Hot Air Balloon Ride In Central Florida

A Hot Air Balloon Ride In Central Florida

If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to spend your morning, consider a hot air balloon ride in Central Florida!


Riding in a hot air balloon is something I’ve wanted to do for a few years now, and I was so excited to learn that they had rides in Central Florida, just outside of Orlando. I originally tried back in June for my birthday with Orlando Balloon Rides. Unfortunately, the winds were too strong so they decided to cancel the flight. Safety first! I was a little upset, but it was an understandable reason to cancel. We ended up spending the day in Legoland, so it wasn’t a total loss. 😉


This time though, everything went as planned. We arrived at the Welcome Center at 6am and filled out some waivers. We were put in groups, got into vans, and rode out about 15 minutes to the field where the balloons were readied. It was a little chilly, and pretty misty, which added to the mystique and excitement. After a quick safety brief and instructions on how to get into the basket, we watched as the balloons were filled and slowly began to rise. Ours wasn’t the only balloon that morning; there were some other companies there with balloons as well. It was really cool to see them all taking shape and rising.


Orlando Balloon Rides

Filling the hot air balloon

Waiting for Orlando Balloon Rides to finish filling the balloon

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Central Florida


Around 7:15am, we climbed into the basket. One thing I hadn’t realized was that the basket was sectioned off into 5 parts: 4 corner areas and a section in the middle for the pilot. In other words, I could not walk from one corner of the basket to the other. But that didn’t take away from the experience. While we were up in the air, the balloon turned so we had great vantage points at all times.


Inside the hot air balloon basket
Who wouldn’t take a selfie with giant flames in the background?!



It was so peaceful and calm up there. Watching the sun peak through the clouds and looking down over the trees was amazing. Pat, our pilot, occasionally pointed out some landmarks and answered random questions. He was so funny, and really added to the experience.


View of Central Florida from a hot air balloon

Hot air balloons above central Florida

View of Central Florida

Hot Air Balloon Ride In Central Florida


In total, we were up in the air for an hour and six minutes. We traveled 8.78 miles and reached a max altitude of 2,476 feet. Our max speed was 13.3 mph and our average speed was 7.9 mph.


Hot Air Balloon Ride In Central Florida
Proof that Florida does have 4 seasons 😉

Hot Air Balloon Ride In Central Florida


The landing was a bit interesting… I don’t know why, but I thought that perhaps there was more of a way to steer the balloons. Maybe I’ve watched too many movies? Or was thinking more of zeppelins? Either way, we were pretty much at the mercy of the winds. Pat and the other pilots were in communication the whole time via radio, figuring out where to land based on wind speed and direction.


Hot Air Balloon Ride In Central Florida


We ended up finding a clearing in a corner of a residential community that was still being built. As we approached, we passed over occupied homes and a golf course, waving to the people below. Then we heard Pat say, “It’s gonna be bumpy!”


We held on to the straps on the rim of the basket and slightly bent our knees as instructed. Then we hit the ground hard and bounced. We hit the ground hard a second time, this time staying on the ground. I won’t lie, it was a rush and the thought did cross my mind that maybe the basket would roll. It was fun though! Like, roller coaster fun! I was laughing hysterically the whole time.


Pat of Orlando Balloon Rides
Pat was an awesome pilot!


Then, we each got out of the basket and helped the crew (who had been following below in their vans) get everything put away. We were also given some champagne and orange juice so we could toast to anyone celebrating a birthday or anniversary. Finally, we all got back into the vans and headed back to the Welcome Center.


Drinks after riding with Orlando Balloon Rides


I can’t say enough how much of a great experience this was. It was so wonderful and magical. I think everyone should ride in a hot air balloon at least once in their life. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done!


A few tips:

  • – Don’t wear a skirt: You’re climbing in and out of a basket that comes up to about chest level. If you must wear a skirt, make sure it’s a long one.
  • – Wear layers: It’s chilly in the early morning, but once that sun rises it gets pretty warm. Plus, remember there’s a giant flame shooting up into the balloon, so you might start to feel a little toasty.
  • – Bring snacks: Total time from arriving to the Welcome Center to leaving was about 3 hours, so if you don’t eat breakfast beforehand, you’ll probably be pretty hungry by the time you’re done.


Would you ever want to fly in a hot air balloon?


Like this post? Pin it for later!

Buddy The Traveling Monkey Hot Air Balloon Ride Central Florida


Similar Posts


  1. Great post, and I loved seeing the shot of Florida’s four seasons – such beautiful color! Thanks for covering this. It’s nice to know some of the operators in Florida that run these kinds of experiences. Will have to keep them in mind as I explore around. Looks like Buddy had fun too 🙂


    1. Hi Lori! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. If you ever have any questions, just let me know 🙂

  2. Loved the post Vicky! I’ve wanted to go in a hot air balloon for ages too, your sunrise shots are amazing! Also fun fact: champagne and orange juice is called a Buck’s Fizz in the UK, we have them on Christmas morning and for New Year’s we love ’em 😉

    1. Hey Mel!! That’s so cool and good to know! 😉 Miss you girly!

  3. This brought back so many great memories of our hot air balloon in Phoenix, Arizona. I was so surprised at how peaceful it felt suspended in mid-air! Love the photos!

  4. I’ve been considering doing a hot air balloon ride for a while. I’ve always wanted to, but been a bit nervous. Good to know that they are in sections. I have always wondered how they keep the balance.. The landing sounds a bit rough! Just reading your account made me feel a bit nervous.. but more knowledgable.

    1. Hi Karilyn! Yes, they divided us up I think to make sure the basket was pretty balanced. I would really consider going on a ride, it’s so much fun!

  5. Nice! I’ve never rode in a hot air ballon and am hoping to do so when I go to Cappadocia Turkey in a couple of months, if it’s not too cold!

    1. Oh!! That’s one of the best places to do it. I hope you get to do it!

  6. What a cool experience, definitely a different way to see the land! We had a balloon land in the field behind our house last week, certainly shows just how little directional control they have, glad you survived your landing!!

    1. It’s kind of crazy how they can land pretty much everywhere.

  7. Sounds like a lot of fun and a great way to see a part of Florida from a different perspective. We have never tried hot air ballooning but I think we would like it especially my son.

  8. It must be amazing to look down at the landscapes – I hope I’ll fly a balloon one day!

  9. Oh, I did a balloon ride in Orlando. We went off course and landed behind some houses. I wasn’t scared at all for some reason – the pilot was so professional. What a blast. Literally!

  10. I loved our hot air balloon ride in Myanmar. It felt like the ground melted away as opposed to us “taking off”. Such an amazing, yet silent experience. Fantastic photos. I am looking forward to going on another hot air balloon ride soon. Maybe it’ll be here!

  11. So glad it worked out for you to go the second try! We had a lot of fun doing a hot air balloon earlier this year, too–we didn’t have quite as bumpy of a landing though, but it sounds like it was a fun one haha! Gorgeous photos–seems like you had a perfect morning for it!

  12. What gorgeous photos! I am from Florida and I’ve never done this. Definitely next time I’m back home 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.