– Exploring Aviation in Central Florida- Attractions Offering Flying Fun For The Entire Family


Central Florida attractions have plenty to offer visitors and residents of all ages. Beautiful gardens, thrilling amusement parks, historic buildings and museums, fine eateries, and live entertainment from around the globe. However, for some, that simply is not enough. Every year, thousands flock to Polk County for the numerous aviation events that fill the streets, the skies, and the imagination. The flight of fancy that brings visitors to Polk County will have them doing more than sky diving in Florida. There are hot air balloon rides, flight simulators, restoration demonstrations, flight museums, air shows, fly-ins, and flying lessons for anyone who is interested! Take To The SkiesNot all of Central Florida’s attractions are found on the ground. For the adventurous, there are hang gliding and sky diving in Florida, even for beginners. Wallaby Ranch is the first year-round aerotow hang gliding park in the world. Using the latest tandem aerotowing techniques, guests thrill to the safest, most exciting hang gliding experience available. If you prefer an old time biplane ride, head for Waldo Wright’s Flying Service or Preston’s Aviation. If visitors are interested in earning their own wings, Preston’s Aviation is the place to go.See how vintage planes are restored and then watch them take to the sky at Fantasy of Flight. Take a walk through tour of a WWII B-17, or pilot a hot air balloon, a hang glider, or an airplane in the simulators before heading back outside for aerial demonstrations. Guests can also choose to ride in an open cockpit biplane or hot air balloons. You can even take the controls on a 1940 Boeing Stearman plane while in the air. You and your family can take a break from all the excitement and step back in time at the Museum Room at the Bartow Airport Terminal Building. Featuring memorabilia from WWII, the Bartow Air Base Museum offers aficionados plenty to look at before heading back outside.37th Annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & ExpoOffering one of the most exciting and extensive flight related events to be found anywhere, Polk County’s 37th annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo will take place March 29th through April 3, 2011. Featuring the Blue Angels, this centennial celebration of naval aviation is sure to have something for everyone! Workshops, displays, competition, ride hoppers, even a parts exchange will make this a unique event. Take To The Sky!There are several other Central Florida attractions that involve vintage airplanes. Mustangs & Mustangs is just such an event. This exciting phenomenon at Fantasy of Flight occurs on April 2, 2011, as Ford Mustang cars provide the floor show and P-51  WWII fighter planes take to the skies with aerial demonstrations, exhibits, and entertainment. Later in the year, visitors can watch or participate as vintage aircraft, classic racing boats, and other rare, exotic cars and motorcycles compete for best of show and fastest of the pack at the annual Roar n’ Soar being held November 12th and 13th, 2011.With all of the exciting aviation activities to see and do, visitors should don their goggles and prepare for the flight of a lifetime on their next Polk County vacation!

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Chris Harmen writes for the Central Florida Visitors and Convention Bureau, your source for information about Central Florida attractions. Biplane rides, sky diving in Florida, and the Air Museum are popular Central Florida attractions.

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