Fantasy of Flight “The Real Stuff”

Fantasy of Flight, “The Real Stuff”

When entering Fantasy of Flight at Orlampa, Florida. It isMagic” 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!

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Chris Thompson’s P-51D Fl…
Duration 03:42
By JR Hafer September 2011

By; JR Hafer  http://jrhaferaviationblog.com/

7 Responses to Fantasy of Flight “The Real Stuff”

  1. Jim Dohms says:

    JR is right on the mark with this article. Kermit Weeks has created in incredible destination for individuals who know a lot about aviation history,those who don’t and those anywhere in the middle.That’s where I fall. I have read about the B17 but I didn’t expect that I would be able to walk through one. You cannot have an idea of what the plane is all about unless you can walk past the 50 cal. machine guns, the bomb bay and everything else that is loaded into that plane. The setting of the plane in England, complete with jeep, tent and camouflage puts you as close to “being there” as is possible without actually being there. As JR mentioned, the staff is knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. Kermit has done as good a job having the right people as he has done procuring airplanes that have a history. I was also amazed with the attention to the design of the hangers as well. I have passed by Fantasy of Flight too many times to count. After visiting it, I can only ask myself why it took so long.

  2. General says:

    I will not say who I am because you will know me. I went to Fantasy of Flight recently and was certainly impressed. As no one bothered me and I was able to enjoy the sights without bother I felt the emotion this writer has just discribed. It brought tears to my eyes to read about and feel again the absolute breathless raw emotion that can be felt throughout the hangars and grounds at Fantasy of Flight. It is all true.

  3. Willie says:

    I really appriecate free, succinct, reliable data like this.

  4. James Rohel says:

    Wow! I think this article says it all. I agree with what this writer says and think he has captured the spirit, no pun intended, of what emotions one feels when one visits the Fantasy of Flight complex. I have copied and sent this article to several of my friends who are in the media field and they agreed it has “the magic feel”. (Back to the subject at hand). Anyone who isn’t moved by this article and Fantasy of Flight should have their heart and pulse checked. Maybe they are akin to Mr. Grinch and has one two sizes too small.
    Great Job Mr. Hafer

  5. Gert Lambert says:

    Mr. Hafer is a writer with a talent to give words true emotion. I have not been to Fantasy of Flight but now that I have read about it in this article I want to visit there very much. I feel the “Magic” through the words of this article and think I will feel the true spirit in that place. Thank you Mr. Hafer for this fine article and the smile you brought to me when I read it.
    Gertrude Lambert, in Pa.

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