June 5th is National Hot Air Balloon Day. While there seems to be a “holiday” for everything these days, this one is particularly special to Worlds of Fun. Our Kansas City amusement park has rocked the hot air balloon in our logo since we first announced construction in 1971.
“We chose the large, multicolored accession balloon for our symbol because it represents fun, adventure and travel reminiscent of the movie Around the World in 80 Days. These are the thing we want Worlds of Fun to represent.” – Jack Steadman, former general manager circa 1971.
To celebrate the opening of Worlds of Fun in 1973, Kansas City painted a nearby water tower with the iconic colors of our hot air balloon. It has since become a landmark of the Northland in KCMO.
The Worlds of Fun hot air balloon is still a strong part of our identity. When we remodeled our front gate in 2017, the hot air balloon was a pivotal part of the area’s design, and the original display still welcomes our guests as the first thing they see when they enter our parking lot.
We’re Getting an Actual Hot Air Balloon
Grand Carnivale will be the largest summer event in park history when it debuts July 13 – August 4. We’re going all out for this new international festival, including the introduction of an actual hot air balloon! It will be a full-sized replica of the beloved Worlds of Fun balloon, and it will become the focal point of the massive celebration taking part in International Plaza following our illuminating Spectacle of Color parade.
As of now, Grand Carnivale will be the only time the real hot air balloon will be featured at the park. It will be located in the same spot as our 70-foot WinterFest tree.
The hot air balloon is currently being constructed, but here’s a little preview.
Grand Carnivale will be a massive, 23-night event that will bring the world’s largest celebrations to life, complete with all the sights, sounds, tastes and traditions they will take you on a cultural journey. Be sure to add this new festival to your “Things to do” this summer.
On behalf of all of us at Worlds of Fun, we wish you a very happy National Hot Air Balloon Day!