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2023 Balloon Fiesta Information for Hotels

As an integral piece of the Balloon Fiesta experience for many travelers, we want to equip you with as much information as possible to answer guest questions over the course of the event. In addition to the standard questions you may receive, a number of changes have been made to security and transportation. We’ve tried to compile a one-stop resource for many of the topics we anticipate you may be asked about.


We also recommend that guests download the Official Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta mobile app sponsored by Visit Albuquerque.

For any additional information, please refer to the official Balloon Fiesta website or call (505) 821-1000 or 1-888-422-7277. Here is the directory page on their website with contacts for various needs that may arise.

Best wishes for a successful Fiesta season!

  • When to arrive:
    • Gates Open - 
      • Mornings at 4:30 am
      • Evenings at 3 pm
    • There are no scheduled activities in the Park mid-day except for October 12th for Music Fiesta

  • Admission prices:
    • $10 per session for guests 13 and older
    • Children 12 and under are FREE

  • What to wear?
    • We recommend layers for a cooler morning and a warmer afternoon
    • Hats, gloves, sunscreen, close toed shoes

  • What can I bring?
    • Bring a flashlight!
    • Lawn chairs, food, drinks (no alcohol or glass), blankets
    • Bags will be searched - we suggest not taking a bag to speed up entry

  • Raincheck policies:
    • General admission tickets - retain the ticket for readmission in the event the session is cancelled. No refunds are available.

  • Parking:
    • $15 per session per vehicle paid with cash as you arrive
    • Additional information below under Transportation.

  • Park & Ride:
    • Complete information
    • Reservations must be made online
    • Locations - 
      • Coronado Mall Southwest Corner, 6600 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque 87110
      • Hoffmantown Church, 8888 Harper Drive NE, Albuquerque 87111
      • Cottonwood Mall, 10000 Coors Bypass NW, Albuquerque 87114
      • Intel South Parking Lot, 1600 Rio Rancho Blvd SE, Rio Rancho 87124
    • Prices include round-trip transportation and general admission and the bypass of heavy traffic - 
      • Adults (13-61) $15
      • Seniors (62+) $12
      • Children (6-12) $7
      • Children (5 & under) free
      • Same day purchase (after midnight for morning sessions and after noon for evening sessions):
        • Adults $22
        • Seniors $20
        • Children $10
        • Children (5 & Under) free
    • Hours of operation for Park & Ride - 
      • Morning Sessions: Buses run from Remote Lots to Balloon Fiesta Park at 4 am and 5:30 am. Buses run from Balloon Fiesta Park to Remote Lots from 8 am to 12:30 pm.
      • Evening Sessions: Buses run from Remote Lots to Balloon Fiesta Park at 3 pm and 4:30 pm. Buses run from Balloon Fiesta Park to Remote Lots from 7:30 to 10 pm.
      • Park & Ride will not be available Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday
    • If a session is cancelled due to weather, retain your scanned ticket as a rain check for admission to the Park for another session. You will need to purchase a bus-only ticket ($12) to ride the bus along with the old scanned ticket. If your ticket was not scanned it can be used for another session this year without further purchase.
    • Additional information below under Transportation.

  • Balloon Fiesta Office:
    • Address - 4400 Alameda NE
    • Phone - 505-821-1000
    • Hours - 8 am-5 pm
    • Gift Shop - Open 9 am-5 pm
    • Website -
    • Guest Relations Email -

This year, Balloon Fiesta will be adding metal detectors, increasing bag check stations and increasing involvement from local state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Best Practices for Guests:

There will be bag checks; the fewer items guests have, the faster they will get through the security line. Guests without bags to check will be able to get through the security process faster than guests with bags, chairs and coolers. In addition, Balloon Fiesta officials would like to provide this information and best practices for guests: 

  • Conceal carry, weapons and knives are not allowed during the event. 
  • Metal detectors will be used at public entrances. Each entrance will have six or more security lanes with marked “Bag Check” lanes and “Express” lanes (without bags or with only small, clear, plastic bags). 
  • All bags and coolers will be checked by Balloon Fiesta Public Safety Officers before being allowed onto Balloon Fiesta Park. 
  • When possible, bring personal items in a clear or see-through bag or container. Use of a small, clear, plastic bag will allow you to utilize the Express Lanes into the Park. 
  • Children and their caregivers are often distracted with the balloon-filled sky. Visit the New Mexico State Police’s Tag-Your-Tots station, south of the Main Street Stage, when you arrive. Have a plan in place if you become separated. 
  • If you see something that looks unsafe or suspicious, alert a law enforcement officer, AIBF public safety officer, launch director (Zebra) or Balloon Fiesta official. 
  • Bicycles, spike jewelry/wallet chains, alcohol/drugs, animals (except service animals) and items deemed by Balloon Fiesta Public Safety as potentially dangerous to other guests or the venue will NOT be allowed inside the venue. 

