Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime with a sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride over Central Florida. We fly 7 days a week (weather permitting) in the Orlando, Davenport and Kissimmee area. We only fly one flight per day in the early morning.
We meet approximately 1 hour before sunrise and after selecting our launch site, we will head out to begin our inflation process for your hot air balloon adventure. You are more than welcome to assist in the in the set up of the balloon. After your ride we will celebrate our return to Mother Earth with a champagne and orange juice toast.
Founded in 1998 by Bob Carlton, Balloons & Beyond is backed with over 40 years of industry experience. Bob has been flying balloons since 1976 and is one of the most experienced pilots in the state of Florida having logged 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, Mexico and Canada.
From 1976 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. He flew the Tampa Tribune and Freedom Savings balloons. In 1986 Bob flew for Walt Disney World. He flew the Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Cinderella's Castle and the Spaceship Earth balloons. In addition to his experience, Bob is also a wonderful entertainer and can really make his passengers feel at ease as he maneuvers his balloon over the beautiful Central Florida landscape.
All flights are flown at Sunrise, 7 days a week, including Holidays! (weather permitting)
Open Flight (we reserve the right to place you in with other passengers) $250.00 / per person
Private Flight (the two of you & the pilot are the only people in the basket) $700.00 / Couple
Reservations are required and we recommend booking at least one week out for a hot air balloon flight for a week day and two weeks for a weekend day. Balloons & Beyond accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card and Cash.
After your reservation is confirmed, please remember the following tips:
After your flight we will share the story of how ballooning started and tell you why we drink champagne after each flight. It's a tradition that dates back to the 1700's.
Gift Certificates are available for that special someone that has everything. They are good for one (1) year from date of purchase, fully transferable, have no cash value and are non-refundable. Please let us know you have a certificate upon scheduling your flight and they must be presented at the time of flight. Gift Certificate holders fall under the same cancellation policies of Balloons & Beyond.
If you need to cancel, please give us a 48 hour notice and we will provide a full refund. Should you cancel from 24 - 48 hours out, you will be charged $50 per person. A cancellation by you that is less than 24 hours in advance of your flight is not eligible for a refund.
We are sorry for the inconvenience, but we can only carry a limited number of passengers and by making your reservation, you have reserved that spot for you which prevents us from making additional reservations.
How Big is the Balloon?
It is approximately 70 feet tall and 60 feet wide and holds 118,000 cubic feet of air inside the balloon. The envelope (the fabric) weighs around 275 lbs in the bag. The gondola (basket) with fuel weights approximately 500 lbs
What is Hot Air Ballooning Like?
Hot air balloon flights are ultimately one of the most breath taking rides that you will ever experience. It's incredible how you will feel as you slowly lift off the ground and float in the air like a fluffy white cloud. As you descend, you may brush over the tree tops or even do a "splash-n-dash" in a nearby lake. When you land, depending on the graces of Mother Nature, you could float down to the ground like a feather or at times you could experience a series of bumps. The best way to find out what a hot air balloon ride is like is to experience it for yourself.
How Many Passengers Can You Take Up At a Time?
There are many different sized balloons that can carry anywhere from 1 to 18 people at a time. We prefer to fly the smaller ride balloons which allows for a more personable experience. The balloons we fly can carry up to 4 passengers along with the pilot.
Who Enjoys Hot Air Ballooning?
Everyone! Our passengers range from kids to parents to grandparents and everyone in between! Hot air ballooning is very exciting and loads of fun. We think that everyone should try it at least once - even those of you who are afraid of heights!
How Safe is Ballooning?
Hot air ballooning is very safe. Our pilots and crew will do everything possible to ensure that your flight is safe. We regularly attend safety seminars so that we are up-to-date on all of the safety rules and regulations. At any time the Pilot feels that the conditions are not safe for the passengers, crew or the equipment, he will cancel the flight and reschedule at your earliest convenience. All of our balloon equipment is inspected every 100 hours or annually per FAA regulations.
How Long Does a Balloon Flight Last?
The flight lasts approximately 45 minutes to one hour, sometimes longer. We cannot make guarantees as to the duration, distance or visibility of the flight as these variables depend on the weather, the winds and landing site availability. The total duration of your adventure from start to finish will be about 3 to 3.5 hours.
When Do You Fly?
We fly first thing in the morning at sunrise. Winds are generally most favorable in the first hours after sunrise which makes for safe and favorable conditions. The suns uneven heating of the earths surface causes strong, variable winds. In the morning, it takes a few hours for the sun to heat the earths surface enough to generate the thermal activity that creates wind.
What Do I Wear and Bring?
We recommend that you dress in comfortable, casual clothing such as jeans/shorts, shirts, and closed toe shoes. Be sure that you wear clothing that you don't mind getting wet or dirty since the field we land in can be wet or muddy. We also recommend dressing layers during the cooler months. Please DO NOT wear dresses, sandals, high heels or any other clothing that you wold not wear comfortably when on the ground. Bring along your camera. Some of the greatest pictures of the surrounding area can be taken from 500 feet in the air.
Is Health a Consideration?
Yes. Since our passengers stand during the flight and because there is some agility needed in loading and unloading of the balloon, we do recommend that people with injuries to head, back or neck or those who have had recent surgery do not fly. In addition, we will not fly expectant mothers.
Can I Help with the Setup?
Absolutely. In addition to your flight, you will have the opportunity to participate "hands on" during the setup and/or pack up. Just let a crew member know and they will be glad to let you help.
How do Balloons Fly?
Hot air balloons use the basic principles of gravity and cold and hot air. We use an inflator fan to fill the balloon envelope up with cold air, then we use burners to fill it up with hot air to make it stand upright. Once in the air, when the pilot wants to descend he lets the air in the balloon cool. When he wants to rise, he heats the air up again. This is very helpful when the pilot wants to "catch" the higher or lower winds in order to change their direction. This is also how the pilot "steers" the balloon.
When was the First Balloon Flight?
The first flight in a hot air balloon was on September 19, 1783 in Versailles, France. A sheep, a duck and a rooster were the first passengers. The first "manned" flight was on November 21, 1783 when the Montgolfier brothers took a flight in Paris, France. The first hot air balloon flight in America was on January 9, 1789. George Washington was there to see the balloon leave Philadelphia, PA. It flew from Philadelphia across the Delaware River and landed in Deptford, New Jersey.
What Fuel do Balloons Use and How High do They Fly?
Hot air balloons use liquid propane for fuel. Hot air balloonists usually fly anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level. It varies depending on winds and the direction that they are trying to go.
Do You Need a Pilot's License to Fly a Hot-Air Balloon?
Yes. A Balloon Pilot Certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The process is similar to the one required to obtain a license to fly an airplane or helicopter. You must pass the FAA written exam, receive a prescribed number of hours of instruction, make a solo flight, a flight to a specific altitude and pass a flight test with an FAA examiner. To become an FAA licensed LTA Commercial licensed pilot, the pilot must have at least 35 hours of flight time, of which at least 20 must be in balloons (the remaining 15 hours may be in other aircraft). The commercial pilot must pass an additional written, oral and flight check prior to being issued a commercial pilots license. The holder of a commercial pilots license may operate a balloon for hire and may give flight instruction. For additional requirements on both ratings, please consult FAA Regulations part 61 for details.
Are You Insured?
Yes, all of our balloons are insured and are registered with the FAA.