Fantasy of Flight closing next month, making way for "unique" mini theme park

New attraction will be loosely based on flight

POLK CITY, Fla. - The founder of Fantasy of Flight, who announced he's closing the Polk County attraction next month, plans to open an even bigger park in the coming years.

Kermit Weeks has one of the biggest collections of vintage airplanes in the entire world, and for the last 18 years he's let the public enjoy them as well.

"We're a museum on steroids," he said.

Weeks announced Tuesday he's closing Fantasy of Flight to make room for his next project that will be loosely based on aviation.

"Imagine going through a theme park of the future where instead of entertainment being an end product, entertainment becomes the means to the ends of self-discovery and self-transformation," he said.

So, that clears it up, right?

Weeks keeps his plans somewhat vague, but insists it's big, original and will finally turn Fantasy of Flight into a destination.

"It's going to look like a theme park, but the main difference is what we're going to deliver here is everything is going to be based on things that are real. Things that have a direct baring on what we all experience on this journey through life," Weeks said.

Head of Visit Central Florida Mark Jackson said the decision to close will no doubt hurt tourism, especially during the busiest time of year.

He calls the future plans "intriguing."

"I'm pretty excited about what I've seen so far, but he's the architect, and we're going to have to look to Kermit to see where we go in the future," Jackson said. "There will be something that people have never seen before."

Part of the reason for the change: Fantasy of Flight never made money, even with the addition of a ropes course, zip line and dozens of interactive exhibits.

Although it's years down he road, Weeks hopes this new park is a true game-changer.

"Think of it as a caterpillar going into a cocoon and one day we're going to emerge as a brand new butterfly," he said.

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