What if you could fly without the help of an airplane? iFly, an attraction on International Drive in Orlando, offers that very opportunity. iFly is a vertical wind tunnel that so closely replicates skydiving that professional skydivers use the facility to train. You can indoor skydive for the first time, or just watch how it works for free.
Even watching others learn to fly is entertaining, and you might get lucky and get to see an aerial team practicing stunts in 120+ mph winds. The iFly simulator is large enough to hold several flyers at once. The most common scenario, however, is one student floating on a cushion of air, within feet of his or her instructor.
As a first-time flyer, you’ll have a short training session—about 20 minutes—and then you’ll don a flight suit and goggles. Instructors take about four students at a time into the wind tunnel holding area. Each flyer then takes turns entering the tunnel for a brief period of time with the instructor.
The amazing part of learning or watching is realizing the impact of even the tiniest movement. As the instructor demonstrates flight for students and observers, he makes it look easy to spin rapidly, rise and fall quickly and do all sorts of trick maneuvers. The powerful winds are regulated by a professional at the controls right next to the tunnel, watching everything that’s happening and working in tandem with the instructor.
Opt for a DVD of your lesson and then you’ll get the same view as those sitting outside the glass tunnel.
iFly, located at the north end of International Drive, is one of Orlando’s best kept secrets. So the next time you’d like to spend time in Orlando elsewhere than a theme park, take this leap of faith.