Aerophile, the Balloon ride at Disney Springs

 There is one thing I've always wanted to try at Disney Springs but in all the years I've visited, it has just never worked out.

First of all, visiting Disney Springs is not a "Must Do" for us. We don't visit it on every trip.  Yes, Disney Springs is a free activity, but we would rather spend our time doing the things that we've already paid to do, like the parks, and activities at the resorts.  

But the one thing I've always wanted to do was the Hot Air Balloon Ride, Aerophile!  I've tried to do this on other visits but it never worked out because of the weather. Even on days where it looks like blue skies and no rain, the ride may not go if  it is windy, there is a chance of poor weather or lightening within miles. 

During this trip, we decided to head to the balloon during the first half of our vacation. In the instance it wasn't going, we knew we'd still have a couple more days to try. 

We were there by 9:00 am for the first ride of the morning and we were in luck, it was going! 

There is a ticket booth in front of the balloon launch. We paid for our ticket, signed our waiver, and then they took a picture of us with an ipad ( not sure why).  Then we boarded our flight! 

We learned that the balloon was not actually a "hot air balloon" as it is actually filled with helium! 

The ride use to be called "Characters in Flight". A company from France bought it out and now it is called Aerophile.

Although the balloon basket holds 29 people, my sister and I, and a couple with a small child, were the only ones on this ride, with the pilot of course.

The balloon goes 400 feet up in the air and you are allowed to walk around the entire basket to see the views from all sides.  The balloon is tethered, so it will only be moving up and down, it will not float around left to right. 

We were able to see the Epcot ball, Tower of Terror in Hollywood Studios, several resorts, several other attractions from the theme parks, and even the Orlando Eye ( which is the large Ferris wheel). 

We were up in the air for about 8 minutes, but that was plenty of time to take in the view and take a few pictures. 

There is no height requirement for this ride but passengers need to be 12 years or older to ride by themselves.

Ticket price is $25 for adults and $20 for children ( ages 3-9).  However, if you want to ride for less than half price, go before 10:00 am and your ticket will only be $10!   When we heard this little tip, we made sure that we were there before 10:00 am.  

Although Disney Springs doesn't officially open until 10:00 am, Aerophile will start taking passengers as early as 9:00 am.  The challenge with this is that  if you are dependent on Disney transportation, most Disney buses won't start going to Disney Springs until 10:00 am.  Depending on how many people are in your party, getting an Uber or other ride share may be worth the cost.  However, since it was just the two of us, paying for an Uber would be counterintuitive.   

So this is how you can get there for free.  Take a look and see which theme park opens the earliest. Then take a park bus to the one nearest to your resort.  We were already staying at the Boardwalk resort area so we just walked over to Hollywood Studios.  Once there, we got on a bus to Saratoga Springs Resort.  We then walked from Saratoga Springs to Disney Springs.  We entered Disney Springs from the Market Place side, so we had quite the walk to get to the balloon. 

After the balloon ride, we just walked over to the resort bus stop ( behind Planet Hollywood), which was not a far walk from the balloon. That bus took us directly back to our resort. Please note that those buses don't start operating until 10:00am so after our ride, we did have to wait a while for a bus to go back. 

I know logistically this sounds like a round about way to get somewhere, but it worked and we certainly didn't mind all the walking. 

Have you ever taken a balloon ride, anywhere?   -M

*All information was correct at the time this post was published.


  1. Oh, this looks fun! I've never ridden in a hot air balloon (or a helium one, either). I'd be totally happy with it being tethered LOL

  2. I never even knew about this! Sounds like fun. I like your tips for saving $$$.

  3. I never knew this was down there. That would be fun. I think the heights may freak me out a bit... & what happens if it pops? since its helium...I have questions - LOL Can you tell I think of every tragic thing that can happen?

  4. How awesome!! I would have never thought of walking from Saratoga! Thanks for the tip. This experience looks really cool!


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