America’s largest hot air balloon begins daily flights near Walt Disney World

Orlando Balloons Rides added another balloon to its fleet today. But it’s not just another hot air balloon. This balloon is 11 stories high when fully inflated and carries up to 24 passengers. It’s the largest hot air balloon in the U.S.

Contest winners and military combat veterans took the inaugural flight from the Reunion Resort high over I-4, housing developments, forest areas, ponds and swamplands. Rides on America’s largest balloon and Orlando Balloon Rides’ three other 16-person balloons are available daily from the Walt Disney World area.

During today’s launch, one of the world’s smallest hot air balloons, Smiley, was launched alongside the four large balloons.

The whole balloon ride experience lasts around three hours and starts an hour before sunrise. After inflation, the actual rides last about an hour, going where the wind takes them. After touchdown, a traditional champagne toast is held, followed by a complementary breakfast upon returning to the meeting spot. The flights must be held in early morning when the winds are calm.

Watch for our full report from the first launch of America’s largest balloon in a future episode of Orlando Attractions Magazine – The Show.

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  1. That is my dad’s spectacular Smilie ballon. That little unique hot air ballon has brought countless smiles and giggles from all over our great nation. Awesome photo shoot! Congratulations dad!