We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“BEST hot air balloon ride! Money you will NEVER regret spending.”
Review of Thompson Aire

Thompson Aire
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This is one of those DO NOT MISS attractions. 7 days a week at sunrise Thompson Aire offers Hot Air Balloon flights in the Disney world area. A three to four hour adventure that will have you talking about it the rest of your life. Float effortlessly over the tree tops and see the real Florida from literally a birds eye view! See areas of swamps and forest untouched by human hands. Wildlife is everywhere and photo opportunities are endless. Flight program is offered each morning at sunrise and includes a pre-flight briefing with the pilot, a one hour flight, Champagne ceremony, full buffet breakfast and first flight certificate. Reservations are required. Book online. Reduced rates for ages 10 to 15 and children 9 and under are FREE with a full paid adult.
Reviewed April 29, 2011

We recently had the absolute pleasure of flying with Thompson Aire with our 3 year old son. He has been fascinated with hot air balloons ever since he first saw pictures of the time my husband and I flew in one about 6 years ago. After watching many YouTube clips on hot air ballooning with him, we told Santa that a trip in the real thing would make his (and his parents'!) day.
We thought we knew what to expect, having flown with an Orlando-area competitor once before. We could not have been more wrong. For one thing, the customer service I experienced each time I contacted Thompson Aire was top-notch. All of my questions were answered, I never felt rushed off the phone, and I could tell just how knowledgeable and professional the staff was through our brief pre-flight telephone conversations. Once we met everyone at 6 am the morning of our flight (and they ARE punctual!), we were happy to receive the same level of customer service in person. Not only was our pre-flight briefing informative...it also showed me how seriously they take their jobs. These pilots are top in their industry. They have the art of hot air ballooning down to a very exact science. In addition to being extremely professional and knowledgeable, every staff member appeared genuinely happy to be at work! (Jeff, our pilot, enjoyed our flight as much as we did...and that was neat to see, given how many years he's been doing this!)
Once we got to our launch site, that's where I really began to notice a difference between this flight and our last one. Last time, I will admit, I chose a more budget-friendly option. But I will tell you that you absolutely get what you pay for. I would say it was no more than 15 minutes before Jeff had us up in the air. (Last time, it was closer to 45 minutes.) We also had lots of room in our basket...not to mention seats to sit on! (as opposed to our previous flight, when we were crammed in, 9 to the same size basket.) I still say there's really no such thing as a 'bad' hot air balloon ride, but it was nice to land gracefully this time, as opposed to spilling out with 4 adults landing on top of me, as happened on the "budget" flight.
The whole experience was amazing. We have since recommended Thompson Aire to 3 sets of friends who plan to fly as soon as possible. We would not use anyone else, now that we've experienced the best. We recommend that you don't, either. Thank you, to everyone at Thompson Aire, for a memory we will cherish forever.

3  Thank meandmy2boys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (134)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"hot air balloon"
in 12 reviews
"balloon flight"
in 12 reviews
"ground crew"
in 13 reviews
"captain jeff"
in 7 reviews
"buffet breakfast"
in 6 reviews
"launch site"
in 6 reviews
"bucket list"
in 11 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 10 reviews
"balloon company"
in 3 reviews
"picked up from our hotel"
in 2 reviews
"other companies"
in 5 reviews
"corny jokes"
in 2 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 4 reviews
"ballooning"
in 16 reviews
"balloons"
in 49 reviews
"thomson"
in 23 reviews
"land"
in 11 reviews
Filter

116 - 120 of 134 reviews

Reviewed November 10, 2010

Tere Laakso
Orlando Florida USA
I would do it again tomorrow..
10/24/2010

What an amazing experience. I will do it again. The crew is personable, humorous and very professional. Everything is just as they said. You feel no motion at all. It’s as if someone is moving the ground beneath you. I loved the personal attention they give you and chose Thompson Aire over the competitors due to the size of the baskets. I didn’t want to feel like cattle being herded into a large basket with 16 strangers. Setup is quick and before you know it, they tell you to get in. Then you’re off the ground and floating up. Its amazing how with no physical steering apparatus that they are able to successfully get to where they want to go. It is an excellent way to see the beautiful sunrise on a gorgeous Sunday morning.

