David Blaine did his best impression of a real-life Disney movie moment on Wednesday, hooking himself up to dozens of balloons and flying “Up” over the vast Arizona landscape.
Blaine, known for his over-the-top illusions and tricks, said this feat is something he’s dreamed about since he was a kid. The entire “Ascension” event was livestreamed on YouTube on Wednesday, racking up more than 7 million views.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed of flying,” Blaine said in the video before the flight. “Every single stunt that I've ever done is about endurance and pushing past what I thought would be possible. I can't imagine many people would ever dream of doing it."
Blaine called the stunt “beautiful” and said he was performing it for his daughter after having taken years off from such tricks. He added this was the “most ambitious performance of my life.”
“I’ve never done anything like this in my life, by far,” Blaine said before taking off. “This thing feels insane… Normally I feel like I have control over everything. This one, I have no control of anything. This one feels crazy.”
After learning how to skydive, strap a parachute onto himself in mid-air, and even fly a hot-air balloon, Blaine hooked himself up to about 50 giant helium balloons and grabbed on, floating high into the sky, overlooking the breathtaking desert landscape and canyons below. After reaching an unbelievable nearly 25,000 feet, Blaine cut himself loose, free-falling before deploying his parachute.
“That was amazing,” Blaine exclaimed after he finally landed about an hour after taking off. “That was actually beautiful — from top to bottom.”
While we don’t necessarily recommend floating thousands of feet above the ground attached to giant balloons, travelers can experience the best of the Arizona desert for themselves with resorts offering remote getaways and gorgeous glamping options.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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