Thank You Fantasy of Flight
Today marks a very sad day for the worldwide aviation community but also for Florida tourism. World’s largest and, without a doubt, world’s most beautiful private aircraft collection is closing its doors.
Founded in 1985 as the “Weeks Air Museum” located in Miami, it moved to Polk City and re-opened 1995 as “Fantasy of Flight” after being destroyed by Hurricane Andrew. The collection contains over 140 civilian and military planes, most of them in perfect flying conditions, as impressively demonstrated on the daily flight show. Latest gem added to the collection is the iconic Howard Hughes Sikorsky S-38 replica. This historical aircraft is the only S-38 that still flies and was featured in the 2004 film, The Aviator.
In a statement, founder Kermin Weeks said: “Although we are located just 20 minutes west of Walt Disney World, we’re currently outside the center of mass tourism and not perceived of as a destination. We have a great product, but people have a misperception of what we offer,” said Weeks. “After 18 years of being in operation, it’s time we close the attraction and move forward toward creating the vision for what I know Fantasy of Flight can become”
According to Weeks, the facility will be turned into what it was originally designed for, which is a restoration and maintenance facility that will be needed to build future attraction elements.
While saddened that closing the attraction will necessitate a reduction in workforce, Weeks is optimistic that his long-term vision and future product will mean far more jobs and greater impact to Polk County. “We have great employees,” said Weeks, “and will be working with several local, state and private agencies in the upcoming weeks in order to offer our employees assistance and training for the transition.”
Fantasy of Flight has not only been world’s greatest aviation museum, but also a place to meet great people with absolute passion and love for aviation. Someone on Facebook described it as “I’ve never felt so at home in a museum. You really make everyone feel special, right at home and in the period. Thank you all for all you do!” – we couldn’t have said it any better.
Fantasy of Flight – like we know it – may be closed forever now, but you’ll always live on in our hearts and memories.
Please don’t miss the Fantasy of Flight photo gallery at: Review – Visit to Fantasy of Flight – Polk City Florida (Photos)