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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As a cast member do we get a discount on this
Does anyone know when the $10 before 10 runs until? Thanks
Josh, there is currently no set end date for this offer, but it is subject to change at the discretion of the Aerophile team, which operates the Characters in Flight experience. Visit soon and you should be able to take advantage of it! Enjoy your flight!!!
My husband and I have done this during the day. Now I want to try it at night. It was too windy on our last trip, so now we have something extra to look forward to on our next trip.
Congrats on your new position!
This looks awesome! I usually don’t like heights, but I think I could get through it to be able to see WDW from that vantage point. We are WDW fanatics, and we are coming down for our honeymoon in June, and I’ve been looking for things that we don’t usually do on our trips to try out and make our honeymoon extra special. This just might make the list. 🙂
Kelsey, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Since you’re taking your relationship to ‘new heights’ (in a BIG way!), I think this is a PERFECT addition to your honeymoon. Have fun – I know you will!!!
I went on this in May 2 years ago and loved it! I got some great pictures. I, too, would love to ride it at night. I have that on my to-do list for my Disney trip in 11 days!!
Welcome to the blog Ms. Darcy!
Skip, thanks for the warm welcome! I think this is going to be a lot of fun for me and – hopefully – for all the fans, too!
Thanks for the tip, i’ll do this flyght next April 🙂
that is on our wish list of things to do this year when we are at Disney this Oct. I would love to get up there and photograph the whole thing!!…or earlier if we can move down there before then. Thanks for showing this and cant wait for more.
Joseph, definitely bring your camera – the views are incredible – I didn’t come close to doing them justice in my photos!!!
Thanks for the tip, i’ll do this flyght next july 🙂
Claudio, this will make a great addition to your July itinerary!