The Characters in Flight Balloon at Downtown Disney (Walt Disney World) was removed for inspection after an incident that occurred at Hong Kong's Ocean Park. Operated by Aerophile, the Ocean Park Balloon "plunged 20m" (about seven stories) after springing a leak, according to Asiaone news. Five guests were hurt, but none severely.
I had originally heard that the Disneyland Paris balloon was closed too, but I don't know if that is the case (I was told this afternoon by someone who was there that it wasn't removed).
There were two Characters in Flight employees on duty at Downtown Disney today, and they told us that the balloon would return, but they don't know when.
Here is the Characters in Flight balloon shortly before it debuted in April, 2009:
We followed the addition of Characters in Flight closely back in 2009 with both photos and video. Check out this on board ride video from opening week.
This is a photo I took of the Disneyland Paris balloon in May, 2007 from my Disneyland Paris Resort Photo Walk:
Jeff posted a video today of the Downtown Disney Characters in Flight location without the balloon.
We will let you know when we hear more about Characters in Flight!