Skydiving in Orlando
As we were doing some research for some unique adventures and things to do during our vacation in Orlando, somebody said "try skydiving." Wow, what a great idea - skydiving has always been on my bucket list. So I checked to see if my insurance policy was up to date, made sure the will was current, and then sheepishly walked in to share my idea with Mrs Texas Outside. "What - no way!"
All my logic and safety stats on skydiving were immediately shot down, so it was back to the drawing board. Lo and behold, an internet search found iFly Orlando which offers sky diving in a wind tunnel, which according to their website is similar to what happens after you jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet but with Sky Ventures you skydive in a 140 mile per hour vertical wind tunnel - and it's only 50 yards above the ground! Back to the spouse on my knees and after a couple "pretty pleases" she blessed it - and said she would like to try it also.
Sky Venture Orlando is the closest thing to skydiving you'll ever do without having to jump out of an airplane. It's so realistic that professional skydivers use the tunnel to practice and master their moves, yet safe enough for people of all ages without any experience to learn how to fly. After you arrive, you hike up some stars and enter an observation room where you can watch the other groups as you're waiting for your group to fly. Watching the others made this adventure really look fun and when a 4 year old girl with a Cheshire grin was flying, I figured that I should be able to handle it. Easy for me to say!
After a few minutes of observing, our group of seven was lead into the instruction room for 15 minutes of instruction including hand signals. Still looks like a piece of cake - legs bent, body arched, chin up, and arms spread to suspend yourself in a 140 mile per hour wind! Next came the body suits and helmets and then into the wind tunnel. Now the heart is pumping - I'm excited and nervous about remembering how to position my body and what the hand signals were. I was sure that I would either sink to the floor or soar to the top - neither is a good alternative!
A few minutes later it was my turn. I jumped into the wind, positioned my body perfectly (at least I thought so), and immediately floated slowly to inches above the floor before the instructor grabbed me, lifted me back up, gave me a couple hands signals on what to do, and sent me flying. I was floating around and up and down and having a blast - all too soon my turn was up. Wow, that was fun! And I couldn't wait until my second turn.
On the second try it was even easier and I almost felt like I was in control - couldn't do any tricks or anything fancy, but I could stay aloft, could make some moves left, right, and up and down. Then the instructor who is normally fighting the wind to stand up right and provide a helping hand, grabbed one arm and one leg, put his body in a horizontal position and we were flying together. He was in total control while I tried to hold the correct body position and he took me up to the top, back down, and up again doing horizontal 360's. Unbelievable! Again all too soon my turn was up. Now I know why that 4 year old had that Cheshire grin - looking at the pictures, I did too! What a blast and unique experience.
After each of all had our turns, two instructors entered the tunnel and started doing all sorts of tricks and things that just don't seem like they could be done. They were doing somersaults, head stands, loops, rapid ups and downs, spider crawls along the walls, and lots more. Unbelievable - their show was almost worth the price of admission.
The instructors were having as much fun as we were and the smiles on there faces from when we entered the tunnel to the time we left were huge - I think they enjoyed it even more than we did.
After that I'm addicted, wanted to sign up and do it again, and then try jumping from an airplane once we got back to the Big D. The spouse also loved it and thought it was one of the highlights of the trip, but she still wasn't excited about either of us jumping out of an airplane - so, skydiving is still on the bucket list.
What a fun and unique adventure that is suitable for anyone from 3 to 93! And the price is reasonable, includes two flights, and a video loaded with pictures of your two flights. A must do if you are in the Orlando area. Call iFly Orlando and book a flight that you'll remember forever!
Good News for us Texans, iFly has now opened a location in Austin - so what are you waiting for, check out the iFly website and book a flight - you'll love it.