Rising before the sun, a hot air balloon ride might be the earliest morning experience you’ll have in Orlando, but it will also be one of the most memorable. If you’ve never tried it, Orlando is a great place to give it a shot owing to its huge selection of hot air balloon companies, calm morning weather conditions, and pretty terrain.
For my sunrise flight, I chose Bob’s Balloons. Bob’s team takes care of everything including inflating the massive seven-story tall balloon and attaching the large basket you’ll ride in. Your balloon pilot communicates with the ground team to determine the landing spot and where the passenger van will meet you. Once on the ground, you’ll be treated to a champagne breakfast complete with fruit and snacks and your very own souvenir champagne glass to take home with you!
You’ll meet your guide at a designated check point around 6 a.m. and then travel together to the balloon lift off site. It’s an amazing sight to encounter as you see about a dozen other hot air balloons being inflated and then carried off into the still, morning sky for an hour long ride over the Orlando area landscape.
You’ll have the choice of booking a group or private flight, the latter of which is more expensive. Unless you’re booking with a group of people you know, it’s definitely worth it to spend the extra money for the private flight so you don’t have to share the ride with strangers.
Unless the weather is stormy, Bob’s Balloons plan to fly 365 days a year. It can be cool in the morning and then warmer as the day breaks, so layered clothing adds to the comfort of the flight. And don’t forget a camera. Bob’s team will be happy to take photos of you as well as provide professional shots available for purchase after the flight.
Hot air ballooning is super safe – especially in Central Florida. Bob has been ballooning nearly every day for 25 incident-free years. All the pilots are FAA certified and have many years of ballooning experience. The balloon travels gradually up and down so you never have to worry about motion sickness. Rest assured, your experience will be tranquil and memorable.
There isn’t a sound to be heard except for the occasional blast from the air balloon as you glide along the sky high above the tree tops as the new day breaks. From about 1,000 feet above the tree line, you might be fortunate enough to catch sight of a deer or other wildlife. It’s incredibly peaceful and quiet high up in the sky, and unless you spend a lot of time nervously looking down, this can be a very relaxing experience.