Flying High in Florida… Indoor Skydiving!

Flying High in Florida… Indoor Skydiving!

When I say flying, I mean flying in a vertical wind tunnel!!

While Florida is famed as The Sunshine State, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get its fair share of rainy days. So what DO you do when the heavens open??

You could go bowling (which we did), you could go to the arcades (which we also did), or you could play a round of mini-golf (which still involves getting a bit wet)… OR you could do something different and give skydiving a go!!

iFLY is an indoor skydiving experience that creates true free fall conditions, just like skydiving, without having to jump out of an airplane. Having spied a voucher for it in one of our map books, we headed up to Universal Drive to try it out! Ever since I did a bungee jump in New Zealand I’ve wanted to do something else exciting and while I fully intend to jump out of an actual plane one day, this is the next best thing!

iFLY Orlando’s 1,000 hp vertical wind tunnel works by generating a wall-to-wall cushion of air, on which you safely float. These kind of wind tunnels have been used for years by the military and professional skydivers as a way to train without having to go up in airplanes

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When we got there we had to fill in all sorts of disclaimers – you are not allowed to get into the tunnel if you have ever dislocated your shoulder, for example, so need to sign your life away first and declare yourself ‘fit’. We were then directed up towards the viewing room where we could watch the other groups through the glass walls of the tunnel. It looked like some people found it a lot easier than others to fly unaided! We were then taken through to the briefing area where we ‘suited up’!

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The briefing itself consisted of a short explanation of how the tunnel worked, followed by instructions for the flight itself. We were shown the correct position to adopt when entering the tunnel (cross armed and you basically just have to lean right forward until the wind catches you!) and also how you should ‘spread out’ while up in the air, keeping your chin up and your arms bent wide.

The flight instructor also ran through all of his special ‘sign language’ which he would use to tell us if we needed to bend our legs a bit further, straighten them our or lift up our head more. If you straighten out your legs whilst in the tunnel, you go higher, which is so much for fun that just hovering above the wire mesh floor of the tunnel!

iFly admission gives you two ‘flights’ – the first one is pretty much a practise flight and you just spend the time getting used to the tunnel and practising the manoeuvres. You all take it in turns, while other onlookers watch on eagerly – if anything is going to make you concentrate it’s the fact that everyone is staring at you – you don’t want to look silly!

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The second flight is much more fun! I felt pretty confident second time round and flattened my body out as much as I could so that I would go whizzing off to the top of the tunnel! It was awesome, I loved it!!

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They turn the wind speed right up high so that you can soar almost as high as the tunnel itself and then towards the end the flight instructor grabs you and twirls you around and up and down about five times or until your time runs out!

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I can thoroughly recommend indoor skydiving and iFly, being just off Universal Drive, is so handy! It really is the perfect rainy day activity for Florida, as it involves the same kind of rush you would get at a theme park. I can’t wait to try skydiving for real now!!!

Open 10am – 10:30pm every day, iFly Orlando can be found at 6805 Visitors Circle, Orlando, FL 32819. They have all sorts of packages available from beginners, to groups and experienced flyers!

Here’s their website so you can have a sneaky peak for yourself…www.orlando.iflyworld.com/

Have you ever tried Indoor Skydiving? Or maybe you have jumped out of a plane for real!? We’d love to hear about your experiences!…. Feel free to leave your ‘rainy day activity’ suggestions below too!

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