Fantasy of Flight Orlando, Florida

I always remember the film Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines which glorified the early days of flight, and made piloting a plane seem not only daring but great fun as well.

That spirit of daring and fun, as it pertains to flight, is now celebrated near Orlando, Florida at Fantasy of Flight, which is home to over 40 rare and vintage aircraft that are housed in a purpose built art deco building.

Fantasy of Flight is the brainchild of Kermit Weeks a long-time aviator and former aerobatics champion. Kermit Weeks had three wishes in mind when he first imagined his Central Florida aviation-themed attraction: tourist access, enough property for the longest of two runways and lake access for seaplane landings.

And that is a major reason for Fantasy of Flight being so popular; it is not merely a static display of lovely and interesting old aircraft, it is a place where you can see the aircraft in flight, hear them, and even fly in them.

Having opened in 1995, it is a place where history comes alive through vintage and restored aircraft and the aviators who flew them. The attraction features the world’s largest collection of vintage aircraft. Here you can enjoy historical immersion experiences, interactive thrills and behind-the-scenes tours of aircraft restoration areas. It was the only aircraft attraction in the world showcasing daily aerial demonstrations for guests.

There are some wonderful aircraft on display, including a replica Curtiss Pusher from 1911, a Morane-Saulnier monoplane circa 1916, and a replica Valkyrie that was originally built in 1911. There are a number of World War I aircraft on display, and from World War II you can experience the P-51C Mustang, a B-26 Marauder, the fabulous MK-16 Spitfire, plus a Short Sunderland flying boat of 1944 vintage.

Looking at aircraft is one thing, experiencing how they fly is better still, and that option is available at Fantasy of Flight. Enjoy the ultimate buzz when you soar over Central Florida in a hot air balloon; fly in a fully restored 1929 open-cockpit New Standard biplane or learn to pilot a famous WWII trainer. Duel controls in both cockpits mean no experience is needed to fly this biplane – your pilot shows you the ropes before you take the controls for the ultimate flying adventure.

Fantasy of Flight is located in Polk City, Fla., on 2,000 acres just off of I-4 (Exit 44) between Tampa and Orlando, and about 15 minutes west of Orlando area attractions. Plan three-to-five hours for your visit and a lifetime of memories afterwards.

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