Anyone who has visited Orlando before has probably woken up to the sight of colorful hot air balloons dotting the sky. These pretty, floating orbs seem to magically appear out of nowhere and, for those wanting to book a ride, the answer isn’t the most obvious. Hot air balloons are a dream-like experience and something many people only do once in a lifetime. There are actually many tour operators available and, although you might find the answer at a small stand or kiosk during your stay, we’ve put together a list of the best hot air balloon rides in Orlando so that you can plan your journey into the clouds.
7 soaring hot air balloon rides in Orlando
Seize the spirit of adventure as you drift gracefully over the abundant natural landscape of Central Florida. Catch the fresh morning air and a new day’s sun as the winds guide you on an uplifting journey of discovery filled with panoramic views of vibrant greenery, wildlife, and Disney’s parks and resorts. From $105 per person, you can follow in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg and become one of 4 to 6 members of a small, personal crew of a colorful hot air balloon. Smaller groups ensure a safer flight and the opportunity for you to assist your experienced pilot in managing the balloon during this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Flights take off every morning from a field near their headquarters on Florida Plaza Boulevard. Once you’ve toured around Orlando in 80 minutes, you’ll touch back down to Earth and celebrate with a well-earned champagne toast.
Balloons and Beyond
Rise in the early hours of the morning for an opportunity to see the gorgeous Floridian sunrise. Enjoy the warm orange glow illuminating many lakes, waterways, and citrus trees. Watch the skyline filled with famous attractions as Orlando wakes up and people begin to move around the world below. From $250 per person, a group of 2 to 5 can enjoy fantastic hot air ballooning. The activity begins one hour before sunrise at a prearranged meeting spot and takes place over three golden hours, during which you’ll assist as the balloon is filled, revealing its colorful stripes and pattern, lifting into the sky and returning to gently alight on the ground in time for a party. Seeing the world from a new angle is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Bob’s Hot Air Balloon Rides in Orlando
Meet the day with a peaceful balloon ride over the counties of Central Florida. You’ll float above the treetops all the way up to 1000 feet to gaze at fantastic views of lakes, wildlife, and downtown Orlando. Glide over the canopies to spot deer, birds, alligators, and other animals, as well as a few locals. It’s a unique experience chatting with someone on the ground below. Bob and his team have well over 20 years of experience and offer their air-bound services for daily morning flights, birthdays, weddings, and corporate events from $490 per person. The small fleet of three balloons can carry 4 to 6 people each and, weather permitting, the balloon will launch from a location of your choice, and the staff can pick up tourists without transportation from their accommodation and take them to the meeting point. After landing, you can enjoy a traditional champagne brunch back on terra firma.
Maverick Balloon Adventures
Charter a private hot air balloon above the countryside. Whether you want to take your whole family up into the troposphere or perhaps spend a romantic hour in the clouds with your partner, your friendly pilot is sure to make this a wonderful occasion. With a bird’s eye view of the breathtaking landscape, there will be plenty of opportunities to capture Insta-feed-worthy photos. Gaze on the reflection of the dappled morning light in the many lakes that sprawl below from the ideal vantage point. Balloon flights can be booked privately for a group of 2 to 8 or you can join in one of the daily balloon rides for 2 to 4 or 5 to 8 people for $245 per person. Meet your pilot at Publix Super Market Parking Lot at Summer Bay where you’ll be invited to assist with inflating the balloon. After one hour’s flight, you’ll arrive back on the ground with a glass of fizz in hand.
Become part of the sunrise amongst a fleet of colorful hot air balloons as you rise into the air. With the help of a passionate and expert pilot, you’ll bring a dash of color to the blue canvas of the sky and a sense of wonder to onlookers below. Meanwhile, you’ll enjoy scenic views of Central Florida over the course of a relaxing balloon ride. Leave your worries on the ground because this unforgettable experience will leave you feeling lighter than air. Flying daily from a field near Denny’s Restaurant off of State Road, Painted Horizons can accommodate groups of various sizes from $185 per person but specializes in couples’ flights. After a safe and pleasant landing, tuck into a substantial breakfast of pastries, cheeses, and crackers washed down with champagne and sparkling cider.
Thompson Aire Balloon Rides in Orlando
Receive the full hot air balloon experience with an enthusiastic pilot who truly loves ballooning. His balloon puns aside, Captain Jeff Thompson has over 40 years of piloting under his belt and wide knowledge of the sights and attractions of Central Florida. After meeting with the Captain at a Wawa convenience store in Winter Garden, you can take off knowing that you’ll be well looked after hundreds of feet above the ground. Flying in 4 to 6-passenger small groups allows you an exclusive and personalized experience that you won’t forget. Flights can be booked by making a deposit of $165 per person. Besides a one-of-a-kind captain, another thing that sets these balloons apart is the seats in the basket, making the balloons more accessible than alternatives. After your trip, you’ll be presented with drinks and mementos of your time in the sky.
Aerophile hot air balloons at Disney Springs, Orlando
This tremendous ballooning attraction doesn’t truly belong on this list, as it doesn’t run on hot air. Instead, the tethered balloon is filled with 230,000 cubic feet of helium. Although the Aéro30 can’t accurately be described as a hot-air balloon, it offers an iconic skyward experience that is not to be missed upon a visit to Disney Springs, Disney’s free-to-enter shopping and restaurant district. At only $25 a ticket ($20 for children aged 3-9) this experience is easily worth the price. The donut-shaped, 19-foot-diameter basket can hold up to 30 people, including the pilot. For around 10 minutes, you’ll fly 400ft straight up in the air from the lakeside launchpad to take in the fresh air and 360° views of Disney Springs and Disney resorts and theme parks. From the glistening waters of Lake Buena Vista to beautiful landscapes up to 10-miles away, you’ll see plenty of sights from the safety of this custom-built Parisian balloon.
Hot Air Balloon Festival, Orlando
May is the month for magnificent aerial events in Central Florida. Two festivals bookend May with a wondrous display of colorful balloons and fun family activities:
Orlando Balloon Festival
Orlando’s 2022 festival comes to Blue Jacket Park bringing with it, not only a variety of incredible hot air balloons but also food trucks, vendors, and games. Enjoy a huge gathering of balloons, great food, and family fun.
Up Up and Away Hot Air Balloon Festival
The hour’s drive southwest from Orlando to Lakeland, Florida is well worth it to witness the nighttime glow of many bright hot air balloons or a morning mass take-off. Eat delicious street food and listen to live music while you take part in balloon and helicopter rides, and carnival games.
Ready for an Orlando hot air balloon ride?
Orlando has plenty of keen hot air balloon companies that take off from fields near Orlando, Davenport, and Kissimmee. Enjoy a view over Central Florida with glorious views of attractions and the lush natural scenery. See cyprus and orange trees, wildlife, and the silhouettes of iconic Disney parks and resorts. As displayed, there are various balloon operators which suit all kinds of skyward experiences. So, what are you waiting for? Speak to our Travel Planners to cross this activity off your bucket list and head up, up, and away.
Ready to lift off to your next vacation? Top Villas has thousands of luxury homes in Orlando for you to choose from close to the biggest attractions and popular hot air balloon sites. These well-furnished homes are filled with comforts for a relaxing stay, with light, airy rooms, and beds as soft as a cloud.