An Airplane Museum?!

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Picture of the Spitfire model that my husband built for me after we visited Fantasy of Flight!

Picture of the Spitfire that my husband built for me after we visited Fantasy of Flight!

When I heard the words airplane museum I immediately got a mental picture of dusty, rusty, old airplanes sitting around in rows. BORING right? Well, my perception of airplanes was changed when we visited the Fantasy of Flight near Orlando, Florida.

Fantasy of Flight is a collection of airplanes that belong to Kermit Weeks. There is no dust on the display planes because they are all restored to working condition! The main building is decorated in 1940’s-1950’s diner style with an actual diner. First, we went through an interactive display of airplane history. We were invited to lean over a mirror display that made it feel like you were flying, and then we walked through the airplane’s history starting with the first flight through the roles airplanes played in World War I and World War II. The World War II display was very realistic with sounds and film clips and even a bomber airplane to walk through! It gave me a new appreciation for the men who worked in such scary and dangerous conditions!

There were various tours available throughout the day. We experienced the tour of the spare parts/different restored airplanes, a tour of the wood shop, a tour of the hangers where they house airplanes that weren’t restored yet (those were a little dusty and rusty, but very interesting!). My favorite part was when mid-day we got to see one of the airplanes actually go up and do a demonstration for us! At the same time, someone who was not part of the planned demonstration flew by on a Spitfire and flew quite close.

There was even a room geared towards kids. You could try to fly a hot air balloon or hand glider in a computer game, there were balls that you could use to learn about air flow and how it affects airplanes, and there was a station where you could make your own paper airplane and try and fly it into a target among other things.

463px-We_Can_Do_It!At one point we got “stuck” in one of the hangers that housed the unrestored airplanes and got to talk to one of the tour guides all by ourselves. We accidentally missed the bus back to the main building! All of the tour guides were friendly and helpful. Each one was dressed in a different period “costume.” There was Rosy the Riveter from World War II, two dressed as early aviators, and one dressed in a suit probably from the 1950’s. Each of them interacted with their guests and were very knowledgeable about the airplanes and the museum.

Also available at Fantasy of Flight are a zip line and actual airplane rides. They are not a part of regular admission, but they looked fun!

There was more than enough to keep us busy during their 10 am-5 pm operation hours and we plan to go back sometime. Fantasy of Flight is a fun, educational visit for adults and children alike (children under 5 are free probably because they wouldn’t get much out of it before 5 years old). I would definitely recommend a visit if you are in the area!

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