The Balloon Race is a ride in Galaxyland, formerly Fantasyland, located in West Edmonton Mall. The ride is original and un-modified dating back to Fantasyland’s opening day.
The ride is an 8-Model Balloon Wheel manufactured by Zamperla, and has a manufacturer-listed capacity of up to 32 passengers – although at times it has been loaded with more when there are younger, light-weight riders.
The Balloon Race is a small Ferris Wheel, with a hot air balloon theme. It has eight multicolored balloons, each with a capacity of 4 adults, or more persons if there is a mix of adults and children.
The ride overlooks the Swing of the Century, and backs against the area where the Ropes Quest is situated. At its peak, each car provides an obstructed view of nearly the entire park (the view was less obstructed before Ropes Quest was moved into Galaxyland).
Because of balancing, riders are loaded in an order where cars opposite to each other on the wheel are loaded one after another, likewise for unloading. This can lead to longer wait times to board, and leave, the ride.
The Balloon Race remains popular for riders of all ages, due to its appeal to families (hand-held infants may ride), as well as its broader appeal due to vast views of nearly the entire park.
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