Disney Dreams Come True: A Giant Mickey Mouse Hot Air Balloon Takes Flight with Duncan Wardle!


Are you ready to step into a world of pure imagination and soar high above the clouds with Mickey Mouse? Well, get ready because Disney dreams are about to come true! In this blog post, we’ll be taking a closer look at a truly magical experience – one that involved an enormous hot air balloon shaped like everyone’s favorite mouse, and creative genius Duncan Wardle. Get ready for an adventure unlike any other as we explore the incredible story behind this larger-than-life attraction!

Duncan Wardle

Introduction to Duncan Wardle

Duncan Wardle is a former Imagineer and the current Vice President of Innovation & Creativity at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. He’s responsible for leading the company’s global team of “imagineers” who are tasked with creating new experiences and attractions for guests.

Wardle began his career at Disney in 1982 as an intern in the Walt Disney World College Program. He went on to work as a ride operator, character performer, and eventually an Imagineer. He has worked on some of Disney’s most iconic attractions, including Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and It’s a Small World.

In his current role, Wardle is responsible for leading the company’s global team of imagineers and overseeing the creative development of new experiences and attractions for guests. He is also charged with finding new ways to bring the magic of Disney to life around the world.

Introduction to Disney Dreams Come True and the Hot Air Balloon

On Thursday, May 24, 2018, Duncan Wardle’s giant Mickey Mouse hot air balloon took flight for the first time in Disney history! The balloon is 40 feet tall and 50 feet wide, making it one of the largest character-shaped hot air balloons in the world. It was built by Cameron Balloons UK and took over two months to construct.

This dream come true is a special project for Wardle, who is the Imagineering Creative Director for Walt Disney Imagineering. He pitched the idea to his team and it was met with overwhelming support. The project was kept under wraps until the day of its debut at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park in Florida.

The hot air balloon is made of polyester fabric and can hold up to 12 people at a time. It is powered by propane gas and can reach altitudes of up to 10,000 feet. The first flight lasted for about 30 minutes and gave guests a bird’s eye view of some of Disney’s most popular attractions, including Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain.

The Mickey Mouse hot air balloon is just one of many ways that Wardle is bringing his “dreams come true” philosophy to life at Disney. He also helped create the popular “Be Our Guest” program, which invites guests to have dinner with some of their favorite Disney characters at select restaurants in the parks.

Behind the Scenes of Designing and Building the Hot Air Balloon

When it comes to designing and building a giant hot air balloon in the likeness of Mickey Mouse, there is no shortage of challenges. From finding the right materials to ensuring the structural integrity of the balloon, every detail must be carefully considered.

The first step is to create a detailed design of the balloon. This includes everything from the size and shape of the balloon to the placement of Mickey’s signature ears. Once the design is finalized, it’s time to start sourcing materials.

The fabric for the balloon is one of the most important elements, as it needs to be both strong and light-weight. After testing several different fabrics, the team settled on a high-quality nylon that met all their criteria.

With the fabric secured, it was time to start construction. The team used a special technique called “cold inflation” to slowly inflate the balloon without using heat. This allowed them to make any necessary adjustments during construction and ensured that the final product was perfect.

After months of hard work, the giant Mickey Mouse hot air balloon was finally ready for its debut at Disney World. Seeing it take flight for the first time was an unforgettable experience for everyone involved in its creation.

The Launch of the Mickey Mouse Hot Air Balloon

In May of 2019, Duncan Wardle and his team launched a giant Mickey Mouse hot air balloon in honor of the 90th anniversary of the iconic character. The balloon is 43 feet tall and 49 feet wide, making it one of the largest in the world. The launch was a success, with the balloon reaching an altitude of over 10,000 feet.

The Mickey Mouse hot air balloon is just one of many unique balloons that Duncan Wardle and his team have created. Other designs include a replica of the Titanic, a giant Minion from Despicable Me, and even a life-size replica of Santa Claus.

Reflection on the Success of Disney Dreams Come True

I am absolutely thrilled that our Disney Dreams Come True hot air balloon has taken flight! It has been an incredible journey to get to this point and I could not have done it without the amazing team at Duncan Wardle Innovations.

This project has been a labor of love for everyone involved and it is so gratifying to see it come to life. The response from the public has been overwhelmingly positive and we are so grateful for all the support.

It has been an honor to work on this project with Duncan Wardle, who is a true visionary. His passion forDisney is evident in everything he does and it was a privilege to collaborate with him on this project.

Thank you to everyone who made this dream come true!


Duncan Wardle’s dream of creating a giant Mickey Mouse hot air balloon came true as the iconic character took flight across the sky. It was an incredible sight to behold and definitely something that can inspire all of us to keep dreaming big and work hard to make our dreams come true. We’d like to thank Duncan Wardle for sharing his story with us, which has shown us that no matter how impossible it may seem, with dedication and determination anything is possible.


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