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Orange Balloon in Irvine, California

The Orange Balloon at the Orange County Great Park at night.

Irvine is in southern California, about 40 miles from Los Angeles. Being in Orange County, the city had no other color choice for their huge helium balloon ride, the centerpiece of Orange County's Great Park.

The giant orange orb looks like a hot air balloon, but with a twist—it’s safely filled with helium (no hydrogen danger here) so it’s completely silent. Owned and operated as a community ride attraction by the city, the big, bright ball is one of the largest helium balloons in the United States.

Big Orange has been around since 2007, and was the first of its kind. As tall as a 12-story building, the tethered inflatable can host up to 30 people in its steel gondola, while rising 400 feet straight up to some pretty breathtaking scenery.

On a good, clear day, you can see 40 miles in every direction, taking in the Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island to the west, the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, and even Disneyland, just up the 5.


via Atlas Obscura - Latest Articles and Places