|This article is about the magazine story. You may be looking for the episode, the book or the DVD.|
Thomas and Percy are to transport a giant balloon to the showground where Mr. Bubbles is to perform his great balloon show. Thomas thinks they should take the balloon through the woodland track, but Percy is worried that a branch may burst the balloon. Percy thinks they should take the coastal route, but Thomas is concerned that the balloon will blow away in the wind. Not wanting to upset his best friend, Thomas agrees to go along the coastal track.
The coastal track is very windy and the balloon breaks free and floats up into the air. Thomas thinks they must race after the balloon, but Percy suggests that they wait for it to come back to them. Thomas goes along with his friend and they wait. Unfortunately, the balloon does not float back to them and the two engines have to collect another giant balloon.
Soon the two friends reach a tunnel. Thomas can see that their balloon is too big to fit through the tunnel, but Percy insists that they puff on. They soon find themselves stuck, with the balloon wedged in the tunnel. They push and pull until the balloon pops. They have to fetch another balloon.
Back at Brendam Docks, poor Mr. Bubbles is exhausted from blowing up yet another enormous balloon. On route to the showground, Thomas and Percy spot Gordon thundering towards them with the express. They screech to a stop and the balloon comes free. The Hatt family lean out of the express carriage's window just in time to have their hats knocked off by the balloon. Then the balloon begins to deflate. Thomas decides that it is time that he takes control of the situation. First, he asks the drivers to give the Hatts their hats back. Then they race back to pick up Mr. Bubbles and the last balloon. Percy makes sure that Mr. Bubbles has enough time to recover from blowing up so many giant balloons before they make it to the showground just in time. The balloon show begins and everyone gazes in wonder at the giant balloons.
- Mr. Bubbles
- Sir Topham Hatt (speaks in speech bubble only)
- Dowager Hatt (does not speak)
- Lady Hatt (does not speak)
- A Brass Band Member (cameo)
- Gordon (mentioned)
- Percy is the one who suggests that they wait for the balloon to come back, but in the image's speech bubble it is Thomas who says that.
- It is said that Thomas and Percy encounter the tunnel on the way back to pick up another balloon, but they already have another balloon.