Balloon & Carousel
Please note: The City of Irvine continues to follow state and local health and safety guidelines. Our community centers and indoor facilities are open for drop-in use. Outdoor recreational spaces including parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields and courts are open. Recreational programming is available to the community for registration at yourirvine.org. Learn more at cityofirvine.org/reopenirvine.
The Great Park Balloon flights have resumed; the Carousel is currently undergoing renovations and is expected to open in fall 2021.
Great Park Balloon: Sponsored by FivePoint
The Great Park Balloon is the Orange County Great Park’s iconic attraction. With the ability to soar 400 feet above the surrounding landscape, it serves as a public observation deck for the Great Park’s development and offers an unmatched 360° view that spans 40 miles on a clear day.
For up-to-date flight information and weather-related availability, call the Visitors Center at 949-724-6247.
Flights Now Open
The Great Park is open for business and excited to welcome guests back to enjoy free flights on the Great Park Balloon. To ensure social distancing rules are followed, the following guidelines are in effect.
Registration & Boarding
- Before riding the Balloon, all guests must first check in at the Great Park Visitors Center. A registration waiver must be signed by every potential passenger prior to getting a boarding pass. A parent or guardian must sign for children younger than 18. Children younger than 13 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and does not guarantee balloon flights, as all rides are weather permitting.
- Registration waivers for the Balloon can be completed online the same day as your ride:
- Riders waiting in line must wear facial coverings and remain 6 feet apart from other groups.
- Benches will be marked for groups to gather while waiting for their flight.
- If the line is full, Great Park staff will add your name to a waiting list.
- Guests must follow one-way directional signage while boarding and disembarking from the Balloon.
- Flight capacity will be limited to ensure physical distancing.
- Balloon pilots reserve the right to reprioritize or split groups to maintain physical distancing.
- Riders must wear facial coverings and will not be permitted to walk around the Balloon during flight.
- The Balloon will be cleaned and disinfected in between each flight.
- Wait times may vary based on demand and could be up to three hours; flights are not guaranteed and are weather permitting.
- There are no age, height, or health restrictions to fly on the Great Park Balloon. The Balloon is wheelchair accessible, allowing guests with wheelchairs and Electric Convenience Vehicles (ECV) to remain in their seat during flight. Should a wheelchair or ECV exceed the maximum dimensions permitted (25″ wide by 48.5″ long), the options to transfer to a standard wheelchair or folding chair are available at the Visitors Center.
Thursday–Friday: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.; 7 p.m.–10 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 9 a.m.–3 p.m.; 7 p.m.–10 p.m.
Children younger than 13 must be accompanied by an adult on Balloon flights.
Did You Know?
The Great Park Balloon is one of the largest tethered helium (not hot air) balloons and the first of its kind in the United States. It is environmentally safe, non-polluting, and virtually silent.
Standing 118 feet tall with a volume of 210,000 cubic feet, the Balloon can hold up to 30 passengers in its 1,810-pound gondola. Flying at an altitude up to 400 feet, it is always tethered to the ground by a steel cable with the strength of 99,000 pounds, making it a safe and fun experience for everyone.
Great Park Carousel
An Orange County tradition, updated with vintage-inspired scenic artwork, is a favorite for kids of all ages.
Carousel Under Renovation
The Great Park Carousel is currently closed for renovations. Improvements being made include refurbishing 12 of the Carousel's animals, refinishing the floor, replacing all glass mirrors, and sprucing up everything with a fresh coat of paint.
The Carousel is expected to reopen fall of 2021. Please check back here for the latest updates.
Hours & Rates
Thursday–Friday: 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday: 9 a.m.–10 p.m.
All-Day Pass: $10
Single Ride: $3
Registration waivers for the Carousel can be completed online the same day as your ride:
Please note: Balloon and Carousel hours may vary on holidays. For hours, directions, and park maps, visit ocgp.org/maps. For questions, contact the Visitors Center at 949-724-6247.