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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Characters in Flight Press Release & Pictures

    UP, UP AND AWAY



    Walt Disney World Resort Press Release
    March 30, 2009


    Downtown Disney guests will get a bird's-eye view of Walt Disney World Resort as they soar to new heights in a new attraction now open at Downtown Disney's West Side near Pleasure Island. Characters in Flight, operated by Aerophile, is a giant tethered gas balloon with a whimsical Disney design featuring a dozen of Disney's animated flying characters in silhouette such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Dumbo. Characters in Flight will rise 500 feet into the sky carrying up to 30 passengers to a height of 400 feet. Flight times and availability will depend on weather conditions. Riders can catch flights 7 days a week, adults $16, and $10 for children ages 3-9. Availability is on first-come, first-serve basis.
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  3. #2
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    Exclamation Characters in Flight Press Release & Pictures

    Anyone Up for Bird’s-Eye View of Downtown Disney Area is in for a Treat as Characters In Flight Ascends in April



    Walt Disney World Resort Press Release
    April 8, 2009


    LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The fun soars to new heights at Downtown Disney West Side with an iconic new tethered balloon that takes guests on ascents of up to 400 feet above the waterfront.

    Characters In Flight operated by Aerophile is a 72-foot-diameter balloon with a whimsical design featuring silhouettes of a dozen of Disney’s “flying characters” – such as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan and Dumbo. The vibrantly colored balloon can lift up to 30 guests at a time on a six-minute trip – thanks to its enclosed volume of 210,000 cubic feet of lighter-than-air gas. The ascents, by day or night, provide guests with an unparalleled, 360-degree view of up to 10 miles.


    Guests board a gondola beneath the 105-foot-high balloon from a landing platform on Village Lake at the end of the main promenade at Downtown Disney West Side. Riders can catch flights seven days a week. Hours Sunday-Thursday are 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. while ascents Friday-Saturday are 10:30 a.m.-midnight. Tickets ($16 for ages 10-up and $10 for ages 3-9) can be purchased on site. Availability is on first-come, first-serve basis.
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  4. #3
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    Very nice. Thank you for the info. Something we will have to check out in Sept.

  5. #4
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    Very interesting. Not sure I like the colors but perhaps its a safety law. Or is it Mickey yellow and red? (Just viewed a Disney cruise line DVD that said they obtained special permission to paint the lifeboats "Mickey Yellow" instead of the standard color.)
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  6. #5
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    interesting...i hope it doesn't become an eyesore
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  7. #6
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    Lightbulb

    From Orlandosentinel.com:

    Mother Nature was working against media day/grand opening of the Characters in Flight balloon at Downtown Disney today. It was too windy for folks to go up this morning.

    The Disney folk forged forward anyway. Kevin Lansberry, vice president for Downtown Disney, included in his remarks a few words from Aerophile president Jerome Giacomoni, whose flight was delayed, causing him to miss the ceremony as well. Lansberry, Keith Bradford (vice president for operating participants) and Erik Garcia, general manager of the facility, ceremoniously cut the ribbon afterwards.
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiggTigg5 View Post
    From Orlandosentinel.com:

    Mother Nature was working against media day/grand opening of the Characters in Flight balloon at Downtown Disney today. It was too windy for folks to go up this morning.

    The Disney folk forged forward anyway. Kevin Lansberry, vice president for Downtown Disney, included in his remarks a few words from Aerophile president Jerome Giacomoni, whose flight was delayed, causing him to miss the ceremony as well. Lansberry, Keith Bradford (vice president for operating participants) and Erik Garcia, general manager of the facility, ceremoniously cut the ribbon afterwards.
    Wow, talk about a string of bad luck. I don't mean to sound skeptical, but it doesn't set a good precedent for the Grand Opening.

    It won't ever be made public, but I would be interested in seeing the logs for how often this thing is operational versus not due to weather/winds in about six months.
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  9. #8
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    No kidding. Florida? Lightening? Thunderstorms? I imagine it'll be shut down for a good portion of every afternoon throughout Spring and Summer.
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagineer1981 View Post
    interesting...i hope it doesn't become an eyesore
    1) Or dangerous.
    2) Think of it.
    3) If characters were to fall out and hit concrete . . .
    . . . Pluto Puddle?
    . . . Brer Rabbit Blob?
    . . . Mickey Mash?
    . . . Jafar Jam?
    . . . Goofy Glob?
    . . . etc
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  11. #10
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    Seems like a fun addition to me! And I kind of like the look of the balloon.
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyFan View Post
    Wow, talk about a string of bad luck. I don't mean to sound skeptical, but it doesn't set a good precedent for the Grand Opening.

    It won't ever be made public, but I would be interested in seeing the logs for how often this thing is operational versus not due to weather/winds in about six months.
    I'm guessing there will be many times it won't be going up there in Florida. We have a balloon just like this at a park only a few miles away from me. We rode it a couple of weeks ago and right after a flight they shut down operation because of the wind. It didn't really seem that windy to us, but luckily we got there early.
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  13. #12
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    Default Characters in Flight Press Release & Pictures

    I can not wait to try this! Thanks for the post and pics.

  14. #13
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    I'm thinking this sounds pretty cool. We won't be going to Disney again until next year, but I'm anxious to hear from people who have done this.

  15. #14
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    I'm looking forward to trying this in May too! I only hope the weather holds out
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  16. #15
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    going next week can't wait to try this
    up up & away

  17. #16
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    Lightbulb

    We stopped by early last evening, and balloon was grounded again "due to weather conditions". It sure didn't feel very windy to me, but perhaps it was a different story 400 feet up.
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  18. #17
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    We tried to do it on our first day, which was a beautiful day, but it was grounded due to wind. it went up a few times after we gave up on it. It really looks amazing. It goes up very high and you can see it from other parks. It wasn't an eyesore for me. It actually made me smile when I could see it. I think it's a great new addition.
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  19. #18
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    So has anyone actually been on it yet? I am curious to hear all about it.
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  20. #19
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks Jason!
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