by: Estee Martin Updated:
Skydiving. For whatever reason (probably fear...no, definitely fear) it’s that one line on my bucket list that I just cannot cross off. The idea of skydiving is amazing; free falling for seconds at a time, feeling that sensation of weightlessness, but it’s just not for me. For the longest time, I figured I would never get the chance to experience anything like that until I paid a visit to iFly Orlando. These guys have captured that skydiving experience and brought it indoors, allowing everyone to make their dream of flight a reality. I decided to take a chance and spread my wings in this installment of Central Florida’s Hidden Gems.
So what is iFly exactly? Well, when you ‘fly’ at iFly you are essentially floating on a giant column of air generated by big fans in a wind tunnel. These fans help mimic the sensation of skydiving. When you jump out of a plane, your body moves through the sky, at iFly, thanks to the giant fans pushing wind up from below, the ‘sky’ moves through you. Now that that’s all cleared up, it’s time to fly!
When you arrive at iFly, you’ll sign a waiver and then meet your instructor. My instructor’s name was Striker, and he’s an indoor skydiving pro! After watching a quick video and learning a few hand signals, we were ready to take on the wind.
The winds inside of the tunnel at iFly can reach speeds over 100 mph and you can really feel it! As soon as you step out of that doorway, you’re immediately lifted up off the ground with the force of a Category 3 hurricane. If any of that sounds intense, don’t worry, your instructor is right by your side the entire time. Each flight lasts 60 seconds and that’s plenty of time to get comfortable and snap some awesome pics. For a couple extra of bucks, you can try out the high flight and have your instructor spin you around and fly all the way up to the top of the tunnel. It felt just like that scene from Charlie in the Chocolate Factory!
After 2 flights in the wind tunnel, I received my Flight Certificate, official proof that I reached terminal velocity at iFly. Once you fly for the first time, you’ll want to come back and iFly makes it easy with their returner packages. If you really want to hone in on your skills, you can even get private coaching and learn flips and tricks like the pros! I’m already planning my next flight and I can’t wait to take to the wind once again.
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