If you would like to see the world's biggest collection of vintage airplanes, then the Fantasy of Flight attraction is the place to visit when you are in Orlando. This fascinating exhibition combines inter-active exhibits, aerial shows, and a huge collection of historic planes to create an attraction that was named "Orlando's Best Kept Secret" in a recent newspaper poll.
The exhibit was opened by Kermit Weeks, who wanted to represent all eras of aviation history starting from the earliest flights and continuing up to the 1950s. Some of the aircraft on display have been restored to their original condition and others have been left in the condition that they were in when they were acquired.
Planes on display include the B-17 Flying Fortress, P-51C Mustang, MK-16 Spitfire, and many other stand-out airplanes from the years 1900 to 1950. The facility is located on a 2,000 acre plot and includes enough attractions and activities to keep you busy for an enjoyable three to five hour visit.
The exhibitions are grouped into early flight, beginning with the bi-planes of the early 1900s, and then going to the World War I period when airplanes started to play a role in the mechanized warfare of the modern era. The World War II era is shown with the B-17 Flying Fortress being the star attraction.
In addition to an array of 40 vintage planes, there is also an interactive section where you can build your own paper airplane, then set it free to see how far it gets through the Flight Center's fly zone. There is also a state-of-the art gliding simulator where you can feel what it was like to pilot a hot air balloon. You can also take control of a Corsair Fighter on a World War II aircraft carrier and try to shoot down enemy aircraft.
For many people the highlight of any visit to Fantasy of Flight is the aircraft of the day demonstration when a vintage plane is rolled out, and there is a question and answer session in which the pilot gives some of the history of the airplane. Then the pilot takes the plane aloft for an aerial demonstration in the skies above the facility.
For every perfectly restored airplane in the Art Deco display hangars, two airplanes await restoration in the back lot. Guests can inspect an eclectic collection of military aviation artifacts and even historic planes that were used in Hollywood. A trip to the restoration workshops will give you an insight into the problems and solutions that this center uses to restore old aircraft into planes that have won awards for historical restoration.
Like any attraction of this type, Fantasy of Flight has a souvenir shop where you can pick up books, videos, and Tee shirts that are flight-themed. You can also get a snack at their art-deco diner which is open every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fantasy of Flight is located at 1400 Broadway Blvd. S.E., Polk City, FL 33868,
(863)984-3500 and their website is www.fantasyoflflight.com
Mark Whichard writes frequently about Orlando Tourism. He is the proprietor of Orlando's Finest Vacation Home and if you are interested in great deals on Orlando vacation rentals and rental homes near Disney World, then visit his website: http://www.Orlandosfinest.com