Valley Ballooning
Valley Ballooning
3.5
Balloon Rides
This location was reported permanently closed

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles27 reviews
Excellent
15
Very good
1
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
10

MarylandCupcakelover
Maryland151 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Couples
Like others, we purchased an online deal for a balloon ride for two . . . though we didn't get to take our trip on our honeymoon, as planned, we were able to reschedule for 10 months later (!) and finally got our ride in! Yes, the trips are very dependent on the weather -- and other riders were frustrated about the variable conditions. But I took that as a sign that the crew was being really safe, obviously important during an experience like this.

We were picked up at the designated spot in Woodstock (a well-lit Walmart parking lot), then driven to a launch site at a local high school. The ride in the company van was less than 15 minutes. Once airborne, the views were gorgeous! We took a sunset cruise and couldn't believe the views of the mountains. Our pilot was very nice and organized, speaking often to the ground crew so they would be able to determine where to meet us once we landed (in a friendly neighborhood).

Though disappointed we couldn't take our ride on our honeymoon (not their fault!), we really enjoyed a weekend getaway to travel with Valley Ballooning and look forward to our next hot air balloon ride!
Written August 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tanya L
54 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Friends
This was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The company is professional and informs you in advance that it may take multiple attempts to schedule your flight, due to the weather and, most importantly, the wind. My friends and I saw scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Valley. Thank you Valley Ballooning for making my first balloon experience EPIC!!
Written July 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah M
Rochester, NY1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Family
I have had an on-going issue with VALLEY BALLONING based in Woodstock, VA for 3 separate purchases towards 3 hot air balloon rides.
The issue is that THEY DID NOT HONOR the on-line discount vouchers for hot air balloon rides purchased in April of 2010.
I have even traveled three times from Upstate New York to the nearby small town of Luray and even stayed in their hometown of smaller town of Woodstock, VA. I made reservations on dates that were limited, due to the fact that they were booked, even though I gave them 3 months advance to secure a spot for 3 people.
I then revolved my vacation times during their availability.
For each reservation, I called ahead, back in Upstate New York, for confirmation. Three separate times, I drove over 9 hours to Woodstock, VA, I stayed a week twice, and and one weekend on the third drive down. I stayed in nearby hotels waiting for my promised hot air balloon ride at 6 am for a sunrise ride clouds over the Shenandoah Valley or if that didn’t work out (due to unforeseen circumstances), a
gorgeous sunset ride with champagne!
The owners of Valley Ballooning would cancel last minute due to many reasons. Some of which were: winds greater than 5 mph, rain, malfunctioning equipment, or they overbooked.
After they abruptly cancelled, I tried to reschedule for a future day the same vacation week, but it never worked out on their end.
I communicated with them a great deal over the phone after expressing my disappointment and wanted the vouchers redeemed or money refunded back to me.
They then extended the vouchers to the end of December 2012
That much I appreciated. It gave me hope that my dream of taking my family on hot air balloon rides would actually happen.
They could not honor my reservations, I was told, because we find another date that was not booked that would work with my flexible schedule.
I work and have several vacation weeks.
I used them to attempt redeem the hot air balloon ride experience
I have kids in school and even took them out and paid for a nanny so that I could redeem at least two of the 3 vouchers for my husband and I, just to secure a spot that was not booked.
This was supposed to be an enjoyable experience for my family.
Instead, it has been a nightmare.
I have spent thousands of dollars on gas, rental cars, hotels, food, etc., wasted valuable vacation time over the past two years.
I wanted to have the vouchers honored. That did not happen and will not. The company will not extend the vouchers any further and will not refund me for the $300 I spent on 3 vouchers that were $100 a piece.
I feel dishonored, disappointed and disrespected by them.
Written December 10, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sharon T
Stephens City4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2012 • Friends
Had a wonderful experience with Valley Ballooning. I have been wanting to take a hot air balloon ride for a number of years and finally decided to do it. I researched hot air balloons on line and decided to go with Valley Ballooning. I was not disappointed. I scheduled my ride with April and she was very helpful. It was very easy to find the meeting area where we were then transported to the area we would fly from. The first time we tried to fly, it was too windy and we couldn't fly. I was disappointed but I totally understand you are at the mercy of the weather and they have to take our safety as well as theirs into consideration. Don, our pilot, was great, he helped us reschedule for the next evening. This time we has no problems and got to fly. Again, Don was great! He explained everything to us and made sure everyone knew what to expect and that we had a great experience. We even got to help with the set up and packing the balloon up. The Shenandoah valley was gorgeous with all the fall colors and I couldn't have had a better experience. It was totally worth every penny I paid. I would love to do again and would definitely fly with Valley Ballooning again.
Written October 26, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sintwister
Ellicott City, MD1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2014 • Family
I bought a groupon for a balloon ride with this company. We tried 3 times to make the flight and it was canceled each time... can understand when it is weather related but this last time, a more perfect day could not be had... no wind.. blue skies so we were quite surprised when we got to the meeting site (about 4 hours from my home) to find it had been canceled... when finally able to talk to the owner.. there was no apology... nothing.... he said we should have checked the schedule... now granted if the weather had even looked iffy we would have but it was a picture perfect day.... and I am guessing only we three were booked to fly and might not have been worth it.. but a phone call to tell us.. my son had come from NYC... but the owner just said.. we don't call anymore.... other issues with this company and it is called customer service... DO not, do not use them.
Written October 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cheryl
Rochester, New York103 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2012 • Family
They are located in such a remote spot that you have to stay overnight in a small motel in order to wake up at 5 am to go on the sunrise balloon ride because it gets too windy to fly at sunset.
You can't fly over 5mph, or if it rains, etc. Well, It is always a little windy in the Shenandoah Vallley. And almost always cloudy in the "valley." Not a great view, unless it is the perfect day.
I've purchased several discount deals for their balloon rides and spent much more traveling there and spending nights only to get a call telling me that the flights were cancelled.
Oh, and April, booking agent, couldn't have worse customer skills.
She never apologized for the cancellations. She never seemed sympathetic in any way that I traveled so far just to get to the remote area where they were supposed to pick you up at the local Walmart. And it never happened--3 separate times! I couldn't fly the next day either or the next week, because April said they were booked. So, after spending another hundreds of dollars hoping to redeem my "deal" and fly in a balloon, I had to reschedule !
April extended the expiration the date of the "deal, "so I had even more chances to reschedule in advance and then spend a fortune traveling with my family from far away--over 7 hours, to stay in a better hotel, only to be cancelled again, and then yet again.
The pilot, who is I believe her father, gives you weather information over the phone. And he may tell you that hopefully he'll be able to lift off tomorrow, and the ride'll be shorter ride so he could land before the wind picks up. Most likely, there'll be a nice farmer that will let him land after the flight. He just doesn't know if you or your family will be with him.
You have to deal with April.
Ughhhhh!
After all that, and then, if we did get a ride by some miracle--it would be a quick one and land hopefully safely in someone's farm.
I was told that I wasn't getting a refund.
I turned this "business" in to the BBB, because what they are doing is a scam.
Stay way from Valley Ballooning!!!
Written December 10, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

