Imagine yourself in the wicker basket of a hot air balloon, gently lifting off from the Saratoga Fairgrounds. Slowly, the crowds, the buildings, and the fields quietly fade beneath you, with fellow balloons rising and gliding with you through the blue skies of New York, giving you a view of the countryside and memories for the rest of your life.
The whole experience last roughly 3 hours, with the flight lasting approximately 1 hour depending on the conditions.
You’ll meet your pilot and ground crew and hour before flight time. Then, you’ll join the crew in deploying the balloon, while learning the basics of balloon flight. It’s hands on, but only as much as you want it to be (it’s a lot of fun!) The pilot will inflate the balloon, and when ready, you’ll step aboard. In moments, the balloon will lift off, and gently sail through the sky with over 20 other balloons. Any balloon flight is amazing!
Launching with the Saratoga Balloon & Craft Festival is a treat. As you float above the mountains and lakes, you’ll notice how quiet and peaceful the flight is. You’re flying with the wind, so there’s little motion felt aboard but you’ll see the landscape slowly passing beneath you.
As you fly, the chase crew will communicate with your pilot, and follow you to your landing point. Balloon landings are generally soft, but they can vary. Some landings are like jumping from the bottom step of your stairs to the floor, and some are like jumping from 2-3 stairs up to the floor. Sometimes the balloon basket will touch down several times when coming to a stop. The landings are generally soft but do require holding on. The pilot will let you know in advance of the landing.
Once on the ground, the balloon will be quickly packed into the waiting chase crew vehicle, and the long tradition will be celebrated of the pilot giving the landowner a bottle of champagne for allowing him to land on his property.
You’ll ride back to the launch area, full of memories of the flight, taking them with you forever.
How old do you have to be to fly? The rule of thumb is this: You need to be 10 years or older, and able to see over the edge of the basket (42′), however, your pilot will have final say so, determined prior to your flight.
Are there any passenger restrictions? Flying in a balloon involves being at altitude, the joy and excitement of flight, and the occasional bounce at landing. If you have any health concerns or feel that you may not be fit enough for flight, it’s best not to fly. Any heart conditions or recent surgeries on your arms and legs should be discussed when booking the flight. We recommend that pregnant women get doctor’s approval before riding in a balloon.
Balloon Ride Cost:
- Friday, June 16th at 6:00 pm launch: $249.00/person
- Saturday, June 17th at 6:00 am launch: $229.00/person
- Saturday, June 17th at 6:00 pm launch: $249.00/person
- Sunday, June 18th at 6:00 am launch: $229.00/person
To Purchase a Hot Air Balloon Ride, please visit the Ride Tent at the event!
Reminder! Balloons only launch at sunrise and sunset. You will not see any balloons inflated during the day! Click here to read why!