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Moving Experiences - Plane & Glider Rides

Although there will be plenty to see once you’re aloft, these plane and glider rides are more about the experience itself than the sightseeing. If you’d like to be a little more “hands on,” check out the plane rides listed in Chapter 12: Do It!

Fantasy of Flight
P.O. Box 1200, Polk City 33868
(863) 873-1339

Cost: $60 to $200 per person
Hours: Daily 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weather permitting, October through May only
Location: Exit 44 off I-4, about 50 miles west of Orlando

Get a look at Central Florida from a vintage 1929 New Standard open-cockpit biplane. No reservations are necessary for the $60, 20-minute flights. For $200, you can get a half hour in a 1942 Boeing Stearman PT-17 and even get a chance to take the controls. (See Chapter 11 for Fantasy of Flight’s other attractions.)


Seminole-Lake Gliderport
P. O. Box 135516, Clermont 34713
(352) 394-5450

Cost: $95 to $160, including tax
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 a.m. to dusk; closed Tuesday June, July, August
Location: Just south of Clermont, at the intersection of SR 33 and SR 561

If you look up in the sky and see puffy cumulus clouds against a warm blue sky, it’s perfect gliding weather. You might just want to pop over to the Clermont area for an air-powered glider ride. The folks at Seminole-Lake Gliderport will put you in a high-performance glider with an FAA-certified instructor, tow you into the wild blue yonder — and let you go.

The price depends on the altitude at which the flight starts and, hence, its length. A $95 flight starts from 3,000 feet and lasts 20 to 25 minutes. At $130 and 4,000 feet they’ll throw in some aerial maneuvers for the 35-minute flight. The $160 flight tows you to 5,000 feet, offering a spectacular view of Central Florida on the 45-minute glide to landing.

Flights begin about 10:00 a.m., with the last flight about 4:00 p.m. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Instruction is also offered; rated pilots can pick up a gliding add-on to their license in about three or four days.

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