N Y
Washington DC, DC1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2015 • Couples
I purchased two vouchers, for myself and my husband in February 2015. Read below for the consistent frustration with this merchant. But the tipping point for me with this vendor was when I tried make a reservation for a weekend in October 2015, only to be told that my booking had been rejected because the terms of LivingSocial voucher was that bookings in October can only be made Monday-Thursday. No where on my voucher was that stated. It only said "Holidays and Special Events are excluded." Apparently they made changes to their terms and fine print AFTER we purchased the voucher and would not honor our voucher terms/conditions. Already 6 months had flashed by since the voucher purchase, and I was not going to wait around to have my promotional value expire. Luckily LivingSocial keeps track of the changes of terms/conditions and unlike Valley Ballooning, were more customer oriented.

Other than the change of terms/conditions, my general frustration with this merchant is their inability to communicate with their customers. Trying to get a hold of Don on the number listed on the website? Good luck. Our first booking was scheduled in March. Since March to Mid-August, we had several cancellations due to wind/rain. Roughly about 6 or 7. Out of those 6, TWO were in person. We drove out all the way to the Skyline area only to be told the wind was too much and we were told to go home. TWICE. We live about 90 miles away, that's a 180 mile round trip. I understand safety and regulations are key considerations, but TWO in-person cancellations are not cool. I would rather they make updates closer to the flight time, take the time to contact your customers if you know that the wind is higher than you anticipated. The flight times are about an hour before sunset, but the decision of whether the "FLIGHT IS ON" or "CANCELLED" is made at 11AM. Weather changes in the span of 6-8 hours, which is understandable. But do not make your customers drive out and gather around just to be told to go home. Make the call or send an email.

I have never regretted making a purchase as much as I did for this. The cancellations, the re-schedulings, the drive... not worth it with Valley Ballooning. There are several other hot air balloon merchants that are closer and I will not be purchasing a hot air balloon ride from this merchant ever again. And I strongly urge others to not rely on them with the vouchers either given that they change their Terms & Conditions and do not take into consideration when the buyer made the purchase.
Written August 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Holly T
17 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Couples
My husband purchased a balloon trip for my birthday in July 2015. We had to reschedule a few times due to wind and weather, which is understandable and out of anyone's control.

