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Pigeon Forge Attraction Has Visitors Reaching New Heights.

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Opened in late 2012, the new Wonders Of Flight attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN brings all new altitude to a visit to the Smoky Mountains.

Wonders Of Flight is a giant tethered balloon ride which is manufactured by Aerophile.  The ride takes passengers 400 ft in the air, and offers spectacular views of Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and the Great Smoky Mountains national park.  It is located just behind the giant WonderWorks museum (the upside-down house) on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge.  The ride usually lasts between 10-12 minutes.  A strong cable is used to keep the balloon in place as you take your journey to 400 ft above the earth.

There are other Aerophile tethered balloon rides similar to Wonders Of Flight at various destinations around the globe.  Walt Disney World in Florida has it’s own similar ride called: Characters In Flight, which takes passengers high above Downtown Disney for great views of the resorts & theme parks.  I took a journey on Characters In Flight back in May of 2009.  Another location where a ride such as this can be found is in the Downtown Disney district of Disneyland Paris.

I took my first journey aboard Pigeon Forge’s Wonders Of Flight back in late November.  It was a very clear afternoon, and the view was beyond incredible as you will see in the pictures below.  I was not able to see any of the Dollywood skyline (the first thing I looked for was Wild Eagle) due to a ridgeline of hills blocking the park from the air.  But there were more than enough incredible views of the surrounding areas, and even the skies above Knoxville were visible off on the horizon.  It was sorta a windy day, but the ride was calm & smooth nonetheless.

Now, enough chit-chat from me, and let’s get to the good stuff…the pictures from my ride aboard Wonders Of Flight!  Taken in November: 2012 .  Click on any image below for full size.

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The balloon has a diameter of 72 ft, and a volume of 210,000 cubic ft.

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From the top of the balloon to the base of the gondola is 105 ft.

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We have lift-off! Our shadow looming over the Smoky Mtn Opry’s parking lot.

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The cable keeping us attached to the earth as we ascend. It is strong enough to hold 90,000 pounds.

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Looking toward the direction of Knoxville and the University of Tennessee…about 45-min away.

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Looking toward the Sevierville area, and the Parkway headed north.

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Sevierville again…

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Dollywood is hidden behind that close ridgeline of hills. Great Smoky Mountains national park looming in the distance.

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