I’ve seen them in movies, show, videos and pictures the beautiful Hot Air Balloon soaring in the big bright blue sky. Hot Air Balloons look so peaceful and so intriguing, but what is it REALLY like to ride off in the sunset on one?
Recently, I had a chance to go up and see for myself, so of course I went.
As the day drew closer, I was excited but there were also so many other things that ran through my mind. Would it be scary, would the weather hold up, what if I got up there and I freaked out? There were so many unknowns, butI knew I owed it to myself to let go of my fears and go see for myself.
The US Hot Air Balloon Team leaves out of three different locations Lancaster County, Bucks County and the location we choose Chester County.
There were 8 of us that beautiful day and we were scheduled for the 6pm ride. Stan and his team met us with big warm smiles and lots of enthusiasm and after we signed our releases we were off.
I had no idea how involved this process was, but I was glad to see and experience it instead of riding up to a fully inflated balloon.
The team drove the truck over to the center of the airport area and pulled out the long balloon, the basket and all the other necessary fixtures.
As they unpacked the huge balloon and got everything situated the journey began. The kids who came with touched the balloon and there was lots of picture snapping and posing.
Within about 30 minutes everything was checked and we were ready for take off. The ballon went from a big ball to a full bright red balloon that was several stories high.
The basket that we got into was comfortably fitted. It gave enough room to move, but not enough to sit. The Hot Air Balloon was an unbelievable sight to see and even people in the area stopped what they were doing to look.
Up, Up and Away
We climbed aboard and Stan our fearless pilot made sure that each of us were comfortable and ready and then we took off. The fire and gas inflated the hot air balloon and you could hear the sounds of the air going up in a strong puff that reminded me of something from a movie. Just like that we were off the ground.
Stan took us up about 10 stories and then he did a test landing so we would know what it felt like to come down. The landing and takeoff were barely noticeable and extremely peaceful. You could barely tell that you were moving. Even the kids riding with us were unfazed by the ride but all of us were captivated by the view.
In less than 10 minutes we were really high in the sky. Houses went from clearly formed to barely recognizable. All you could hear was Stan talking about the scenery around us, the indescribable sound of the hot air, the quietness from the clouds and the sounds we made as we took it all in.
That day the skies were clear and the scenery was beautiful. Despite being 42+ miles from Philadelphia, we could even see the high rise buildings downtown once Stan pointed them out.
The hills to the north were beautiful and the ride itself was surprisingly calm. There were no strong gusts of wind and being up in the air was well relaxing.
Everyone in our group was taken aback by the views and the total experience. Stan was an amazing tour guide sharing both important sites and history. During our hour long ride, we went over the city of Pottstown. The area we covered was small, but it sure didn’t feel like it.
As the ride came to an end, Stan orchestrated our pickup location with the team. He used the walkies to keep them up to date and he guided them to our landing place. There were several times when the wind intervened and moved our touchdown point to the delight of many of the people on the ground who really enjoyed watching, filming and following the balloon.
At the end of the ride, we finally ended up in the middle of a street (safe and sound). Outside of that it was a pretty soft and uneventful landing.
What I Thought Of The Air Balloon Experience
Being up in the air was exhilarating, it was calm and relaxing.
The best part of the Hot Air Balloon ride in my opinion is the scenery. I think the better the scenery is the more you will appreciate and enjoy the ride. It’s a pretty intimate experience even though there were 8 of us I could see this being a great experience for families, couples or even something momentous like celebrating a special occasion, a graduation gift, and it would be perfect for an engagement (I’m just saying).
The Staff was amazingly accommodating and Stan had so much great information to share. He kept us entertained and captivated, and carefully balanced both extraordinarily well.
The Hot Air Balloon itself was grandiose, it was amazing that something of that size could hold the basket and us up without a problem. While we were up in the sky, there were tons of picture taking so that we could memorialize this unforgettable experience. There were tons of videos too. It was fun waving to the people on the ground who were just as exhilarated by the balloon on the ground as we were in the air.
At the end of the ride, the van picks you up and takes you back to the pick up spot.
The experience ends with a package of goodies, a non-alcoholic drink and a beautiful toast. It was a really unique and enjoyable experience.
The Details ( Things I Know You Want To Know)
How Much Does It Cost?
Here Are All The Details to make a reservation here.
$650 for a private ride with a party of two.
From $219 per person for a shared ride, although they occasionally run specials.
Other Important Things You Want To Know
Plan for 2.5 – 3 hours for the ride from start to finish
Dress comfortably we all had on jeans, pants and sneakers and that was fine.
Bring a camera or something to capture the experience (the pictures from up in the air are unbelievable)
Where they leave from Lancaster County, Bucks County and Chester County. Click here for more information.
Although I was hosted, I would definitely go again. The only thing I would change is I would leave from one of the other locations. I feel like the other locations have more to offer before and after the ride, but that is my opinion. No matter where you leave this ride is great not just for adults, but is also great fun for children. Outside of just a great experience, I think that this is also great for couples and those celebrating a milestone, I recommend you check it out for yourself.