Balloon & Carousel
Please note: By emergency declaration, City of Irvine community centers and indoor facilities, as well as athletic fields, basketball courts, and stadiums are closed until further notice. This includes the Great Park Balloon, Carousel, Visitors Center, Great Park Gallery, Artist Studios, and Sports Complex (including all fields, basketball courts, and stadiums). This preventative measure is in response to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The Irvine City Council and City staff offer our sincere apologies for this inconvenience.
Irvine outdoor park spaces remain open for passive use, and tennis and pickleball courts have been reopened for modified play. The Farm + Food Lab has now reopened, and visitors are required to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing. Learn more at the City Facility Updates webpage. For more information on the City's latest measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, visit cityofirvine.org/covid19.
Great Park Balloon
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.
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.
Parking & Registration
Registration begins 30 minutes before morning and evening operating hours begin. 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. Please note: 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 and carousel can be completed online the same day as your ride:
Accessibility & Restrictions
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.
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.
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
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.