Hot Air Balloon Frequently Asked Questions
When and where is the balloon glow?
All balloons will glow Friday night at the beach at dusk. The Larger than Life Eagle Balloon and Te aMo Heart Balloon will glow Saturday night at the beach at dusk. There will be a small balloon glow Sunday night at the beach at dusk.
Balloon Glows are weather and wind dependent determined by a BalloonMeister, an expert in ballooning.
When and where are the tethered balloon rides?
Balloons are scheduled to tether Saturday and Sunday morning from 7am-11am in balloon field and Saturday and Sunday evening from 5pm-10pm in the balloon field.
Tethered rides are weather and wind dependent determined by a BalloonMeister, an expert in ballooning.
How much do tether rides cost?
Tethered rides are $10 per person. We will have a limited number of ATMs located under the beach pavilion and circus tent. Each participant must sign a waiver. Waivers will be given at the gate and in the balloon field.
Pro-Tip: Bring cash with you to avoid long ATM lines.
Any other information about tethered balloon rides?
Tethered rides will last about 5 minutes and will go approximately 60ft in the air.
There is no minimum age for tethered rides, however, this activity is not recommended for expecting mothers.
Do you have handicap accessible balloons available for tethered rides?
Yes, One handicap accessible hot air balloon will be available.
Why are the balloons not in the air?
Hot Air Ballooning is completely dependent on weather and wind conditions. There are different layers of the air so if it is more than 5mph winds on the ground, the balloons cannot go up for safety reasons. The balloons can only be in the air during cool times of the day such as early morning or the evening due to how hot the air becomes. We will try our best to get the balloons up but the final say is up to our BalloonMeister, who is an expert in Hot Air Ballooning. Safety is our number one concern. Please text CGLIVE to 81680 to stay up-to-date with any weather announcements. Balloons do not fly away.
How much is Admission?
1) Standard General Admission $24.95/adult; $14.95/child (6-12); free for children age 5 and younger
2) Annual Members Free
3) Military – Active and Retired – and Veterans – $14.95/adult; $11.95/child (6-12); free for children age 5 and younger.
Saturday and Sunday
1) $34.95/adult. $24.95/child (6-12); free for children age 5 and younger
2) Annual Members $24.95/adult; $14.95/child (6-12); free for children age 5 and younger
3) Military – Active and Retired – and Veterans – $24.95/adult; $14.95/child (6-12); free for children age 5 and younger
4) Premium Members and Above receive Free Admission to Special Events.
How do I purchase tickets?
Advanced tickets can be bought online at www.callawaygardens.com and we encourage you to do so. There will be an express gate entry for pre-purchased tickets at the Beach Gate and Discovery Gate.
Guests can also purchase tickets at any of the gates or the information center the day of the event.
There will be no refunds given due to weather.
How do I get around the Gardens?
Five trolleys will be running from 9am-6pm Saturday and Sunday throughout the Gardens. The trolley will visit Robin Lake Beach, Villa Underpass, Discovery Center and Butterfly Center approximately every 15 minutes. Two trolleys will be handicap accessible. There will not be a trolley running after 6pm. Guests must collect their vehicles inside the Gardens before 7pm.
Which gate should I use?
All gates will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There will be an express lane for pre-purchased tickets at the Beach Gate and Discovery Gate.
Guests from Atlanta are encourage to use the Discovery Gate on Hwy 18 or Beach Gate.
Guests from Columbus are encouraged to use the Main Gate on Hwy 27, Discovery Gate on Hwy 18, or Beach Gate.
Which gate should I use if I am a Resort Guest?
Lodge guests are encouraged to use the shuttle. If you must drive your vehicle into the Gardens, please use the Cottage Gate, or West Beach Gate.
MCI guests are encouraged to use the shuttle, Main gate, or trolley pick up at Villa Underpass.
Cottage guests are encouraged to use the Cottage Gate.
Villa guests are encouraged to use the Main gate or trolley pick up at Villa Underpass.
What about safety and security?
There will be a First Aid Tent and Lost and Found placed at the end of Lane 4 behind the Beach Bar in the grass area. We will also have the Pine Mountain Command Unit stationed by the Circus tent in case of any emergencies.
All guests must be wearing a wristband at all times during the festival.
How do I know if there has been any changes to the schedule due to weather?
Please text CGLIVE to 81680 to stay up-to-date with any weather information or schedule changes.
We will also post any announcements on our Facebook page. The Festival is a rain-or-shine event, however, the professional Balloon Meister controls the Balloon schedule based on FAA regulations, including weather and wind conditions.
What should I bring with me when I visit?
Beach gear if you are planning to spend time in the sand or water. Closed toed shoes if you are planning to do Treetop Adventure. Cash if you plan to go on a tethered hot air balloon ride. Blanket or towel if you plan to watch the balloon glows or have a picnic.
Are pets permitted?
Pets are allowed on Callaway property, but not in any of the facilities, on the Beach, or on any of the hot air balloons.
What is Blue Morpho Month?
Enjoy our month-long display of nature at its finest! Each September, marvel at the Blue Morpho as hundreds of these tropical butterflies fill the Day Butterfly Center with their iridescent-blue splendor. If the trend continues, visitors to the Day Butterfly Center will witness the largest display of Blue Morpho Butterflies on the planet during September.
How do I become a member?
Become a member before you arrive by visiting www.callawaygardens.com or visit the Information Center located outside the main gate on Highway 27. Memberships can also be purchased at the gate houses, however to expedite the sign-up process please use one of the options above if possible.
Have you already purchased admission and now want to become a member? Visit the Information Center outside the main gate on Highway 27 or visit the Callaway Discovery Center to apply your admission to a membership.
All memberships support the Ida Cason Callaway Foundation and its mission to Connection people in nature in a way that benefits both. We depend on support from our members and look forward to having you join us!
How do I book my stay? And do I have to purchase admission to the Hot Air Balloon Festival?
To book your stay, please visit www.callawaygardens.com or by calling 800.225.5292.
With your stay, you will receive Complimentary Gardens Admission each day of stay, including the day of departure, this will include the Hot Air Balloon Festival. The complimentary admission will be for the guests on your reservation.