Florida Guide > Other Activities
See orlando by Helicopter
There can be little doubt that the best way to get a feel for a place is from the air and a helicopter is the ideal way to do it. There are a number of Helicopter companies operating in the Orlando area. There are two operators on Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy (192) and one on International Drive. We flew with Orlando Helitours who are based on the 192 near Old Town Kissimmee.
Orlando Helitours fly Bell Jet Rangers which accommodate 4 passengers and offer a number of tours, taking from a few minutes to half an hour flying time and ranging in price from $15 to $150 per person. There is a reduction for children age 11 and under.
Arranging a flight could not be easier. On most occasions you can just turn up, decide which tour to take and fly, or if you prefer you can book in advance. Orlando Helitours fly everyday weather permitting and in Florida, that is pretty much everyday. They also do some night flights.
The tours extend over the Orlando area and particularly the parks. Disney from the air is spectacular and it is the only way that you can get an appreciation of the area it occupies. The tours include all the popular locations and provide a great opportunity for some aerial photography. The shortest flight would cover out to Falcons Fire Golf Course and back over Old Town. The longest would typically include sights such as Sea World, Discovery Cove, Downtown Disney, Pleasure Island, Typhoon Lagoon, Key West Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, Epcot Center, Swan & Dolphin Resorts, Hollywood Studios, Tower of Terror, Blizzard Beach, Disney’ s Wide World of Sports, Pop Century Resort, Old Town, International Drive, Wet-N-Wild, Universal Studios, Island of Adventure, Butler Chain of Lakes and Isleworth (Multi-million Dollar Homes)
Of course if you really want to push the boat out the helicopter can be hired for around $600 an hour. You can then choose where you want to go and plan your own tour.
Once you have chosen your tour you wait for the helicopter to arrive and land. The blades keep turning, so as you head out to the landing pad be prepared for the downdraught from the blades. You will be helped into your seat and the harness is then fitted and checked. All passengers will be given an aviation headset. This has two functions, first it protects against noise and second allows the pilot to speak to you and point out things of interest. You can also speak to the pilot and of course you can speak to each other. As soon as you start to speak the microphone is activated. Once the passengers are settled and the doors closed, the engine picks up speed and the helicopter lifts into a hover before setting off on a thrill of a lifetime.
The main thing that hits you is the vastness of the Orlando area. Whilst the parks are huge, they appear insignificant in comparison to the overall amount of undeveloped land around.
The big problem is that it ends too quickly and before you know it you will be circling over Old Town before landing. Then it’s everyone out so the next passengers can board and set off for their adventure.
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Page added on: 21 February 2008
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