Is this the new version of the Hogwarts Express? AirTran Airways, and Universal Orlando have teamed up to allow passengers a ride on a one-of-a-kind “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” themed aircraft. [Read more…]
By Audrey Brown
Photos by Jeff Lange of jefflangedvd.com
There was one ride throughout all of my visits to Walt Disney World that I could always count on for a line-free experience. Granted, it could’ve been a fluke that across all my visits there was no waiting, but I also think most people just didn’t have much interest in the Delta Dreamflight at the Magic Kingdom. But I did. My cousins and I would bolt away from our mothers after exiting the Carousel of Progress and run to Delta Dreamflight where we would fly through the empty line and board by ourselves. [Read more…]
This Saturday, April 17 and again the next Saturday, April 24, Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-Force One will take off from the Space Coast Regional Airport offering fliers an opportunity to defy the laws of gravity. Guests willing to pony up nearly $5,000, and have a strong stomach, will have the unique opportunity to float freely in complete weightlessness. Flights such as these offer the only opportunity for the general public to experience true “weightlessness” without going to space.
The April 17 flight will offer the classic Zero-G Experience where fliers will enjoy 15 weightless parabolas, each lasting about 30 seconds. The profile of the parabolas will allow passengers to experience Martian, lunar and zero gravity.
The Platinum Experience on April 24 will offer the same weightless experience; however flyers will have 40 percent more room in the floating lounge and will also enjoy two extra parabolas. Hotel accommodations and other amenities, such as premium Zero-G merchandise are also included.
For both flights, guests will receive:
• Pre-flight training to maximize their experience
• Private transportation to/from Space Coast Regional Airport
• Zero-G flight suit and patch
• Personal photography by a world-class photographer
• Post-flight re-gravitation party
• Weightless flight award certificate
• Branded Zero-G gifts
Guests may choose to fly like Superman, flip like an Olympic gymnast, or enjoy 10-times more hang-time than the world’s best basketball player. This is no theme park ride. There’s no simulated zero gravity. Zero-G replicates the same levels of weightlessness enjoyed on Mars (1/3-gravity), the moon (1/6-gravity), and zero gravity.
Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Martha Stewart, Joey Fatone, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Dyrdek, Beatrice of York, Professor Stephen Hawking, Billy Bush, Gavin Newsom, Burt Rutan, Miles O’Brien, and cast members of “The Apprentice,” and “The Biggest Loser” are just a few notable passengers who’ve flown with Zero-G. This is the identical weightless flight experience used by NASA to train its astronauts and used by Ron Howard and Tom Hanks to film Apollo-13.
The Zero-G Experience is offered at a price of $4,950 per seat plus tax. The Platinum Experience is offered at a price of $6,800 per seat plus tax. To reserve a seat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call (888) 664-7284 or visit gozerog.com. The Space Coast Regional Airport is near Titusville and Cocoa, about an hour east of Orlando.
Since launching in September 2004, the company has conducted more than 225 weightless flights and flown more than 6,000 members of the public, including celebrities and media personalities, corporate charters, science and math teachers and individuals aged eight to 93.
• If you sign-up, e-mail to let us know about your experience.
(This was cross-posted on the Distant Creations blog)
Prior to moving to Orlando, I had a to-do list of thrilling activities that I wanted to try some day. It included skydiving, learning to fly an airplane, and zip lining through an exotic forest (amongst others). Having now lived in Orlando for several years, I’ve found that my cravings have changed a bit and so today I ponder…
How Orlando Attractions Have Altered My Thrill To-Do List
High on my list of daring “I want to try that one day” items has always been skydiving. I know a few people who have done it with mostly positive reactions. So, I jumped (pun intended) at the chance to take a baby step toward this death-defying activity by visiting SkyVenture Orlando:
Yes, that’s me halfway through that video trying out SkyVenture’s wind tunnel, which apparently provides a very accurate simulation of real skydiving. Was it fun? Yes. Would I recommend it for those interested in skydiving? Yes. Did it make me want to really skydive? No. In fact, quite the opposite.
After visiting SkyVenture, my desire to skydive is more or less gone and removed from my thrill-filled to-do list.