However, communication from the business has slowed and ultimately stopped in December 2015. We have attempted contact by email and left voicemail messages to schedule a new time, but no one ever responds.

The business has been paid but nearly a year later and we have yet to take the trip. Do not recommend.
Written June 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Holly, Our records show that you emailed us on 12/11/15 about booking and we responded with some possible booking dates the very next day on 12/12/15. We never received an email back from your party until 6/24/16 in which you asked us to advice you about your voucher and stated that if we did not reply to your email that you would start leaving 1-star reviews and contact the Better Business Bureau. We responded the next day on 6/25/16 and let you know that there was never a response from the last email we sent you on 12/12/15 as no emails came up in our search from either of the email addresses used by your party. You sent a subsequent email on 6/25/16 stating that you had tried to contact us several times after December and received no response. You also requested a refund. We replied the next day on 6/26/16 and explained that if you had called by phone we would be able to look it up in our records and also that, since your vouchers had expired, they now work as coupons towards the regular price. We also let you know in our email that, although our vouchers are non-refundable, we had extended your voucher for an additional (2) bookings before it would be valid as a coupon. We have not received any emails from you since. We are sorry you feel like you did not receive a good experience, however, your vouchers are still redeemable and you are welcome to rebook using our website. Please understand that hot air balloons are not like other aircraft and require light winds to fly safely. Although frustrating at times, this can result in having to reschedule more than once. Thank you, The Valley Ballooning Team
Written June 26, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

795vidhis
Heidelberg, Germany250 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Couples
I have been thinking of taking the Hot Air Balloon for number of years & came across the Groupon deal which made it affordable for me.

Booking a flight: Booked for a date from their website. The site said "Flight is ON" and we reached after driving 85 miles. Weather was Good but somehow the flight couldn't take off due to winds. Well disappointed but again started keeping an eye on weather and finally after 1 month made another booking. Again some Rains and this time they informed us well in advance and even gracious enough to reschedule to another date when prediction was good weather. This time everything worked in favor and had a flight. So point is - be patient.

Experience: Its a great experience, the way they inflate the balloon, the way its starts taking off and the way it lands. The flight lasts for almost an hour. One can see breathtaking views from the top of the Shenandoah valley & mountains. Mesmerizing.......

Tips: Some tips to make this a very good lasting experience.

1. Weather is the God. Not much is in control with the valley ballooning team. For them I believe the safety of passengers is more important and if they feel any risk, they will cancel the flight. So be prepared for 2-3 tries before you actually get one successful flight. Making the booking & then seeing it cancelled is very frustrating but believe me there is not much in our hands.

2. Better to take during summer days & that too morning hours as per the advise given by Don, the Owner & flight pilot.

3. Carry a phone or camera as views are really great from the top.

4. Appreciate the hard work which goes in making the flight. Its starts right from the unpacking, inflating, actual flight & again repacking. This whole experience lasts for almost 3 hours which includes a flight time of around 45- 60 min.

Verdict: Highly recommended
Written May 10, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MarylandCatmom
Maryland120 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Couples
My husband and I did not have some of the problems experienced by others who have reviewed this company because we purchased a third-party certificate. However, it did take us ten reservations before we could fly. We had to travel to Woodstock and stay overnight and estimate that we spent at least two thousand dollars in travel costs. Had we known that ballooning was such an "iffy" proposition, we would not have attempted this.

I just checked Valley Ballooning's website to be sure that I didn't miss anything but they do not have the following information on their site and they either should or they should supply "equipment" to make for a more comfortable ride. When the balloon is being fully inflated (after the riders are in the basket), it is EXTREMELY hot. Valley Ballooning should suggest that riders wear or have available long-sleeved thick shirts. The company could also provide some kind of "fire blanket" to cover the riders during this part of inflation. It is also an extremely LOUD ride most of the time, due to the propane heaters needing to be constantly fired up to keep the balloon inflated. Hearing protection should be provided. How much can those scrunchy yellow ear plugs cost, really? Even if the company does not wish to provide them, they should put a warning on their site.

April DOES leave a lot to be desired as a scheduler. She rarely responded to my husband's first email for each reservation. He usually had to email her a second time in order to get a response.

In short, while I did enjoy the balloon ride once we finally got to take it, it was not worth the total cost. (Yes, I realize you can't control the weather!) I also would not use this company again or recommend them.
Written July 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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