If anyone ever offers you a free ride on a blimp, you say, “Yes.” If you’re afraid of heights, you get over it. If you have a fear of blimps, you have a very strange phobia, but still need to get over it. When Universal offered me a chance for a blimp ride, I leaped at the opportunity. The studio has commissioned a blimp to promote Despicable Me 2, and converted it into the “Despicablimp” by painting on a gigantic minion. I have no idea if blimps are part of the plot for Despicable Me 2, but after today, I’m convinced all movies should incorporate blimps into their marketing campaigns. Lincoln was a hit at the box office, but it could have been even more successful if the studio painted Daniel Day-Lewis on a blimp. People would look in the sky, see a giant Day-Lewis looking down on them, and know that all was right with the world. That’s how they’re going to feel when they see an adorable minion flying high above.
Hit the jump for more about my ride on Despicablimp. Despicable Me 2 opens in 3D on July 3rd.
At 7:30am, I arrived at an airport in Lawrenceville, GA. I barely got any sleep last night because I was so excited to ride in a blimp, and the trip didn’t disappoint. Furthermore, the opportunity was as rare as I imagined. There are only 22 blimps in the world, and because the overhead is so expensive, the average citizen couldn’t afford to rent a trip, so blimp companies almost exclusively work with corporate promotions.
What surprised me most was that the blimp is truly an “airship”. Usually, when I hear the word airship, I think of this or this. But after riding in the blimp, it has far more in common with a boat than a plane. “It’s kind of like a big kayak,” our pilot Al told us. Even though it weighs 8000lbs and is 1000 feet in the air, you can really feel the buoyancy. It was a beautiful day out, and we were free to stand up in the blimp and move around. The gondola isn’t very big, but it wasn’t shaky. The blimp can ascend or descend while maintaining the same speed, and while the inclines and declines can be steep, they’re steady. I was too giddy to be relaxed, but it’s definitely a chill ride. I’m so happy I said, “Yes.”
Naturally, I took plenty of photos, and you can check them out below: