About Us

Founded in 1998 by Bob Carlton, Balloons & Beyond is backed with over 30 years of industry experience. Balloons and Beyond provides personalized hot air balloon rides. We fly 7 days a week in the Walt Disney World Resort area of Orlando as well as Kissimmee, Polk City, Auburndale, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Tampa, Haines City, Cypress Gardens & Sebring.

Through our Commitment, Experience, and Expertise... Balloons and Beyond has established a memorable relationship with our customers that will last a lifetime!

Owner/Operator

Bob Carlton: Bob has been flying balloons since 1976 and is one of the most experienced pilots in the state of Florida having amassed thousands of hours flying all over the United States and the world. He has flown over many countries such as Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, Switzerland, and Canada. From 1978 to 1980 he flew the Budweiser, Black Angus and Westinghouse balloons for World Balloon Corporation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bob then moved to Tampa to work for Sport Balloons and head a repair station, fly the Tampa Tribune and Freedom Savings bank balloons. Since 1986, Bob has flown for Walt Disney World. He has flown the Mickey, Donald, Cinderella's Castle, and most recently in 2000, Spaceship Earth balloons. Besides his experience Bob is also a wonderful entertainer and really can make his passengers feel at ease as he maneuvers his balloon over the beautiful Central Florida landscape.

Staff Pilots

Jon Thompson: Jon has been involved in ballooning since the early seventies and comes from a family of balloonists; his oldest brother Jeff and his father Jim also fly hot air balloons. Jon has been a licensed plot for over 25 years and has logged thousands of hours flying balloons all over the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan. For many years he traveled the U.S. with different corporate balloons such as Pepsi, Kellogg's, General Motors, ACDelco, and Jose Cuervo Tequila. He retired from the road just a few years ago and now does most of his flying in Central Florida. Jon can really make his passengers feel at home in the skies and is a great addition to Balloons & Beyond.

Bill Moran: Bill is a retired Orange County Fire Battalion Chief that now enjoys flying hot air balloons Full Time. He has been a licensed pilot for over 20 years and also was a part of the Disney Balloon Program with Bob. Bill has flown extensively all over central Florida and is a joy to fly with. He comes from a family that enjoys ballooning, even his wife Debbie is a balloon pilot.

 

 

Kurt Peterson: Kurt has been involved in general aviation since 1976; in 1997 he added his commercial pilot certification for hot air balloons. His passion awarded him involvement with Bob and the hot air balloon community, a distinctive set of professionals focused on safety and entertainment. Florida has some of the best weather, pilots, and areas to fly filled with sights to be remembered. Kurt has flow countless passengers trying to make each flight, that once in a lifetime experience, he had on his first flight. He is at home over Florida pointing out for his passengers many of its unique characteristics and showing them the wonderment of balloon flight.

Crew Chief: David Stubbs: "Super Dave" Super Dave has been Bob's Crew Chief for many years and is a vital part of the balloon ride program. Dave is one of the hardest working crew chiefs in the industry and we are very fortunate to have him working with us!

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