We recommend printing out this easy guide for security and bag check.



Driving to Balloon Fiesta Park 

Parking is $15.00 CASH ONLY. In order to expedite entry into the park, Balloon Fiesta will not process credit or debit cards to pay the parking fee. Officials ask that guests have the exact cash ready before reaching the parking fee collection areas to speed up the collection process. 

  • Guests traveling from Santa Fe and areas of Albuquerque east of Interstate 25 will access the park by way of Tramway and Alameda. Drivers approaching from the east side will be parked north and east of Balloon Fiesta Park. 
  • Guests traveling from areas west of I-25 and the valley will access the park by way of Alameda Boulevard. Drivers will be directed to parking areas south of Balloon Fiesta Park on either side of Alameda. 

Fiesta Express Park & Ride 

There are four convenient locations available for Balloon Fiesta guests to park their car and get a bus ride to Balloon Fiesta Park. Park and Ride will be located on the Eastside at Coronado Mall and Hoffmantown Church as well as on the Westside at Cottonwood Mall and Intel. Park & Ride tickets are available for purchase online and are limited per event and park and ride location.

Location Information 

  • Cottonwood Mall and Intel Park and Ride will unload and load outside of Balloon Fiesta gates, northeast of the Balloon Museum. Guests will go through security checkpoints before entering Balloon Fiesta Park. 
  • Coronado Mall and Hoffmantown Church will unload inside Balloon Fiesta Park. Guests will go through security checkpoints before boarding the bus to Balloon Fiesta Park. 
  • Park and Ride for guests with special needs will load and unload inside of Balloon Fiesta Park and will go through security checkpoints before getting on the bus. 

Park and Ride Loading Times and Pricing 

  • Morning Sessions – Each Park and Ride location will have two waves of shuttles to Balloon Fiesta Park loading approximately at 4:00 am and 5:30 am for morning sessions. Buses will start return service to the Park and Ride locations at 8:00 am. 
  • Afternoon/Evening Sessions – Each Park and Ride location will have two waves of shuttles to Balloon Fiesta Park loading approximately at 3:00 pm and 4:30 pm for afternoon sessions. Buses will start return service to the Park and Ride locations at 7:00 pm and will run until 10 pm. 
  • Park and Ride tickets include transportation and admission for a specific session. The pricing is: Adults (13-61) $15, Seniors (62 & Older) $12, Children (6-12) $7, children 5 and younger are free. Pricing, locations, schedules and discounted tickets are available online at There is no Fiesta Express Park & Ride service on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, but traffic is usually lighter on those days and there will be plenty of parking. 

Ride Share 

Guests will easily be able to once again utilize ride share programs like Lyft and Uber when accessing Balloon Fiesta Park. The drop-off and pick-up location is near Alameda Boulevard and Horizon, south of the Launch Field. 

Bike Valet 

Riding a bike to Balloon Fiesta Park is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to visit. The Bike Valet is free and allows guests a safe place to park their bikes while visiting the Balloon Fiesta; this year there will be additional space, making room for more bikes to be parked. Pace Bike Share will again be offering its rental bike program, making more bikes available for guests to rent. Cyclists can take the bike trail that runs along the AMAFCA North Diversion Channel that crosses underneath Paseo del Norte and Alameda, ending just north of the Balloon Museum, in the Bike Valet parking station. The Bike Valet can accommodate more than 1,000 bicycles each session. 



Festival Ticketing Line
Service Hours:
Monday – Friday:  8:00 am to 5:00 pm
First Saturday ONLY:  8:00 am to 2:00 pm

If a guest did not print out their tickets (or lost them) prior to arrival, the guest can pull up the confirmation email on their phone, tablet, etc., and scan the tickets electronically at the gate. The gates are equipped to scan a paper ticket or e-ticket (printed or online).   

If the guest has the credit card they used to purchase the tickets with them, they can present the card at the gate and the attendant can locate the ticket(s) using the card.

They can also contact the Festival Ticketing Call Center during the hours listed above, and the vendor can help them with their tickets.