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“The answer is blowing in the wind...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The United States Hot Air Balloon Team

The United States Hot Air Balloon Team
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Come Up - Slow Down. Come, experience the flight of a lifetime over lush countryside and Amish Farm Country. Our guests have enjoyed this wonderful experience of flight for more than 20 years. Many come back, literally, every season and include their friends and family.
Norwalk, Connecticut
Level Contributor
115 reviews
68 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“The answer is blowing in the wind...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

We took an early morning flight at the end of August from Pottstown Pa. We arrived in the very early AM to watch and assist with the inflation of the balloon. After climbing in to the basket (be prepared for that) taking off, we did a trial touch down to experience what landing would be like. Then off to the sky. What an awesome sunrise, as we soared up to 6000 feet. We kissed the trees. Saw lots of wild life in the woods below. Lovely farms and neighborhoods . Great pictures to be had of shadows of the balloon on to farm lands below. Don't forget to keep your camera tethered to your wrist as you will want to hang over the edge to snap shots. The beauty is you really don't know where the ride will take you. A very competent crew on the ground followed the balloon and arrived to assist with a seamless landing. Stan was our pilot and he was amazing. He has years of experience and knowledge. Upon landing in a school we were ferried back to the airport for a Champagne toast. This is a bucket list kind of experience.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank karikonrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
NYC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Lovely!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2012

I had a really good time. It was interesting to see the balloon get blown up. The ride was very calm, and traveled over scenic Lancaster county. We varied the heights we were at, which was nice too. Really stunning views. Seeing the b&b I was staying at from balloon height was super cool. We landed in an Amish field, and all the Amish children helped pack the balloon away. I had to scram as soon as we got back to the car site because I had to make my next departure, but I know they did have champagne afterwards. The whole crew was very nice. Craig's wife (I'm sorry, can't remember the name, but it was pretty) was very helpful too and helped us take pictures. Great experience!

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank ese1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“amazing experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2012

amazing! beautiful! i can't recommend this trip highly enough. in the summer months, the sunrise trip is a must, as the temperature is still tolerable at that time of morning. the balloon's burners create substantial heat themselves and i can't imagine how hot it must be later in the day. the crew were all extremely friendly, knowledgeable and professional. Lucas was an exceptional pilot and had a great sense of humor, which added to the experience. with any luck, you'll land in an amish farmer's field. pricey but worth it.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank CJL03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Breathtaking. A must-do.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2012

My wife and I went on a sunset ride with the US Hot Air Balloon team at their Lancaster (Bird In Hand) location and we were both thrilled. The whole experience was incredible. Gorgeous views of the patchwork of farms below. A smooth, comfortable ride with an exceptionally skilled pilot (Lucas). The exhilaration of being over a mile off the ground (at times) in a wicker basket. And, my personal favorite, the beginning and ending periods of low flying when you are skimming over the ground at 100 feet or less - with kids and dogs running after you. I took about 300 pictures.

I think the reason for the mixed reviews could be that ballooning is a somewhat unpredictable activity. Weather can easily cancel a ride, and even once you are up, you pretty much go where the wind takes you. The takeoff and landing can be a bit rocky, but I had 100% faith in the pilot and ground-crew to adapt as needed or to call the whole thing off if conditions hadn't been safe. And also, you're a bit cramped on take-off and landing because you need to be in a special quasi-seated position (for safety).

But once you're up there, it's smooth, comfortable (not cramped) and gorgeous. Even though my wife is not crazy about heights, she didn't have an inkling of a problem. (Strange as that sounds.)

A few tips for people who are going would be: (1) arrive early - there's plenty to see in Bird In Hand before launch (and yes, 76 traffic can be dreadful); (2) don't make firm plans afterwards, since the timing is mostly guesswork; (3) bring your camera; and (4) try to have a relaxed, adventurous attitude since ballooning (unlike other tours you might have been on) depends on a lot of factors outside of their control.

But overall, it's well worth the (not cheap) price tag.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank TDBJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick
Level Contributor
718 reviews
352 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 400 helpful votes
“Up, Up and Away in a Beautiful Balloon”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 11, 2011

We took this balloon ride with 3 other couples in one basket (crowded) at about 7:30 a.m. in order to see the sunrise. The flight itself was scenic, calm and beautiful as the sun came up over the landscape of Lancaster, PA. We drifted about 14 miles altogether, with some startled homeowners coming out to greet us. The max altitude was reached at about 2500 feet, not terribly high but high enough. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves during the ride. After a little over an hours' flight, the pilot selected a farmer's field to land in. We saw black and white cows, horses for driving their buggies, and probably other livestock. Before landing, the pilot had us get into a crouched, leaning position and hold it until we bumped hard on the ground. We weren't expecting that, then the basket lifted up and banged the ground again, then tipped over sideways. There the eight of us were, stuck together in our "landing position," and the pilot jumped out and the ground crew started deflating the balloon. We eventually crawled out and got to our feet. The ground crew were busy packing the equipment up and the Amish family who owned the farm came up to see us. We must have looked quite a sight, packed all together on our sides in the basket in their field, almost nose down in manure. After the supplies were packed, we boarded the truck for the drive back to the launch site, where there was a toast and a prayer for the next flight, then the selling of the merchandise and requests for tips. This was a one time thing for me. It's a good thing that we all had a sense of humor!

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
8 Thank travelkitty50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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