Flying an Airplane
Getting a pilot’s license is something I’ve wanted to do since I began playing flight simulators many years ago. Anyone who regularly reads this blog knows that I’m a huge flight sim fan and thus it seems like an obvious choice to take that interest and move it into the world of real-life, non-simulator flight. So, much like with my desire to skydive, I jumped (definitely no pun here) at the chance to hop into a vintage aircraft and take the controls at Warbird Adventures:
Yes, that’s me throughout that video, hopping into the front seat of the cockpit and even taking the controls for most of the flight. In other words, I got to fly a real airplane without going through hours of training or even getting a pilot’s license. Was it fun? Absolutely. Would I recommend it for those interested in becoming a pilot? Definitely. Did it make me want to get my pilot’s license and fly more? Oh yeah.
After visiting Warbird, my desire to fly real airplanes has increased. It was one of the most fun activities I’ve done in Orlando outside of a theme park. That one is definitely staying on my to-do list.
Every time I see an exotic South American location on the Travel Channel featuring a massive zip line through a forest, I think, “Wow – I want to try that!” On TV, the experience looks both thrilling and relaxing at the same time. So, I quickly jumped (sort of a pun) at the chance to try out Florida’s first and only zip line experience at Forever Florida:
No, that’s not me at any point in that video. While I do have video of me zip lining, I didn’t include any of it as I look like a complete goofball while doing it. Regardless of my outward appearance, my initial thoughts that zip lining would be both thrilling and relaxing were pretty accurate. Was it fun? Yep. Would I recommend it for those interested in zip lining? Sure would. Did it make me want to fly to South America and go on a taller, longer zip line through a forest? Not particularly.
After visiting the Zipline Safari at Forever Florida, I realized that zip lining isn’t quite as fun as I thought it would be. I’m sure being in an exotic location would heighten the experience over gliding through Florida’s natural ecosystems that I’ve seen my entire life. If I happened to be somewhere that had a zip line, I’d give it a go. I just wouldn’t make a special trip out of the country to do it. Zip lining is now lower on my to-do list.
Racing a Car
Car racing has never been on my to-do list. I’m not interested in watching cars race. I’m really not interested in cars at all. Even car racing video games bore me after a few minutes of driving in circles. Nonetheless, I jumped (a pun wouldn’t even make sense here) at the chance to climb into a stock car and an Indycar and race around the Walt Disney World Speedway:
Yes, that’s me in the passenger seat of one of those cars zipping by at over 100mph. I can’t tell you which one because the footage of me was mixed in with footage of other people speeding around the track and the cars are clearly going by way too fast to tell. But I’m there somewhere. Surprisingly, my visit to the Walt Disney World Speedway actually increased my interest in racing. I’m not going to sit down and watch all 500 laps of the Indy 500 or anything, but I do have a newfound appreciation for the sport. Was it fun? Yes. Would I recommend it for those interest in auto racing? Without a doubt. Did it make me want to go back and try actually driving the cars instead of just riding in the passenger seats? Yeah, actually it did.
While I had no previous desire to ever try auto racing around a track, trying out the racing experiences at the Walt Disney World Speedway introduced me to a new thrilling activity that I hadn’t really considered before. It’s now on the to-do list.
So here’s how has Orlando changed my thrill-filled to-do list:
Skydiving – Removed, no longer interested.
Flying / Getting a Pilot’s License – More interested than ever.
Zip Lining – Still interested, but not nearly as much.
Auto Racing – Newly added to the list.
I still have plenty of other thrilling activities on my to-do list and I’m sure if I look hard enough, there’s an attraction somewhere in Orlando that will replicate the experience for me without as much of the expense or risk as the real thing. I’ll keep you posted.
If you want to know more about SkyVenture Orlando or Warbird Aventures, read my “Take to the Skies” article in Volume 1, Issue 5 of Orlando Attractions Magazine.
To find out more about the Walt Disney World Speedway racing experiences and the Zipline Safari at Forever Florida, read my two articles, “Vehicular Velocity on Vacation” and “Hangin’ Around Orlando,” in Volume 2, Issue 2 of Orlando Attractions Magazine.
What’s on your thrill to-do list? What thrilling activities have you done in Orlando that changed your desire to do the “real thing”? Comment!