Fantasy of Flight: Let Your Imagination Soar in Polk City, Florida

Lisa Fritscher September 13, 2012 1 Comment

Fantasy of Flight off Interstate 4

This plane on the side of Interstate 4 sets the stage for the adventures that await.

It all started with a beagle. One specific beagle. Snoopy. From the hit 1966 song “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” by The Royal Guardsmen.

When Kermit Weeks first heard that tune as a young teenager, his imagination exploded. His interest in aviation skyrocketed (pun intended), and by the time he was 17, he had already built his first airplane. Weeks’ passion continued to grow and he quickly became a star on the international aerobatics competition circuit. He also began to amass a collection of vintage aircraft.

In 1985, Weeks opened his first private aviation museum, Miami’s Weeks Air Museum. The collection continued to grow until 1992, when Hurricane Andrew devastated the museum and damaged most of the airplanes. Repairs and restoration took approximately two years. Meanwhile, Weeks was closing in on an even bigger dream—a wonderland of imagination with an aviation theme in Central Florida. Fantasy of Flight opened in 1995 to rave reviews.

About Fantasy of Flight

Fantasy of Flight

Each experience gives way to something even more incredible.

Although the collection of more than 40 rare military and civilian aircraft is impressive, Fantasy of Flight is far more than a simple airplane museum. When a new attraction opens in the crowded Florida market, the odds are stacked against it from the outset. The Orlando area’s history is littered with the memories of attractions that could have been great—if only they had been built somewhere else, outside of Disney’s shadow. Yet since its earliest days, Fantasy of Flight, just 20 minutes from Walt Disney World, has not only survived but thrived. In this writer’s opinion, the attraction manages to beat Disney at its own game. From cleanliness to an immersive environment, from maintenance to technology to staff enthusiasm, Fantasy of Flight simply can’t be beat.

A single admission fee includes an immersive walk-through exhibit, a mind-boggling array of high-tech simulators, multiple tours, access to the aircraft hangar, and a flyover demonstration that is usually performed by Mr. Weeks himself. Separately priced add-on activities include a ropes course and zip line, as well as hot air balloon rides and passenger or hands-on flights in a vintage biplane.

As of 2012, Fantasy of Fight is open from 10 to 5 seven days a week, closing only for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Their address is 1400 Broadway Blvd SE, Polk City, FL 33868 and their official website is  The separately-priced activity schedules vary by season, so call ahead or visit the website if you are interested in add-ons. Admission is $28.95 for adults, $14.95 for children aged 6 through 12, and free for kids aged 5 and younger. Package deals are available that provide a discount on the ropes course and zip line. Annual passes are an excellent value for those who will visit more than once, priced at just $69.95 for adults and $39.95 for children. Passes also provide free or discounted admission to a variety of special events. Parking is free for everyone.

Our Experience

Fantasy of Flight Tours

As we stepped through the doors, we knew we were in for something different.

When you live somewhere, you tend to keep a running bucket list of places in the area that you intend to visit “sometime.” Yet real life has a habit of getting in the way. I meant to visit Fantasy of Flight the first year it opened, but I never actually got there before I moved to New Orleans in 2001. When Dad and I ended up spending the summer of 2012 in Central Florida, I knew I had to visit.

We arrived at approximately 11:30, intending to only spend a couple of hours. We love aviation museums, but don’t know enough about airplanes to spend a great deal of time. We quickly discovered, however, that the airplanes at Fantasy of Flight are merely the vehicle for a much more transcendent experience.

As we stepped through the doors, we were greeted by an exceptionally friendly woman in a 1940s pilot’s costume. She welcomed us to the attraction and explained a bit about what was to come. We were immediately struck by our immaculate, perfectly themed surroundings. Picking up tickets was easy and even pleasant, as we chatted with the ticket seller. Everyone was so excited and enthusiastic about their jobs!


Fantasy of Flight P-51 Mustang

How often do you get this close to a P-51 Mustang?

