 to 12 people. Intimate flights carrying 2-4 passengers along with the pilot and are available when celebrating that special occasion.

The balloon flight will last about 45 – 90 minutes, depending on ideal flying conditions. Guarantees cannot be made as to the duration, distance or visibility of the flights, however, your flight should include transportation to and from the launch site, pre-flight preparation and post-flight celebration. All in all it may take 3 to 4 hours. The current winds are most favourable in the first hours after sunrise and last hours before sunset.

It is suggested that you book your balloon ride at least 3 weeks in advance. Weekend flights are most popular so if your dates are not flexible, book as early as possible.

Comfortable casual clothing is recommended, such as jeans, T-shirts, sneakers. Be sure that the clothing can get wet or dirty as some fields can be wet or muddy certain months of the year. Do not wear dresses, sandals or high heels. Layered clothing is recommended in the cooler months. Bring your camera and protective case, but items are not insured should they fall out of the basket. Binoculars are also permissible It is recommended that you can secure cameras etc by a strap it to yourself while in the basket.

Passengers stand during the flight, and flights are not recommended for pregnant women, people with head, back, neck or leg injuries or anyone who has undergone recent surgery. If you have special needs, check with your doctor prior to booking a flight.

You will be given the opportunity for hands-on experience during the set up and pack up – just let a crew member know. Hot air balloons use the basic principle of gravity and cold and hot air. An inflator fan fills the balloon envelope up with cold air. The burners heat it up with hot air to make it stand upright. Once in the air, if the pilot wants to descend, he lets the air in the balloon to cool down. When he wants it to rise, he heats the air up again. This is also how the pilot steers the balloon.

What do a sheep, a duck and a rooster have in common? They were the first passengers of the first flight hot air balloon ride on September 19, 1783 in Versailles, France. The first manned flight took place November 21, 1783 when the Montgolfier brothers took a flight in Paris. America hosted its first hot air balloon ride on January 9, 1789 when George Washington was there to see the balloon leave Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to cross the Delaware River and land in New Jersey.

Pilots must be licensed by the FAA and have experience in both hot air ballooning and fixed winged flying. To become an FAA licensed commercial pilot, the pilot must have at least 35 hours of flight time, of which at least 20 ours must be in balloons.

Approximate prices range $150 - $175 Per Person; $90-$95 Children Age 10 and Under;
$475 Private Flight for 2 or $600 for 4 Passengers; Discounts are offered booking on the Internet.

If you want to treat someone most hot air balloon venues sell gift certificates, which are usually valid for one year from the date of purchase and are non-refundable. A cancellation fee may be applied if you cancel your flight less than 72 hours prior to the journey.

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 September 2005
Viewed 4745 times since 1 September 2008.

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Hot Air Balloon Ride
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