Hey everyone. I’m Darcy, former Community Manager for the Walt Disney World Resort Facebook page and the newest Disney Parks Blog author, sharing updates from the heart of Downtown Disney. (Literally, my office is smack-dab in the middle of the property. I love my job!) Just over a month ago, I accepted a brand-new position here, and with the recent Disney Springs announcement by Tom Staggs, I couldn’t have come at a better time.
From day #1 in my new role, I knew I wanted to share some of the “hidden gems” of Downtown Disney with all of you. I’m discovering many of them alongside you, so we’ll be finding fun from the West Side to the Marketplace – and everywhere in between – together. Additionally, as there are new updates on Disney Springs, check back here on the Disney Parks Blog.
First up? Characters in Flight, Operated by Aerophile. I’ve seen the balloon in the sky a million times, but I never tried it. Until last week. And you know what? It was way cooler than I expected. I naively thought I wouldn’t be able to see ‘that much’ from the sky, but I was wrong. And I loved every minute of it. Here’s why:
I got lucky and went up on a really clear day. No joke, I could see from the top of La Nouba all the way to the outskirts of Disney property. Spaceship Earth, Tower of Terror, The Contemporary. – I saw them all, and from a totally different vantage point. (After 10+ years at Disney, I thought I had seen the parks from every angle but boy, was I wrong!)
The ride wasn’t scary at all; it was actually sort of calming. When I got all the way up to 400 feet, I felt like I was taking a short break from reality. Even though it was a full flight, it was really quiet up there, and peaceful. You know that feeling you get when you’re in an airplane and you look down to see tiny houses and highways – like you’re part of it but somehow removed? – It was like that, but instead of a strange town, I was looking at one of my favorite playgrounds.
It was just the right amount of time. My flight lasted about 10 minutes and it was perfect – I got to walk around and check out the 360 degree view, plus had a few minutes to snap some photos (digital photography is one of my hobbies!). I didn’t feel rushed, which is always a nice feeling when you wait in line for something you’re excited about.
One of these days I’d love to go up at night. Maybe start with a margarita from Paradiso 37, take a ride, and then top off the evening with a sweet treat from Candy Cauldron. (And if you’re more of a morning person, you’ll be excited to hear that right now – when you purchase tickets and ride before 10 a.m. – you pay only $10!)
Have you experienced Characters in Flight? Tell me how you liked it in the comments below – it’s always fun to compare notes!
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