Balloon flights and displays are weather dependent, taking place only at dusk and dawn when conditions permit.
Balloons fly early in the morning (around dawn) and late in the afternoon (around dusk). All flights are weather dependent. Balloons can only fly in perfect weather, including wind speeds of 7mph or less. See the full schedule for this year’s planned flight times.
Our experienced balloonmeister monitors weather conditions right up until scheduled flight times to ensure flight safety, which is always our number-one priority. Variations of wind speeds at various altitudes, as well as other weather conditions, cannot be pinpoint-forecast for our specific flight locations in advance. Therefore, they must be monitored up until scheduled flight time, when a final determination is made.
The balloons are tethered to the ground and rise up to about 50 feet in the air. Ticket holders can meet the pilot, climb into the balloon and rise above the crowd. Tethered rides require a pre-purchased ticket and a signed waiver of liability (available onsite).
No, tickets to tethered balloon rides are non-refundable. Rides are weather permitting and our experienced balloonmeister monitors weather conditions right up until scheduled flight times to ensure flight safety.
Yes, a LIMITED amount of tickets are sold the day of the festival. Tickets are first come first serve and often sell out during this time.
We have created this helpful link to follow real-time weather conditions and keep you updated on festival activities and tethered balloon ride conditions. (LINK HERE)
Balloons fly best in stable winds of 4-6 miles per hour and clear visibility. Even though it may seem like wonderful weather on the ground, our experienced balloonmeister has access to weather conditions in the air and must follow the protocol for the safety of the passengers and pilot.
Hot air balloons do not inflate during the day because when surface winds are calm, hot air balloon pilots can control the altitude of the balloon very finely by heating or venting the air inside. During the day these light surface winds are broken up by “thermals.” These are rising columns of warm air that spiral skywards, caused by the heating effect of the sun on the ground. Birds and glider pilots love them but for a hot air balloon; thermals make it very difficult to control the balloon. So the warmer the day the greater the possibility of thermals. This is the reason that dusk and dawn are the most optimal times to inflate.
Tethered balloon rides are based on weight, and the pilot will make the final decision. Usually two adults can ride at a time, weather permitting.
No, there is no age limit to ride a tethered balloon ride. ALL riders MUST purchase a tethered balloon ride ticket to be allowed in the balloon. PURCHASE TICKETS
The festival grounds are located at the Foley Soccer Complex, 210 Cater Lee Way, Foley, AL. Here is a link to our map!
Here is a link to current weather conditions! (ADD LINK) Tethered balloon rides are weather permitting and our experienced balloonmeister monitors weather conditions right up until scheduled flight times to ensure flight safety.
Advanced Sale Carnival tickets will be available until April 30th. Click here to purchase them now! Tickets are sold in a sheet of 5 for $10.
Carnival ride tickets day of are sold by the Sheridan Amusements, not the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival and can be purchased on site at the carnival gate entrance with a choice of different packages.. Each carnival ride takes between 3-5 tickets.
Parking passes can be purchased online. If you purchase handicap parking, please enter through the general parking area and the parking attendant will direct you to the handicap accessible area.
PURCHASE HANDICAP PARKING (Add Link)
PURCHASE VIP PARKING (Add Link)
PURCHASE GENERAL PARKING (Add Link)
Bicycle parking is in the general parking lot and costs the same as car parking. It is up to the owner to find a way to secure their bicycle
Pets are not allowed on the festival grounds.
We apologize, but outside food and drink are prohibited. We have lots of great food vendors! Hope to see you soon.
Smoking is not allowed on the festival grounds.
No, drones are not permitted during the festival for safety of our pilots and their balloons.