25 March 2016

The Happiest Balloon on Earth

Earlier this week we talked about getting a view from a different height in Epcot. Well, I don’t know that there would be a much better view than taking to the skies about Epcot in the Happiest Balloon on Earth!

This is, in fact, the original Happiest Balloon on Earth. This version of the balloon took to the skies in 1988. Two others of Mickey Mouse himself have been created, one in 1993 and the other in 2006. There was also another version built, named Birthday Mickey, in 1990 that featured Mickey with a birthday party hat, but the fabric of that particular balloon failed quickly and the balloon had to be retired. While the hot air balloon is known as the Happiest Balloon on Earth, when Mickey Mouse is aboard the balloon, it actually goes by the call sign of Ear Force One.

Back to the photo, this bird’s eye view of then EPCOT Center offers up a view that is simply incomparable. For starters, well, there’s Horizons! The original paint schemes for Communicore and The Living Seas can be seen, and there is no canopy hanging over the courtyard in the middle of Future World. Also, there is no track around the outside of World of Motion.

So, we’re landing in EPCOT Center 1988 and the park looks pretty empty, what corner are you off to visit first?!?!

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