PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – Guests to the Great Smoky Mountains will be able to view the area in a completely new way – from up to 400 feet in the air – on WonderWorks’ newest attraction, Wonders of Flight.
Beginning in July, guests will board a gondola beneath the giant blue- and-green helium-filled balloon located on a landing platform situated behind WonderWorks. The 72-foot diameter balloon will hold up to 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. According to Aerophile president Jérôme Giacomoni, 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.”
Giacomoni said 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,” he said.
The 10-minute flight experience is offered daily, with daytime and evening hours, weather permitting.