On a recent trip to Orlando we decided to take a hot air balloon flight, there are a number of companies offering this but we booked with Thompson Aire run by Jeff Thompson as they had been highly recommended.
At the time of writing this the cost was $185 per adult + tax and if you have more than 4 or 6 in your group you get an extra discount (this does include breakfast after the flight). They have balloon flights everyday which start at around 6am but you do need to book in advance as they get full up quickly especially around the holidays.
We met them the next morning at 6am up on HWY192, they then decide which way the wind is going so they can plan a route for the flight. We started down HWY192 by Old Town with a route that would take us over the 192, Celebration, Reunion and end up near Champions Gate.
You are expected to help unpack and inflate the balloon which is great fun and not very hard. Each balloon can hold 4 passengers and a captain and once in you are lifted up very smoothly and quietly to around 1000ft which is the max flying height for this area. Our flight lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes which went very fast but I can’t wait until I am back in Orlando to do it again.
If you haven’t been in a hot air balloon before it’s a great experience but hard to describe, I was expecting to feel a bit sick looking over the edge but I felt fine. The ride is so smooth and quiet (except for the burner) that you don’t really feel like you are moving and there is know wind noise as you are the wind.
You would also expect it to be cold up there but because the burner gives off so much heat it feels very warm so you don’t need to take any extra clothes.