Jimmy Buffett launched a new weed brand last week, but soon Parrotheads will have an entirely new way to get high.
From the massive development on Highway 192 to a whole chain of retirement villages, Margaritaville has become a juggernaut of a brand with plenty of wild additions (like that social media-themed water park coming to Kissimmee) but the Margaritaville Resort in Biloxi, Mississippi might have the coolest new feature of all – a bar strapped to the bottom of a hot air balloon that rises more than 137 feet.
The AeroBar is similar to other tethered balloon attractions by the same company, like the observation balloon found at Disney Springs, but unlike those attractions, the ride is a full bar where 16 riders at a time strap themselves onto barstools, their feet hanging below with a bartender in the middle. As the tethered balloon rises up a lattice-like tower, the bartender serves the riders their drinks. The lattice tower provides guide rails that pull the balloon up thanks to a group of electrical motors while ensuring a smooth ride to the top.
The Biloxi AeroBar is the first such attraction in the United States, with only 10 in operation around the world. A similar attraction, but with a more traditional basket below the balloon, operates in Branson. The Biloxi version will be unique thanks to its location on top of a two-level parking structure, making the maximum height closer to 15 stories. A ride will last roughly 10 minutes, with the majority of it spent at the top of the tower.
Also on top of the parking structure will be other attractions, including a slingshot-style thrill ride, a swinging pirate ship, bumper cars and a 200-foot tall observation wheel, creating a small amusement park area. The resort already features other family entertainment, including a zipline.
When the Aerobar was first unveiled at the IAAPA Expo, a yearly attractions expo that showcases the latest in tourism concepts, it was a popular booth at the expo, but since then there has been little interest domestically. If the Biloxi version proves popular, more flying bars are expected to pop up around the country.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.