One of the highlights of any visit to Fantasy of Flight is the afternoon flyover performed every day, weather permitting. Unless he is sick (extremely rare) or out of town (very uncommon), Mr. Weeks performs the flyover himself. A variety of vintage aircraft are used for the demonstration. On the day of our visit, Mr. Weeks chose a P-51 Mustang, the fighter-bomber that brought about the end of the German Luftwaffe in World War II. The relatively small size of the crowd offered a nearly unparalleled view of the action.

Fantasy of Flight Kermit Weeks

Mr. Weeks loves to welcome his guests.

After the demonstration, Mr. Weeks gave a talk on his inspiration for Fantasy of Flight and his future plans for the attraction. Listening to Mr. Weeks talk was precisely how I always imagined it would have been to hear Walt Disney speak. He has an unbridled passion for people, for imagination and for inspiration. As he explained, Fantasy of Flight is all about helping visitors tap into the part of themselves that longs to soar, unfettered by the realities of daily life and our own fears and self-doubts. For Mr. Weeks, aviation is a symbol for the timeless desire to reach beyond ourselves. Even the attraction’s logo, which came to Mr. Weeks in a dream, represents this theme of overcoming and moving further than we ever believed was possible. He has written a series of children’s books, available at Fantasy of Flight, that continue the theme through a series of characters modeled after famed aviators and aircraft.

Mr. Weeks has big ideas for Fantasy of Flight. He plans to develop the attraction into a sort of next-generation theme park, adding new high-tech immersive exhibits and experiences alongside seaplanes and other unusual aircraft. Blessed with an enormous plot of land on the banks of a stunning lake, he has plenty of room for all his dreams.

Our Impressions

Fantasy of Flight Aviation Museum

Kids and adults alike were fully engaged throughout the experience.

One of the things that impressed us the most was how thoroughly engaged the visitors were throughout the entire experience. Although it was relatively crowded on the day of our visit, we never saw a single example of bad behavior by either kids or adults. No one was on a cell phone. No one was updating Facebook. No kids were running wild, and no parents were yelling. Instead, preteen girls grabbed each other’s arms in excitement as they watched the flyover. Small groups of kids took turns on simulators, eagerly monitoring each other’s progress. Elderly gentlemen explained details of specific airplanes to small children who hung on their every word.

We believe that such a transcendent feeling comes from the top down. It is clear that Kermit Weeks believes strongly in the attraction that he often describes as his playground. He sets his staff up to succeed, providing the tools they need and empowering them to create an amazing guest experience. Likewise, he treats visitors like his personal invited guests. He spends time walking through Fantasy of Flight and chatting with those around him. He trusts visitors to get up close and personal with his priceless aircraft, fostering an atmosphere of respect. And guests respond in kind. They go out of their way to avoid making a mess, causing damage, or disturbing other visitors.

Tips for Parents

Fantasy of Flight Planes

It would be tough not to have an open mind at Fantasy of Flight!

Visit Fantasy of Flight with an open mind and a relaxed schedule. Rushing through defeats the entire point of the experience. Don’t expect a traditional aviation museum, a traditional theme park, or for that matter, anything traditional at all. Be receptive to your own journey and that of your kids. Let them take the lead, and be willing to stop and fully explore whatever catches their eye. Be prepared for questions, and never hesitate to involve a staff member in your conversations. If you have the chance, stop and talk with Mr. Weeks about anything at all. Become an active participant in your own experience, and you may be surprised by how much you learn not only about airplanes, but about yourself and your family.

For a detailed look at the activities and opportunities available at Fantasy of Flight, take a look at Fantasy of Flight: A Day in a Wonderland of Imagination.

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avatarAbout the Author:

Lisa is a full-time travel writer. She lives in an RV with her disabled father and writes about their experiences. Although she has no children of her own, Lisa loves being an Aunt to her own relatives and the children of all her friends. You can follow her adventures on her blog, Travel Confessions.

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One Comments to “Fantasy of Flight: Let Your Imagination Soar in Polk City, Florida”
  1. avatar Martin says:

    Very well written article which describes exactly my experiences when visiting there back in ’08. Looking forward to my next visit very soon. Incidentally, its also worth keeping a watch on Kermit Weeks’ Facebook page – that guy does get around and he posts loads of photos and comments while he is travelling.