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Friday, December 16, 2011

Fantasy of Flight 2012 symposium series

POLK CITY, Fla. (Nov. 17, 2011) - History cannot be rewritten, but Fantasy of Flight is bringing America's proud military history to life in an even more compelling and deeply personal way this year through its Fourth Annual Legends & Legacies Symposium Series, which features new and seldom explored aspects of World War II and for the first time, the Vietnam War.  

Each year, Central Florida's premier aviation attraction and home to the World's Greatest Aircraft Collection™, creates a forum for the public to hear firsthand about the experiences of some of America's most courageous aviators and military heroes through permanent and semi-permanent exhibits, real aircraft, and most importantly, their own personal stories, recollections from their family members, and interactions with guests. The multi-day events feature several open-forum/question-and-answer sessions as well as meet/greet autograph signings with the guest speakers.

"Each year, the Legends & Legacies experience is different from the last, with new guest speakers, new stories, new interactions with guests, and new topics to explore, including three all-new events this year," said Kim Long, General Manager of Fantasy of Flight. "The opportunity to hear firsthand from military veterans, especially those who fought in World War II and Vietnam, is a precious gift that we hope to share with as many guests as possible throughout the 2012 series."

The 2012 Legends & Legacies Symposium Series includes:

They Dared to Fly: Tuskegee Airmen, Feb. 9-11 - In honor of Black History Month, several of the nation's first African-American military aviators will share their personal stories of what it was like to serve as a World War II pilot in the military during segregated America. Fantasy of Flight's permanent multi-media Tuskegee Airmen exhibit and vintage aircraft collection, including the P-51C Mustang, provide the perfect backdrop for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the brave men who fought America's enemies abroad while enduring racism at home.

Breaking All Barriers: Amazing Women in American History, March 2-3 - In honor of National Women's History Month, Fantasy of Flight celebrates the barrier breaking women who took on non-traditional roles during WWII, including the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) ̶ the first women to fly military aircraft ̶ and all those entered the workforce for the first time in the spirit of "Rosie the Riveter."
WASP Standing by a plane
Bea Haydu, a featured WASP, reflects back at the AT-6 displayed at Fantasy of Flight
Unspoken Valor: The Bomber Crews of World War II, April 13-14 - New to the Legends & Legacies line up this year, the event promises harrowing tales from actual crewmen of WWII bomber planes such as the B-25 Mitchell, B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator - all incredible planes with amazing strengths but potentially catastrophic weaknesses. Fantasy of Flight's own bombers set the stage for this unforgettable weekend.

D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, May 11-12 - Guests will relive the most complex military initiative in world history as the men who were there recount their experiences as part of this massive air, land, and sea attack. Months in the making, it required the coordination of thousands of Allied forces, who once set in motion, could not be called back.

Reflections of Vietnam, June 8-9 - For the first time, Fantasy of Flight's Legends & Legacies series will explore the Vietnam War, America's longest conflict and first military failure on foreign soil. Here, those who bravely stood up to serve will share their personal experiences about this complicated and emotional time in U.S. history.

Letters Home: Love, Courage & Survival, Oct. 12-13 - Fantasy of Flight delves into the WWII era like never before with the final event of the 2012 series, based on the deeply personal handwritten correspondence exchanged between the brave men who fought abroad and the women and loved ones they left behind. Whether they were high school sweethearts separated by the war or soldiers who met the love of their lives while serving overseas, their letters portray a wartime experience that can't be found in history books.

Symposium events are included in the price of Fantasy of Flight general admission and are free for annual pass holders. General admission is $28.95 for adults, $26.95 for seniors ages 55 and over and $14.95 for children, ages 6-12, plus 7 percent sales tax. Children five and under are free with full paying adult. Group rates are available for groups of 15 or more; for more information, call 863-984-3500, ext. 220. For general information, visit www.fantasyofflight.com.


Fantasy of Flight is Central Florida's premier aviation-themed attraction showcasing vintage aircraft from the world's largest private collection; themed immersion experiences; interactive exhibits; a tram tour of aircraft maintenance areas; Restoration and Backlot tours; Fun with Flight center for families and the country's only Aerial Demonstration of the Day (weather permitting) featuring a vintage plane. General admission also includes The Tuskegee Airmen - They Dared to Fly exhibit; the multimedia tribute to the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) - A Passionate Pursuit, a walking audio tour and many special events throughout the year.

New at Fantasy of Flight this year is Wing WalkAir, a thrilling outdoor attraction featuring a 600-foot zip line suspended four stories above water and a three-level ropes course complete with 33 midair challenges to be performed while tethered to an overhead line at heights of up to 45 feet. Ideal for families, couples, student/youth groups or corporate groups seeking teambuilding opportunities, Wing WalkAir is the first attraction of its kind in Polk County, located midway between Tampa and Orlando. Admission is $22 for the zip line and ropes course or $15 for the zip line and $12 for the ropes course when purchased separately. Group rates are available. Fantasy of Flight admission is not required for entry to Wing WalkAir.

Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily. General admission is $28.95 for adults, $26.95 for seniors ages 55 and over and $14.95 for children, ages 6-12, plus 7 percent sales tax. Annual passes are available for $69.95 for adults, $39.95 for children ages 6-12, plus 7 percent sales tax, and are good for one year from the date of purchase. Biplane rides, through Waldo Wright's Flying Service, and hot air balloon rides, are available for an extra charge. For more information about Fantasy of Flight, call 863-984-3500 or visit  www.fantasyofflight.com.