Authors: Ben Ruhe
Date Submitted: February 28, 2007
Article Type: Journal

Orlando, Florida, draws more tourists in a year than any city in the world, including Paris. Its visitors (49 million claimed in 2005 for a three-county area) come for the area theme parks pioneered by Disney and for associated other attractions that dot the city and surrounding counties. With are so many tourists seeking things to see and do, Orlando is a magnet for small entertainment entrepreneurs. One such is Bruce Flora, who flies kites.

Flora’s kiting is different, even unique. He had the insight to rule out the pesky wind by using mechanical tows, either vehicles or boats, for his stunt kites. Thus he and his crew fly not only against the breeze as is usual, but with it. When there is no wind at all they also fly with no problem. “Industrial kiting,” is what he calls it. When fireworks are added (and maybe strobes, onboard luminescent lighting, spotlights, and reflectors), as they are for night performances, it becomes the catchy “kiting on steroids.”

Orlando is home to not only the sprawling Walt Disney World, with 60,000 employees, but other theme parks such as Universal Studios, Sea World, and Cypress Gardens. There are numerous other attractions. Kiteman Productions—-Bruce Flora is “Kiteman”—-has had successful engagements at many of them.

PDF Link: Journal Issue