As initially reported via Twitter this morning, BGWFans can now confirm that a red line of sight balloon was flown over the park this morning.
According to eyewitnesses, the balloon appeared to be located behind Apollo’s Chariot—likely in the area currently occupied by the stables behind Festa Italia. The area in question can be seen in the map below.
So, of course, the question on everyone’s minds is: “How high?!”
It is always a bit difficult to get an accurate gauge of height with these balloons. That said, the general consensus among those who saw it is that the balloon was around the height of Apollo’s lift hill or even a bit higher.
Typically reports like these are all we have to go on. This time around, however, someone passing the park this morning who wished to remain anonymous sent us a picture of the balloon in the air. The picture is included below and shows Apollo’s second and third hills in the foreground.
So why is this a big deal? Line of sight balloons just like the one flown this morning are traditionally one of the earliest indicators we see of a new, large attraction at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. By the looks of it, if there is an attraction concept behind this morning’s test, it must be a tall one—almost certainly the tallest since Mach Tower by my eye. Needless to say, this is potentially a very big deal.
All that said, I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up too high just yet. As one of our forum members, James, pointed out, this could be for something as simple and mundane as fireworks—especially since this is an area that has been launched from previously.