American Balloons are taking people to new heights around Tampa on a daily basis!
If you have ever woke up around Walt Disney World, you have seen the multitude of hot air balloons that are flying over the parks and resorts. Nothing is as fun and exciting as to rise up from the earth in a balloon and see the natural beauty of Central Florida. Well on a recent trip to Clearwater Beach we had the opportunity to take a private tour with the amazing people over at American Balloons out of Land O Lakes Florida by Tampa!
We arrived at the Hampton Inn in Wesley Chapel, Florida at 5:30 in the morning. We were met in the lobby by Jessica and her husband Tom and went over some paperwork as well as some history of the company. Tom, who was our pilot, has been flying balloons since 1998 and has over 5,000 hours of flying time! After talking for a few minutes we took off in their van for the launch location!
Once we arrived we watched as the balloon and the basket were taken out of the trailer and laid out on the ground. One thing that was different from this company then the others was the fact that they did not make you help set up and put away the balloon! Shannon was able to help hold the balloon open as huge fans blew up the envelope. Once the balloon was full of air, Tom lit the fire to help raise the balloon into the air!
Once the balloon was upright we joined Tom in the basket and were off into the air! The balloon raised up into the sky to reveal the natural beauty of Florida. We were in air just as the sun came up making for beautiful photos. Tom stated that they always flew in the morning due to the wind being the most calm early in the morning. I will say that I do hate to fly, however a balloon ride is great! I was not scared at all since you went with the wind. When you fly with the wind, there is no turbulence and no rocking of the basket!
After a 45 minute flight we had a safe landing in one of the many landing sites that are used by American Balloons. It was amazing how quick the balloon was down and put away! After a champagne toast we were back in the van on the way back to the hotel! Included in the price was a breakfast buffet at the hotel!
One thing I want to stress is how safe American Balloons are! American Balloons keep their balloons for only 2 to 3 years even though you can safely operate a balloon for 7 years. They have the latest and greatest equipment due to the fact they are a dealer of balloons. Another reason they are safe is the material that is used in the balloon itself. The fabric that is used by American Balloons is much safer then the normal fabric. Most do not use it due to the expense but expense doesn’t matter when it comes to safety!
Another thing that is unique to American Balloons is the fact that they have a basket that opens with a door! American Balloons is the only company in the USA that has a commercial balloon that has a door. Tom stated that he wanted a basket with a door for the wounded warriors. He stated that he hated to see veterans have to be helped into a basket. It also helps with the older population that may not be able to climb safely in and out of a basket.
Overall, I had such a wonderful time with American Balloons! From the time we booked our flight till they dropped us off we had nothing but a positive experience. Being this is a family owned and operated business, they take pride in making sure each and every guest has a great experience! I also loved how safety was the number one concern of everyone we encountered at the company! Lastly, I think American Balloons has an advantage over the competition. This family runs American Balloons for fun, not for profit which means that they don’t push the limit which can put the safety of the guest at risk. I highly recommend American Balloons the next time you are in Orlando or Tampa! Trust me, the drive is worth the experience and your safety!
To book a tour, for more information or current prices, visit American Balloons here!
Have you ever been on a tour with American Balloons? If so what did you think? Comment below and let me know what YOU thought!