Disney balloons are absolutely iconic. Personally, I know I can’t picture Main Street USA in my mind without seeing a big bouquet of Mickey shaped balloons floating in front of the castle. Kids and adults alike have a deep love for these Disney balloons. Kids beg their parents for them all day long, and adults ask the balloon handlers for that classic Instagram shot holding all of the balloons. If you’re anything like me, before you actually purchase that Mickey balloon, you need to know the logistics. How long do Disney balloons last, and how much do they cost in 2021, and what do I do with it when I’m done?! This post will answer all of the questions, and more.
Typically, Disney balloons last for at least two weeks or more. If you plan to travel home with the balloon, you can carefully deflate it yourself. Or have it deflated for you at no cost at the Disney store in the Orlando International Airport.
You would think that buying a balloon at Disney would be a simple purchase. Though in reality, there are several things to know about buying a Disney balloon in order to actually make it a simple purchase. Balloons are only sold at certain parks, and only in certain areas. And not all balloon vendors carry the same balloons. Keep reading for all of the details, and everything you need to know about Disney balloons.
Disney Balloons Last a Long Time!
There are several types of balloons that are sold at Disney parks. Of course, there are the iconic “bubble Mickey head” balloons which are like a balloon within a balloon. These “inception” balloons are also sometimes called “glasshouse balloons.” But besides the classic Mickey balloon, there are also more standard type balloons as well, as you can see in the picture below.
These standard balloons are typically just one balloon layer, often with a cool printed design or a cool character inspired shape. And there are also special light-up balloons that glow in the dark that come in many varieties!
Regardless of the type of balloon you buy while at Disney, they generally last for about two weeks (or more!). I know this is true of the bubble Mickey head balloons. In fact, I have seen MANY reports of Mickey balloons lasting more than four weeks! So as long as you ensure that your balloon does not get popped, it is practically guaranteed to last for the full duration of your trip.
What To Do If Your Balloon Pops (Prematurely) Or There Is A Defect
If your balloon does get popped while you’re still in the park, or if there is a defect of some kind (like a deflated ear on a Mickey head balloon), Disney will replace it, no questions asked! This is similar to their policy of replacing dropped ice cream cones or spilled popcorn.
If you need your balloon replaced, bring it back to any balloon vendor and they will swap it out for you! If you can’t find a balloon vendor, or they’ve left for the night, visit City Hall instead. SImply explain the situation to the Cast Members there and they will give you a voucher for a replacement balloon that can be redeemed at a later time.
How Much Disney Balloons Cost in 2021
Balloons at Disney are priced based on type. From my research and experience, there is also a price difference between Disney parks on the East coast versus the West coast (don’t ask me to explain why though…). Here is the Disney Balloon 2021 cost breakdown:
Walt Disney World:
- Standard Balloons = $13.00
- Specialty Balloons = $17.00
- Standard Balloons = $9.00
- Specialty Balloons = $14.00
Defining Standard Balloons and Specialty Balloons:
- Standard Balloons include: the regular “glass bubble” Mickey head balloons, and other standard balloons
- Specialty Balloons include: the light-up version of the “glass bubble” Mickey head balloons, and other light-up balloons
Payment Methods For Buying a Disney Balloon
Prior to 2020, there was only one balloon vendor at Walt Disney World that accepted credit card payments. However, as of February 2021, ALL balloon vendors at Walt Disney World accept credit or debit card payments. You can also pay for balloons using your Magic Band, or with cash, of course.
Where to Buy Mickey Balloons (Both Inside the Parks and Outside Them)
Believe it or not, only certain theme parks at Walt Disney World sell balloons. At the parks themselves, balloons are only sold at Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Animal Kingdom does not sell balloons for fear of them harming the animals in some way if accidentally released. (This is also why balloons are prohibited from being brought into Animal Kingdom Lodge as well – bell services must hold them). And EPCOT also does not sell balloons, though I do not know the exact reason there.
On the west coast, balloons are sold at both theme parks in California: Disneyland, and Disney’s California Adventure.
Inside the Parks
Balloons are sold at all Disney theme parks in the US and abroad. Balloon vendors roam around the parks and are not usually in the same exact spot for long. Although, there are certain areas of the park that they are more likely to be found than others. You can typically find balloon vendors in the following locations:
- Just after entering the park
- Ex. Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom, or Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood Studios, etc.
- In the park’s main hub area
- Ex. Magic Kingdom hub, or near the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom, etc.
- Along the parade route before a parade
- Balloon vendors will walk the parade route as people start to line up on the curb to reserve their spot.
- In the area of nighttime entertainment (fireworks, shows, etc.)
- Just like walking the parade route, balloon vendors are also sure to be found where crowds are gathering for the daily nighttime entertainment. Like the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom, for example.
Outside of the Parks
- Disney Springs
- While there are less balloon vendors at Disney Springs than at the parks, they are there. Keep wandering around until you find one, or ask a Cast Member if they know where they’re at currently.
- Disney Resort Delivery via the Disney Floral and Gifts Department
- If you are staying at a Disney resort, you can have Disney Floral and Gifts deliver balloons to your room! They do not sell the classic “glasshouse Mickey” balloon with the outer plastic bubble. But they do sell Mickey ear balloons, just without the plastic covering. You can place your order on the Disney Floral and Gifts website.
How To Get Disney Balloons Home After Your Trip
Disney balloons are a quintessential part of any Disney vacation for several families and park goers. And because they last so long, if you bought one while on your trip, you will most likely need to figure out what to do with it when it comes time to go home. Of course you could always give away your balloon to someone else before leaving. But there is also a way to get it home, and you can even re-inflate it as well!
The balloons that Disney sells are not actually tied at the bottom. They are closed instead with zip ties, or other similar contraptions. As such, it is relatively easy to deflate them without harming them in any way. With either nail clippers, or a needle, carefully cut through the zip tie at the bottom in order to deflate the balloon.
But rather than risk the balloon popping, take the easy route instead! I recommend saving the frustration of any mishaps and having the balloon deflated for you! If you’re flying home, the Disney store in the Orlando International Airport (MCO) will deflate balloons for you at no charge. Then you can simply pack the balloon up in your carry-on. And once you get home you can then have the balloon re-inflated by taking it to any party store or professional balloon artist!