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Old 07-13-2016, 08:16 AM   #1
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Albq. Balloon Fest -Fantasy Tours - Yea or Nay?

We are thinking of a trip to the Albuquerque with Fantasy Tours and looking for comments from anyone who has traveled with them.

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Old 07-13-2016, 08:38 AM   #2
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Join Monaco International and you will have the best seat in the house plus many other perks. Go to their web site for details.

Steve Corsetti
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St Petersburg, FL
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:30 AM   #3
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We went last year for the first time on our own, and had a
great time.I was a little intimidated until we arrived,but seeing
how organized everything was no problem.Also being on your own
you don't feel obligated to a schedule.Just an option.
Barry & Martha Trueman
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Old 07-13-2016, 04:52 PM   #4
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We went last year. Didn't have a clue as I was looking at the options for camping. Finally opted for the VIP East lot. It is the smallest lot, has room for ~50 rigs. Cost was about the same as the VIP West but not as much as the presidential.

The presidential lot has all paved spots with power, not sure about water. They also have a nice lawn at the overlook onto the festival grounds. I did visit the VIP West, IMHO it was not as good as VIP East as it is not elevated and there were a number of buildings that blocked the view of the field.

We got to Albuquerque a couple days early and boon docked at the Sandia Casino, that had an area designated for campers. We got there fairly late in the afternoon and got one of the last open spots. It appeared a number of people brought their campers there and left them for the entire week, only staying there on the weekends.

The day we were suppose to move to the Balloon Festival we timed it perfect, got to the VIP gate at Noon, I had scouted this area the day before so it was easy to find. We were escorted to the front row so we had a good view of the field since the VIP East lot is elevated above the field. In the early AM, as the balloons were being prepared to be filled it was a memorable scene.

We were at the Festival grounds for 3 days and really enjoyed it. Will probably go back some day, but have other things on my bucket list first.

Out of curiosity I went to the Fantasy RV Tours website and looked at the itinerary for the Balloon Festival. We did just about everything listed for ~half the cost.
Jim J
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:29 AM   #5
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Thanks much for the info. Is there a website for the lots etc?
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:58 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MrBelvedere View Post
Thanks much for the info. Is there a website for the lots etc?
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta - RV Information

Staying on-site is way better than the bad traffic congestion driving in.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:02 PM   #7
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If this is your first trip I would recommend that you go with an orginazed group. Whether it is Fantasy Tours, Adventure Caravan, Escapees, or one of the many makers groups.
Different groups offer different things but most all stay on the field which is where you want to be. Pump out services are available as is water delivery. Some groups offer power as well.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:20 PM   #8
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X2 on the congestion. ON peak days there are +100K people on the grounds and the early morning traffic to get in is horrendous. The Festival does a good job at traffic and crowd management.

On their website there is lots of info including maps of the site and traffic patterns.

The VIP site utilizes a different route for access and there was minimal traffic getting in or out.

We did not go with a group, I had contemplated going the with Monaco International group but the additional cost didn't appeal to me.

You have to book a minimum of 3 days stay so you have to search the vacancies by lot to see what days are available. The lot attendants direct you to your spot, supposedly first come first serve although with the larger groups they save large blocks so the group can park together.

We got lucky and got a front row seat. I think there were 2 available when we pulled in that had been vacated as people leave.

Good Luck, it is truly a sight to see.
Jim J
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:56 PM   #9
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Come down off of the hill to the Sid Sutter Sculpture and sign up for a Chase Crew spot.
A chance to meet the Pilots and Crew Chiefs and mingle with the other crew and Zebras.
Who knows you might even get a ride.

If you can Boondock, RV parking is $35 a day right across the street. With the FREE shuttles you will be dropped off and picked up at the south gate right at ground level.

Come see us and we will find you a BALLOON!

You can sign up on line also! http://www.balloonfiesta.com/pilots-...w-registration
04 Horizon QD, 12 Ford Flex, Excalibar, Brake-Pro, ,, Winter Texan, RVin! since 1974
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Old 07-15-2016, 03:22 AM   #10
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Wiffeee and I went last year, we were there the whole nine days which turned out to be too many, but we tow our motorcycle and took nice ride up to Los Alamos and cheked out the nuclear history site.
Best advice I can give is book early to assure a spot, go for the first few days of the event arriving the day before so traffic won't be an issue.

This was our first big /long retirement trip also went over to the Canyon.

Your money but I didn't need anyone to point me to Albuquerque it hasn't moved, didn't need anyone to go to the ticket booth and buy tickets, go and enjoy, no problems and we were and still new to rv'ing.

I said all nine days was too much but enjoyed every one, even if you just sit outside of your rv and have your very early morning coffee you are still at an awesome event. ..

We will go back.
Jerry & CP (copilot) Joyce RVM 109
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:15 AM   #11
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15 Discovery

Nay. Way too many people and expensive. Lived in El Paso 22 years close enough to see from my lazy boy on the big screen. Better view too.
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Old 07-16-2016, 11:51 AM   #12
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We did the balloon rally in 2014 with Fantasy tours. Our first time with any tour group.

They were nice people and the group events were fun, but it wasn't a "deal" in terms of money. I tracked the admission prices of everything we did, including the cost of the 30 amp electric site and the one pump out, meals, etc and it totaled about half of what the tour charge was.

So, I guess it depends on how much the convenience of letting someone else make all the arrangements is worth to you.

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Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
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