Astro Orbitor at Disneyland Park

‘The Happiest Balloon on Earth’ Takes to the Skies Once Again

posted on November 6th, 2012 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


I’ve got great news to share today. “The Happiest Balloon on Earth,” our Mickey Mouse-shaped hot air balloon, will participate in the 11th Annual International Balloon Festival in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, November 16-19 along with at least 200 other balloons from around the world.

“The Happiest Balloon on Earth” is a giant representation of Mickey Mouse’s face – and when I say giant, I’m talking about 98 feet tall and 53 feet from ear-to-ear – making it really hard to miss.

The balloon took to the skies on its maiden flight in Pendleton, Ore., on March 23, 2006, just before it started “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” tour during the 18-month celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Disneyland Resort. The balloon tour visited the Grand Canyon; Vancouver, Canada; Seattle, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; and San Francisco, Calif., just to mention a few. Oh – I almost forgot to mention that “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” also visited Disneyland park.

After the 18-month tour was over, “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” received a magical makeover: the 50th Anniversary golden Mickey Mouse Ears were removed, giving the balloon the look it has today.

'The Happiest Balloon on Earth' on its Maiden Flight in Pendleton, Ore

Above, you can see “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” on its maiden flight in Pendleton, Ore.

'The Happiest Balloon on Earth' Peeking Over the Disneyland Resort at Sunrise

Here is “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” peeking over the Disneyland Resort at sunrise.

'The Happiest Balloon on Earth' on the Banks of the Yakima River in Prosser, Wash.

“The Happiest Balloon on Earth” was then inflated again on the banks of the Yakima River in Prosser, Wash., in September 2006 during a hot air balloon festival.

'The Happiest Balloon on Earth' Flying Over Prosser, Wash.

And here is “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” flying over Prosser, Wash.

I would like to acknowledge pilots Scott and Laurie Spencer, who have taken “The Happiest Balloon on Earth” to new heights and will be joining us again next week in León, Mexico, for the 11th Annual International Balloon Festival. Check back here on the Disney Parks Blog – I’ll be sharing some of my photos of the “Happiest Balloon on Earth” as it takes to the skies once again.

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9 Comments

1

Dinah on November 6th, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Outstanding photos. Paul: Do you know if they will be flying over Disneyland again? Or SoCal? It would be great to see it in the air from here. Thanks!

2

Sarah on November 6th, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I love that balloon! What a sight! :D °o°

3

Jesus from - on November 7th, 2012 at 12:09 am

How different is this balloon from Earforce One?
I notice the eyes, but what other main differences are there?
Thanks!!

4

Norman on November 7th, 2012 at 7:51 am

This ballon is great, It needs to come to Walt Disney World. There are ballons that fly early on Sundays around WDW now. I think this is the prefect time of the year

5

Nikki on November 7th, 2012 at 8:43 am

Do you think the balloon would ever consider coming to Bristol, UK. We hold an international balloon fiesta each year in August and I would love to see it in my home town one day.

6

Diane on November 7th, 2012 at 9:11 am

Breathtaking photos Love this Balloon ;-)

7

Andy on November 7th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

I saw this balloon when I was a kid! And the Donald Duck Balloon! I would love to see some retro pics! I have a few in my office that I love!

8

Richard on November 7th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Ear Force One is flying again!

9

Amanda on November 12th, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Please bring this balloon to the Albuquerque International Balloon fiesta. It is the biggest gathering of Hot Air Balloons in the world and it needs Disney’s presence! Truly, it’s a great event and I know the spectators would love it!

I believe I saw the castle balloon there one year when I was younger!

9 Comments