Review – Visit to Fantasy of Flight – Polk City Florida (Photos)

If you’re an active member of the aviation community you’ve probably already heard of the Fantasy of Flight located in Polk City, Florida (between Tampa and Orlando). Their website came to my attention long time ago and I was curious what to expect from this place at a small town in the middle of Lakeland countryside.
Recently I made a long planned trip to Cocoa, Titusville and NASA Kennedy Space Center and also made a visit to the Fantasy of Flight. To make a long story short, this place is heaven for any aviation enthusiast! A must-see if you’re in that area! To get there it only takes 40 minutes from Orlando or 1:30 hours from Cocoa or Titusville.

Believe me, over the years I’ve seen many aviation museums and vintage aircraft at air shows, but what you can see at Fantasy of Flight will blow your mind! It’s absolutely amazing. In every bit, every plane, every single exhibit you can feel their absolute passion and love for aviation! Great, friendly and passionate staff is taking care of you, taking you around the hangars and giving you insider view of what it takes to restore priceless aircraft to flyable condition. (Thanks Eddie! 😉 )

Fantasy of Flight Polk City Florida

Greeted by an ex-Lufthansa Lockheed Super Constellation you enter the small Polk City airfield (FA08). The main entrance building houses a nice 1940-style restaurant and a souvenir shop. Inside the hangars of Fantasy of Flight many surprises are waiting for you. Without doubt, one is the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, which is not just the plane but a whole, fantastic adventure … but I don’t want to reveal anything!

If you continue the exciting journey though the history of aviation, you’re going to find yourself in front of a small door – the hangar entrance. You open that door and Wow! you’ll be blown away by all of those airplanes! They’re all waiting for you to be discovered! This probably is the greatest, most beautiful collection of vintage airplanes that you’ve ever seen! Planes that you won’t see anywhere else, beautifully restored with so much love and passion. Just to give you a small glimpse, the collection includes a Short S-25 Sunderland 5 double-decker flying boat, Ford 5-AT-B Tri-motor, Stinson SM-6000B Trimotor, Ryan NYP “Spirit of St Louis” (Replica), Curtis Pusher D, Gee Bee’s, Lockheed Vega 5-A, Consolidated Catalina, Martin B-26 Marauder, B-25 Mitchell, Grumman J2F-6 Duck, F4U-4 Corsair, Grumman FM-2 Wildcat, Fokker Dr 1 Triplane, B-24J Liberator, North American P-51 and even such rare items like a V2 german rocket.

Fantasy of Flight Gee Bee Hangar Overview

Fantasy of Flight P51 Mustang

As you move on through the hangar with a bright smile on your face, at some point you come to realize that this is not all! No! There’s a second hangar and even an aircraft carrier themed display! Wow! It’s like heaven.

There’re a lot more activities at Fantasy of Flight.
A guided tram tour is taking you to the restricted areas which are otherwise off limits to guests. It includes an overview of the grounds including the grass runways, stops along the backlot and a visit to the maintenance hangar and restoration areas. You’re going to see the largest collection of spare engines and props in any museum!

Fantasy of Flight Restoration Area Tour

Daily aerial demonstrations are a unique opportunity to see rare, vintage aircraft in flight. Learn more about these planes and speak with one of the expert pilots.

Fantasy of Flight Fiesler Storck Airshow

And if you like you can take a biplane ride with a New Standard D-25 or the famous Boeing Stearman and experience the spirit of aviation by yourself. (Booking in advance recommended)

At Fantasy of Flight absolutely great, very friendly and professional staff with a big heart for aviation comes together with the great history of planes. It’s really fun and definitly worth a visit! Visit for more information.

More Photos

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3 Responses

  1. JR Hafer says:

    Fantasy of Flight, “The Real Stuff”

    When entering Fantasy of Flight at Orlampa, Florida. It is “Magic” and nothing else short of that word can ever come close to describing it! There are no other words that can be used to adequately describe the emotional stirring by the experience.

    Certainly many articles have been written of venues that have impressed us. They have often given cause to the overuse of superlatives in describing our experiences. The overuse of a mighty word like “Magic” for example, has robbed it of the real value, of the ability to paint a descriptive and emotional image, it has degraded the word to an everyday “flag waving” un-magic word. In other words, the word “magic” in itself has lost it’s own macho!

