As amusement resorts go, Walt Disney World is big. Really big. Sure, there are the theme parks. But there are also water parks, miniature golf, actual golf, hotels, restaurants, stores, sports complexes, and lots and lots of trees, water, and roads separating them all. WDW even has its own fire station. It also has Downtown Disney, which is a collection of specialty shops, restaurants, theaters, and empty buildings that used to be nightclubs--as well as a strange little attraction that really wouldn't fit into any of the existing theme parks:
Characters In Flight
Is that...a balloon?
It costs $16 per person. And while that might seem fairly expensive for what is, essentially, just a fancy observation tower--it's practically cheap by Disney standards.
We have our boarding passes, Captain!
This is what I look like on a balloon.
Up we go, at the end of a steel cable tether...! (That's supposed to be sung, you see. To the tune of Wild Blue Yonder. Nevermind.)
The E is for Erik. The S is for Smisty. The N is for...um..."Nobody Else."
The "Marketplace" section of Downtown Disney.
And the "West Side" section.
Now then, let's see what we can see from 400 feet in the air. Looks like Typhoon Lagoon and Disney Hollywood Studios! (I think Expedition Everest is actually in this photo, too. Far right.)
And Epcot, too!
And yes, even the Magic Kingdom. Well, if you squint. You can see part of it. Behind the Contemporary Resort. Top middle. It's Space Mountain's foot. Look, shut up.
Not good enough for you? Well, how about SeaWorld? (Top middle-right.)
Time to head back down to the planet. That's a sort of a pun, you see. "Planet Hollywood"? Forget it.
Misty and I took up positions on opposite ends of the balloon, for maximum photo coverage. But you can move around, if you like. We weren't sure, going in. How you doin' over there, Smisty? You look a bit worried.
See? Safe and sound back on the ground.
I enjoyed it. It's as high up as you're gonna get over WDW, short of a far more expensive helicopter ride. And it's quite smooth and pleasant. What did you think, Smisty? Would you do it again??
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