72-foot helium-filled balloon is newest attraction in Great Smoky Mountains
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (September 2012) – Guests to the Great Smoky Mountains are seeing the area in a completely new way – from up to 400 feet in the air – all while letting their imaginations soar to exciting heights with Wonders of Flight.
Different from any other Pigeon Forge attraction, guests board a gondola beneath the giant blue and green helium-filled balloon located on a landing platform behind WonderWorks. The 72-foot diameter balloon can lift 30 guests in the gondola at one time.
One of only two attractions of its kind in the Southeast, the Wonders of Flight balloon (the Aero30NG) was manufactured in France by Aerophile, the world leader in tethered gas balloons.
The Southeast’s other tethered balloon is located at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., while others are in some of the world’s biggest amusement parks, including China’s Oct East Amusement Park, France’s Disneyland and world-famous cities such as Berlin, Istanbul and Paris.
According to Jérôme Giacomoni, Aerophile President, the open-air gondola will allow guests to experience the sensation of being on a flying balcony.
“The ascents, by day or night, provide guests with an unmatched, 360-degree panoramic view of the Smoky Mountains,” said Giacomoni. “In one single gaze, the entire breathtaking view can be seen from exceptional heights, including a unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the fall leaves.”
Giacomoni explains that the Wonders of Flight balloon is environmentally friendly and totally silent thanks to its permanently inflated helium envelope and a hydroelectric winch.
“The system consumes no more energy than an elevator and is completely noiseless,” says Giacomoni.
According to Ed Shaffer, general manager of WonderWorks, Wonders of Flight will provide guests with a unique and affordable experience at a special opening rate of $15.99 (plus tax) for adults and $9.99 (plus tax) for children ages 12 and under. Children 36-inches and under will be admitted for free.
The 10-minute flight experience is offered daily, with daytime and evening hours, weather permitting.
Additionally, Wonders of Flight is an ideal attraction for groups, weddings and adventurers of all ages.
“Especially those couples looking for an intimate and truly one-of-a-kind wedding should consider Wonders of Flight as it creates a romantic, storybook setting overlooking the picturesque Great Smoky Mountains,” said Shaffer.
For more information, visit www.wondersofflight.com or call (865) 868-1800.
The WonderWorks attraction is an “amusement park for the mind,” combining education and entertainment in more than 100 hands-on exhibits that will spark the imagination and stimulate the mind. Visitors to the attraction will enjoy a variety of experiences including being blown away by 65 mile per hour hurricane-force winds, maneuvering the controls of a NASA spacecraft to land the shuttle, lying on a bed of 3,500 nails, piloting a fighter jet, designing and riding a 360-degree virtual roller coaster, climbing a 50 foot tall ropes challenge course, competing in a game of lazer tag and much more.
To learn more about WonderWorks and the new Wonders of Flight attraction, visit www.wonderworksonline.com or call (865) 868-1800.
WonderWorks is open every day from 9 a.m. to midnight and also operates in Orlando, Fla., Panama City, Fla. and Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Erin Freeman, Ackermann PR