A spectacular attraction has been added to the City Park: thanks to the Liget Budapest Project, the hot-air balloon – which enjoyed great popularity even 120 years ago – has returned to the park, announced Benedek Gyorgyevics, the CEO of Városliget Zrt. The Balloon is anchored to the ground and works as a viewpoint near the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, on Mimóza Hill, surrounded by more than 10 thousand square metres of rehabilitated green space. After its opening on 1 May the balloon will rise into the air according to a timetable. Its basket accommodates 30 people, who can enjoy the stunning panorama of the Városliget and Budapest from a height of 150 meters. Attractions like our hot-air balloon viewpoint are popular sights in numerous cities all over the world. The Városliget Balloon, with its shape and colours evoking Pál Szinyei Merse’s iconic painting, has every chance to earn the right as Budapest’s latest emblem.
“The City Park is much more than an average public park, since the natural environment, culture and entertainment have been present here in perfect harmony for more than 200 years now. It is this extraordinarily rich tradition that transforms this space into one of the most exciting urban landscapes in Europe. We are proud that thanks to the Liget Budapest Project we have been restoring more and more traditions to their former glory from the Millennium House to the Romanesque Hall of the Museum of Fine Arts, and now, from 1 May 2022, the return of the hot-air-balloon is a new addition to this list. We trust that the experience of a scenic ballooning will be welcomed by people living in Budapest as well as by visitors arriving here,” said Benedek Gyorgyevics when introducing the new development.
The CEO told us that the Városliget Balloon viewpoint is a hot-air balloon filled with Helium gas and fixed to the ground, which in practical terms operates like an open-air lift, i.e. it never leaves its take-off and landing site: Mimóza Hill. It reaches its maximum height of 150 metres in about 5 minutes, stays up in the air for the same amount of time and takes another 5 or so minutes to land. In clear weather, a bird’s-eye view will open up to visitors over all of Budapest and its environs from this height. Besides the pilot, the balloon can take a maximum of 30 persons. The experience is available to everybody over the age of 6. The form and colours of the Balloon – similarly to its smaller counterpart installed in the main Playground, also in the City Park, was inspired by Pál Szinyei Merse’s painting titled Balloon.
Benedek Gyorgyevics added that the Ballon de Paris Generali, which has enjoyed great popularity with local inhabitants and tourists alike since 1999, served as an important model for the Balloon viewpoint in the City Park. The balloon in Paris is environmentally friendly, has zero noise emission, and has become an integral part of Paris. Since its ‘launch’ in 1999, it has lifted millions of passengers into the air and is regarded as an emblem of the city. Attractions like the Balloon viewpoint operate in 28 countries of the world from the United States to Berlin, from Paris to Singapore.
The CEO of Városliget Zrt. pointed out that Mimóza Hill, i.e. the part of the park accommodating the Balloon viewpoint, was fully rehabilitated as part of the City Park’s landscape renewal project. Ten thousand square metres of green space were renewed along with the roads linked to this area, while new street furniture and bins were installed, while an obsolete, more than 700-square-metre beer tent was dismantled and replaced by a café and toilets on a significantly smaller floor space and with a design fitting in with the visual identity of the revamped Liget, said Benedek Gyorgyevics.
Zoltán Závodszky, the CEO of BallonKilátó Zrt. stated that apparatuses similar to the Balloon viewpoint have been operating safely and without accidents for decades in numerous parts of the world, to the great satisfaction of local visitors and tourists. The system is fitted with a wind speedometer, a direction-finder, an ambient air thermometer, a dome pressure indicator and a gas temperature meter. It only rises up into the air in suitable weather conditions, the CEO emphasised. Its operation is fed from the power grid but it also has its own generator. The installed aerial unit is equipped with illuminating and navigation lights compliant with aerial safety rules in effect in Hungary and Europe. The Balloon viewpoint in the City Park is a French Aero30NG type system, which is currently the most widespread and safest in the world. Numerous entertainment centres worldwide (e.g.: Disneyland-Paris; Safari Park-San Diego; Angkor Vat) operate this type of balloon viewpoint system. The balloon’s operation is environmentally friendly since Helium, which is used to fill it, is a natural, so-called noble gas: it is non-reactive, not poisonous and not flammable, therefore perfectly safe. It is interesting to note that 6 thousand cubic metres of Helium was used to fill the balloon’s dome.
Visitors can choose from a variety of tickets. They can ascend in dazzling sunshine during the day but with a night ticket they can also admire the lit-up, nocturnal capital too. International experience has shown that one of the most popular ticket types will be the one allowing visitors to spend a few minutes in the air while the sun is setting. Another frequently used service abroad is to ascend into the air on special occasions, such as marriage proposals, photo shoots, private travel and company events.
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