Thank JTSky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2010

We rode with Thompson Aire in October of 2008 for our wedding anniversary.

The good: The "owner/operator" was very knowledgeable and passionate about ballooning.
Equipment seemed well maintained.
Crew was organized and focused.

The bad:
Balloon overcrowding!! My husband and I were crammed into a small basket with THREE other people, PLUS THE OPERATOR (six people in small/medium basket). It was way too crowded. I understand I could have paid a bazillion dollars for a "private" ride. I did not know that I needed to do that in order just to have a COMFORTABLE, enjoyable ride. All of us on board had to stand the whole time. My husband is 6' tall and he sweated profusely the entire time because of the gas burner. It was extremely unpleasant. We did not enjoy this experience at all and regret spending so much money on this.

11  Thank rainbowrific
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ThompsonAire, Owner at Thompson Aire, responded to this reviewResponded September 9, 2013

If you are reading the response "Thompson Aire Was Not Great" Here is the only thing I can say. We failed. We failed to properly educate these passengers that a hot air balloon is HOT! Not only that but the hotter it is outdoors the hotter you must heat the balloon to make it fly! So.. If you choose to go in a hot air balloon in the middle of the summer in FLORIDA. Please understand it will be hot. I know this seems like something that should be easy to figure out but apparently some can not.

Second Issue is they were cramped. The balloon they flew in is certified to carry a pilot and 6 passengers so the balloon actually had an empty space onboard. Here again we FAILED to help them to understand that the baskets are not supposed to have extra room. That gives the passengers enough room to fall and get hurt. We are supposed to be in a small space to minimize the chance of injuries on landing if the wind becomes high. The best way I can say it is this. You don't bring home eggs in a shoebox. They roll around and get broke! The reason the balloons basket is made from wicker is exactly because you want a cushion (something that gives) if you fall against it and you certainly do not want to have a bunch of room to gain a bunch of speed before you hit something.

It is unfortunate that these concerns were not voiced on that day since we could have very easily explained the common sense behind why it is the way it is. WE FAILED to provide enough information for this passenger to be able to understand ALL BALLOON flights are like this.

We are sorry.
Jeff A Thompson.
Capt. Jeff A Thompson
http://www.ThompsonAire.com
CaptJeff@ThompsonAire.com
407-421-9322
Thompson Aire Inc.
13825 Avalon Rd. (SR545)
Winter Garden Florida 34787

o Chief Pilot Thompson Aire Inc.
o 38 year veteran pilot
o Commercial Flight Instructor.
o FAA Pilot Safety Seminar Guest Speaker
o BFA PAAP Distinguished Aeronaut. Level 8
o 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Florida State Champion
o 2008 CBF Event Champion
o Ranked #10 Pilot in 2011 and #17 in 2012 the United States by the Balloon Federation national ranking system.
o Competitor US National Balloon Championships

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2010

Our Saturday morning with Thompson Aire was was great. They appear to be a family-oriented business and, unlike some other balloon companies in the area, Thompson uses smaller balloons and baskets. The smaller basket allows for a more intimate experience. We went with two adults and three kids (6, 9 and 12 years old) and were in our own basket, whereas other compans had what looked like 20 people on board. The trip was complete with a champagne toast at the end and full buffet breakfast at the meeting spot.

This was our first ballooning experience and hopefully won't be our last.

Thank Robogator0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed September 8, 2015
Google Translation

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Thompson Aire also viewed

Kissimmee, Central Florida
Kissimmee, Central Florida
 
Kissimmee, Central Florida
Orlando, Central Florida
 

Been to Thompson Aire? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing