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Top 10 unusual hot air balloon designs

04/09/2014 Jo Bailey Features

You’re probably familiar with the traditional round hot air balloon, which looks exactly as you would expect such a vessel to look, but there is actually a lot more to the art and design of hot air balloons than the traditional models, and there are lots of companies now pushing themselves to create unique and unusual hot air balloon designs.

These designs can often be seen at hot air balloon festivals and gatherings, and they are often used to advertise products or publicize certain events. Here are our top 10 unusual balloon designs:

Darth Vader

He may be an evil villain, but Darth Vader has been bringing joy to hot air balloon enthusiasts everywhere in his inflatable form. The Vader balloon can often be seen at festivals all over the world, and recently made an appearance at the Kansas speedway event.

Giant Flying Cow

They say pigs might fly, but you’re much more likely to see a flying cow in the skies above you, especially if you happen to be in the vicinity of one of the many hot air balloon festivals that take place worldwide each year. The giant cow craft is a fantastic design, which looks just like your regular black and white cow, complete with udders and the unusual addition of a set of white wings.


Snoopy is something of a national treasure in the USA, so it is hardly surprising that he has been immortalised in hot air balloon form. A huge Snoopy took flight at the 2008 Macy’s Day Parade.

Castle in the Sky

Fans of the studio Ghibli film ‘Laputa: Castle in the Sky’ will be delighted if they ever spot the flying castle hot air balloon, which passes more than a slight resemblance to the famous airborne citadel which is such a big part of the film.

Coca Cola Bottle

The Coca Cola bottle is a design classic. It was turned into a giant hot air balloon and has made hundreds of appearances all over the world.

Douglas the Lurpak Butter man

Promotional hot air balloons are big business and Douglas the Lurpak Butter man has to be one of the most unusual. Basically a giant replica of the butter man from the famous Lurpak advert, Douglas was an unusual balloon because he was lighter than air.

Mr Peanut

The famous monocle peanut man has his very own hot air balloon.

Pixar’s Up balloon

Fans of the Pixar movie ‘Up’ will be delighted to know that there exists a balloon replica of the protagonist’s iconic floating home. The basket is the actual house, while the envelope is made to look as if it comprises thousands of small party balloons.

It is one of the most spectacular hot air balloons you are ever likely to see.

Action Man

Action man is the greatest hero of them all, so it is only fitting that he has his very own giant hot air balloon, made in his image. It depicts him skydiving in his distinct orange and blue paratrooper outfit.


A giant Shrek hot air balloon was one of the biggest draws of the 82nd annual Macy’s Day Parade.

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