Monday, October 19, 2009

Free Balloon Rides in Orange County, CA

I have always wanted to take a balloon ride. I'm pretty sure my desire to do so comes from the scene in the Wizard of Oz where the "no-longer Great and Powerful Oz" flies away. I was always sooo upset with Dorothy for missing that ride.

Now, you don't have to miss the ride and you can do it for FREE!!

Get this. There is a Great Park being constructed in Orange County. It is on the site of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in Irvine, California which is half way between Los Angeles and SanDiego. The Park is being promoted as the First Great Metropolitan Park of the 21st Century and is planned to be twice as large as Central Park in New York City. The design of the park has a great emphasis on sustainability with plans to generate and demonstrate cutting edge technology to inspire people to make changes in their lives.

You can read about The Great Park Design here.

Meanwhile, they have gotten their first attraction up and running. It is the Great Park Balloon ride... kind of like the one the Wizard flew off in, but not exactly.

This balloon is tethered to the ground so it won't go flying away. It's max height is 500 feet (which is plenty to see the planned park with a 360 degree view.) The balloon is not hot air, it is a giant helium balloon and is environmentally safe, non-polluting and virtually silent.

Rides are first come, first fly. The balloon only flies Thursday through Sunday and won't fly at all if it is too windy. The balloon will hold up to 30 people and can accommodate wheel chairs.

For times and directions click here. For more information about the Great Park Balloon and flight conditions, you can call the Visitor Center at their toll free number (866) 829-3829.

If you are looking for a unique first date idea, I'd certainly consider this.

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