    But this “Magic” word I use is different! It is almost sacred, reverent or perhaps respectful is the proper word to use. Yes, absolutely, that’s it respectfulness, there is an atmosphere of respect there! Respect for what? Read on you’ll see…

    It is the “Real Stuff” not the fairy land magic you experience with the “Glitz and Glamour” of the local world famous attractions nearby. The reason is everything you see is authentic and true aviation history!

    Oh, “Where is Orlampa?” I thought you might ask… Well, don’t try to find it on your map! You’ll not find it there. It only exists within the gates and the vision of “The Wizard” at his 300 plus acre Fantasy of Flight complex, Kermit Weeks, and a few thousand others.

    Actually the physical location is near Polk City, Florida at exit #44 on Interstate 4 halfway between Tampa and Orlando, of course. Thus, “Orlampa”…

    Fantasy of Flight is NOT a “Theme” park! Although, it does have a definite theme; the theme outwardly seems to be aviation, however, if you look very close you will find it is actually in your own heart…

    One can immerse themselves in authentic aviation at Fantasy of Flight, absorbing the historical experience that will touch your heart. I am convinced souls bless and watch over that place, teaching those who will allow themselves to be moved by such sacrifices made for America.

    Fantasy of Flight is NOT an “Amusement” park! Although you will definitely be amused! Fantasy of Flight is NOT a museum where often exhibit are replicas. At Fantasy of Flight every aircraft is flyable.

    Every day they have Tours of the rebuild shops and some of the planes are actually flown. If you feel brave you can even purchase a ride in a biplane or a balloon.

    Fantasy of Flight is NOT a “Kiddy” park! Although you will definitely feel like a Kid again! You know what they say about the difference between boys and their toys.

    Yes, Fantasy of Flight is surely MAGICAL, but there is no “Fantasy” to it. The fantasy has evolved to a vision and to a journey for Kermit Weeks; and again it has morphed into a sharing of a journey. Kermit Weeks is sharing his journey with the public thereby the public becomes a part of the journey with him.

    Mr. Weeks says, “Everyone can relate to the metaphor of reaching for the sky and the stars, we can soar in our imagination, and we can fly in our dreams, and we want to get people to push their boundaries and strive to be all they can be.”

    He has surely done that, he has flown and won many medals in the worlds aerobatics Championships and was United States national aerobatics Champion twice, just to mention a few of his many accomplishments. He is an aeronautical engineer, author, member of the Tony Jannus Society, The Florida Aviation Historical Society, member of the aviators hall of fame.

    Kermit Weeks has created a place where people would, if they could, actually come and work without pay just to be around the ambiance and friendly atmosphere there, if he would let them. Now, that is MAGIC!

    There is more than magic at Fantasy of Flight, it is more than just ambiance, the hangars are steeped with History I believe those souls who gallantly sacrificed their lives in aircraft like those represented there, are smiling and blessing the place.

    There is something missing though: I have been there many times and as I meander around talking to the staff, all of them take the time to talk to me I don’t ever feel as though they wish I would stop talking and move on. I have noticed each one of them lack the one thing all businesses seem to battle constantly though; that is negative attitudes and high stress levels.

    The staff at Fantasy of Flight seems to have “zero” levels of stress! Either I have been blind to it or that fact has eluded me. Now, that’s really magic. Because stress comes from the top, therefore Kermit Weeks must have the Magic touch. You got to respect that!

    There I go again! I have used the word “Magic” many times? But each time the word Magic was used for REAL VALUE sake, I guarantee it. Fantasy of Flight is for Real, something everyone can respect and so is Kermit Weeks!

    Fantasy of Flight has the Magic, and it is the REAL STUFF!
    By: JR Hafer, Aviation Writer

  2. Bill W. Burr says:

    I remember us visiting this museum when I was younger, on a whim while on a trip to visit some friends in Lake Wales, right next to Polk City. I was pretty young at the time, but what stuck with me the most was seeing the Spirit of St. Louis (though I guess it was just a replica). I probably wasn’t able to appreciate the place fully at the time, despite thinking flight was the coolest thing ever, but I still had fun and I’m sure learned a lot just looking at the different aircraft. Seeing the pictures brings back some good memories I had forgotten about. Everyone should visit if they’re around that part of Florida.

  3. Austin says:

    Great Review.
    I hope to be in that area later this year. I will try to get there.
    I enjoy aviation museums – but I am a big fan of the smaller community musuems, usually located at the local airports.

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